Monday, February 20, 2012

Reader Q&A: Adding (Healthy!) Fats to Your Toddler's Diet

I thought this would be fun to post a question I recently got from a reader about how to add a variety of fats into her baby's diet. My response is included in this post, but PLEASE comment below if you have other suggestions or feedback regarding this topic!

Hello, MGAB! I'm a young mama who's been vegan for several years now. However, many of the recipes I make or find online are very low fat which is fine for me, but I am now embarking on the task of feeding my 16-month-old daughter and I am finding it hard to "fatten up" some foods. We've done baby-led solids where she feeds herself and she does well, but she does not have many teeth yet(4 in front and currently working on her top molars), so my options are a little limited. Avocados have been my go to for healthy, unprocessed fats for her but, she goes through phases where she will love avocados and then other times, like now, when she won't touch anything that is touching an avocado. I also try to add flax meal wherever I can, but she doesn't love it on everything... The only other "fatty" thing I have tried on her is pure extra virgin coconut oil but not only do I feel guilty about giving her spoonfuls of processed "empty" calories, but she will rarely eat it more than a couple times a week. This leaves me panicking about whether she's getting enough. She does still breastfeed quite frequently, so I'm not awful concerned just yet, but I feel I need to up her fat intake in her solids anyway. Sorry this has been such a long babbling email. I'm just really looking for some ideas on good recipes for little ones or any ways I can add fat to her portion of some of my recipes. I've just recently begun really getting into cooking(before I had my daughter, it was mostly simple soups, spaghetti, or stir-fry... I was very repetitive and needed to branch out! I have found TONS of great websites like yours and now cook something new every week!), so I'm not quite sure which ingredients taste good w/what... I'd like to try some nut/seed butters and other stuff, I just get so overwhelmed and lost! Can you please help me?! :) -Forever Grateful

Here was my response to this wonderful Mama:

I know exactly what you mean about many vegan recipes being low fat or fat free! Great for us, but not so great for our little ones. Here are some of the foods I use on a daily or weekly basis to increase the fat in Kaden's diet (other than avocados!)

- Tofu & Tempeh 5g/7g fat per 1/2 cup
- Hemp seeds 4g fat per TB
- Hemp milk and Coconut milk 7g/5g fat per cup
- Linwoods makes a great product. Its ground flax, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds and goji berries. 4g fat per TB. So far I only add this to his oatmeal, smoothies and pancake batter. But I am going to make some muffins soon and it to the mix.
- Earth Balance (it is processed, but I do spread it on toast)
- Almond butter (he doesn't like peanut butter, but loves almond butter) 8.5g fat per TB
- I make a homemade cashew ricotta cheese and make stuffed manicottis, lasagna, or just use it as a dip or spread. The recipe is on the blog.
- Dr. Prager makes an AMAZING frozen California Veggie Burger (all veggies and grains). It's 5g of fat per patty.

That's about it I guess. If I remember or think of anything else I'll be sure to send you an email. Otherwise, make sure you subscribe to receive my blog posts via email so when I come up with something that works for you, you wont have to search for it!

Here's an idea: You could try and grind up some macadamia nuts in a food processor or high powered blender and use it a crust (along with other spices and stuff) for baked tofu... OR maybe I'll just come up with a recipe for that and post it on the blog :)

Hope that helps!!

1 comment:

  1. My response is included in this post, bodyaline but PLEASE comment below if you have other suggestions or feedback regarding this topic!