If you’re the mother of a young babe, I strongly recommend joining a mom’s group of some sort.
It’s so helpful to share your experiences with other moms. It’s nice just to get out of the house and meet up with other moms so your kids (and you) can have a change of scenery. One of the mom’s groups I joined when Callum was wee still meets on a monthly basis!
Pete and I moved last August and I was left with no momma connections. Luckily I found a cool group of moms here called Peterborough Natural Moms. It’s been great to meet some moms who are like-minded in many ways. It has made adjusting to the big move much easier, and it’s given Callum and Liv a chance to have a few play-dates.
One of the moms I met through this group is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner who is raising a vegetarian babe and running a really cool business called Your Green Baby.
I had to share Kim with all of you so I asked her to do a guest post and she graciously agreed! A few of my readers have been looking for ideas for incorporating more protein into their diets – or the diets of their kids. Kim also included one of her recipes – which I am really hoping to make for dinner tomorrow night! Without further ado I will let Kim take over…
Where’s The Protein?
Guest Blog By Kim Corrigan-Oliver
As a mom who is raising my son (with his father’s agreement) as a gluten free, sugar free, dairy free vegetarian kid, I often get weird looks from other parents and often get asked among other things, where does he gets his protein?
We are conditioned to think meat when we think of protein, but protein comes in many forms and can easily be included in a gluten free, sugar free, dairy free vegetarian diet.
As a nutritionist I know that growing children need protein, it is vital to their well being, their ability to learn and play and important for their future health. They need protein for growth, repair, immune function, hormone production, and more, but what they don’t need is a high protein meat based diet. With a carefully planned varied menu of plant based foods it is entirely possible to meet children’s protein requirements with a vegetarian diet.
So where do we get protein for our gluten free, sugar free, dairy free vegetarian kids? From whole natural foods, with little processing and a whole lot of goodness.
- Soy (careful here, highly allergenic food and can be difficult for little tummies to digest)
So how do you use these foods to create healthy, tasty and nutritious meals and snacks for your children? Here are some ideas:
Hummus Chickpea, black bean, kidney bean, etc
Spread on rice crackers or rice cakes
Use as a dip for vegetables
Nut butters Almond, cashew, macadamia, etc
Spread on rice crackers, rice cakes or gluten free bread (sprinkled with chia seeds or hemp seeds for an extra nutrient blast)
Spread on a banana sliced lengthwise
Stuffed inside dates for a lovely sweet treat
Spread on apple slices or celery stalks
Seed butters Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, etc
Excellent replacement if nut allergies are an issue in your family or at school
Can be used as nut butters above
Bean salads Great for little fingers to pick up
Crunchy beans Beans drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with spices (cumin, coriander and curry, chilli and garlic, etc) and roasted for 20 to 30 minutes or until crunchy – my little guy loves these
Bean patties Great for little fingers
Tasty and nutritious
Falafels, walnut and lentil, black bean, rice and sweet potato, mixed bean, adzuki bean – we have a patty for every bean
Great hot or cold
Qunioa Wonderful little seed, cooked like grains
Has a full amino acid profile, meaning it contains all the essential proteins, plus calcium, iron and B vitamins
Quinoa salad, quinoa pancakes, qunioa patties, qunioa pasta – we use it a number of different ways
Smoothies You would be amazed at the things I can pack in a smoothie for my guy – fruits, greens, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, flax oil, molasses and more – he just drinks it up
Nut balls Ground nuts with dates, all processed together in the food processor, can add as much more goodness as you wish including flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, goji berries, raw cocoa, etc Roll into balls and enjoy!
Again if nut allergies are a problem replace ground nuts with ground seeds
So you see with some proper planning and a little bit of creative thinking it is easy to feed a gluten free,
sugar free, dairy free vegetarian kid and meet their protein needs. I hope I have given you some ideas to help you create healthy, inspiring and creative meals and snacks for your little ones.
Lentil Walnut Patties
- 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup toasted walnuts (bake 10 minutes at 350)
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I use rice bread crumbs)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3tsp cumin
- 2tsp coriander
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp salt (I omit this when making for Reece)
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (for vegan version I use brown rice flour, add until mixture holds together)
In food processor combine walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic and spices. Process until walnuts is a fine meal.
Add lentils and olive oil, pulse to combine. Transfer to large bowl.
Add eggs or brown rice flour and mix well, by hand.
Form into patties and grill in pan for 8 to 10 minutes per side.
To make patties I take a large spoonful of the mixture, roll into a ball and then shape into a patty.
A huge thank you to Kim for sharing this information with us (and a recipe too).
Check out Kim’s blog for more great ideas on nutrition and children. http://www.yourgreenbaby.blogspot.com/
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