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I never thought in a million years I would be raising a vegetarian baby. Even own journey to vegetarianism was unusual…

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About  5 years ago, after doing some research on how I could bring my cholesterol down naturally, (and reading the Kind Diet) I decided that trying veganism would be a good option. Although it didn’t bring my numbers down enough to talk about I learned SO much about the right ways to eat for my body.  When I became pregnant with Wesleigh, I decided to introduce dairy into my diet (eggs and cheese but not milk).  I was hungry for protein and it seemed right at the time.

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Photography by Stacey Hedman

However, after I had Wesleigh ,I did a TON of research on how to eat vegetarian and breastfeed (I have SO many tips but that’s for another day). There isn’t too much on the subject, but I found out that there is even less on raising a baby vegetarian. Some even say it’s controversial, if you “Google it” be prepped for some negative outlooks.  I had no intentions, or even thought about what Wesliegh would or would not be eating when the time came. My old thought was that every kid should know the taste of a delicious steak or burger. When I had Luke, I wasn’t vegan or vegetarian, and so when I decided to make the switch, it seems unfair to drag he and husband with me (they both still eat meat). But with the baby it felt different. Six months flew by like a snap, and I had to decide whether or not she would be eating meat once her teeth where in.

I decided to first introduce really high protein veggies, beans, and grains (quinoa) to test if she would be full after a meal. That, along with breastfeeding seemed the best route. When she turned one, I had discussions with her doctor about switching her to milk. It didn’t feel right in my gut, to be putting milk in this little baby’s bottle. I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t something I was comfortable with. At the same time, I introduced eggs, and nuts, which she LOVED! I got super creative in ways to make sure she was getting enough protein into her daily diet.

At Wesleigh’s 15 month appointment I was officially ready to move her full-time to a bottle. The doctor and I had a talk about using almond milk instead of whole milk. It turns out that it’s the fats in whole milk that the baby needs the most-and not the calcium. We can get a TON of calcium from other sources like veggies. Fats are what help a baby’s brain to grow!

Having fats in a baby’s diet is SO important. If you are considering vegetarianism for your kids, you should definitely talk to your Pediatrician about how you will achieve that. Eggs are GREAT start and it’s Wesleigh’s favorite food! I give her eggs every other morning with 1 yolk, to two egg whites. On the days she doesn’t have eggs, she has a whole avocado either mashed or chopped up in pasta. Nuts are great as well, she has peanut butter either in a smoothie (great way to get spinach in!) on a sandwich, or used as “dip” for crackers or fruit. I never feel like she is “starving” or missing out. She eats three meals a day, 12-15 ounces of almond milk, and one snack.

Right now, it’s the right decision for our family. It’s easy because Wesleigh and I eat all the same foods. I don’t know what happen once she has her own opinions about food, but I am trying to think about today and figure it all out when we get there. Are you raising your baby vegetarian? I would love to know your ideas!

Here are my tips: Also check out my Vegan Risotto Recipe!

1. Make the Most of Carbs: Pasta is great, but think about what you can add to it to make it more hearty. I add beans, avocado and sauce to small alphabet pasta to make it more filling (our take on a Mexican pasta!). I also use quinoa a TON. It’s great with a poached egg and chopped tomatoes.

2. Protein Every Day: Baby’s need protein to feel full. Beans, nuts, eggs, quinoa, avocado, and many veggies have protein but make sure baby is getting enough based on his/her age.

3. Fruits and Veggies: Chopped up fruits are awesome for babies! My favorite thing to do with veggies is puree a TON of them together with nuts to make a pesto. Wesleigh loves it on pasta, or as a “dipping” sauce for cucumber, and zucchini sticks.

4. Juicing and Smoothies: This is a great way for babies to start with a sippy cup/straw. Wesleigh loves smoothies, and I can put in veggies that are hard for her to eat on her own ie.  spinach, kale, and collard greens. I also make them into popsicles which are messy but a great treat.

5. Eggs! They are amazing, especially organic and farm fresh ones. They can add delicious flavor to your meal, or be a meal in itself!

Resources:

The Kind Diet and The Kind Mama

The Vegan Lunch Box

Raising Vegetarian Children

Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes

Your Vegetarian Pregnancy

Amazing recipes on:

The Minimalist Baker

The Forest Feast

Goop

Cannelle et Vanille (gluten free)

AND you can order vegan treats online from Erin McKenna’s Bakery!

 

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I confess, I don’t put jeans on Wesleigh often. I want her to stay looking like a baby, not a “girl”  and jeans make little ones look too grown up! Until of course I found the perfect fit (just like us all no?!)…

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Boyfriend jeans are SO cute on babies. They are a little tattered and torn, which reminds us that ‘kids are kids’ and their jeans will get ripped. It seems more playful than regular skinny jeans, and not so stuffy. In all honesty, these little chubbers are too squished in skinny jeans!

Do you put jeans on your babes? Which brands do you like?

Wesleigh is wearing a Rylee and Cru shirt, Baby Gap jeans (similar-you can get this exact pair in the store still)  Trust necklace, and Zuzii shoes

Photography by Cambria Grace at Ceremony

Currently in FASHION

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Trend: Boyfriend Jeans for Babies

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Staying Positive During the Winter

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The Best Baby Carriers

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I am not going to lie-this winter has been getting to me a little. Vowing to stay positive about all this snow, I have decided to think of real reasons to do so. After all we live in the North East so we have to make the best of it…

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Wesleigh is wearing: Sweater sold out but love this one, Boots, Leggings, Necklace, Hat, coat. I am wearing: coat sold out in black but loving the blue!, tights, shoes and hat from here similar here.

Staying Positive in the Cold:

1. Hot coffee on cold mornings: No one wants to drink hot coffee in the heat! O.k. yes, you can have ice coffee, but a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning is glorious. See my coffee post here!

2. Hibernate, eat and not shave: Seriously us gals get to hide indoors, eat, gain weight, not shave etc. during the winter, so take that California! By summer we will be in our bikini’s bathing suits again! We can just jet set to the Caribbean for some Vitamin D if we need to!

3. SPRING! It’s a short lived season here in the North East, but how lovely is it to hear the birds chirping, and the snow melting/dripping off the buildings?! AND in Spring it’s the perfect time to wear rain boots which are charming and you know it!

Am I making you smile yet?

4. Fires in Fireplaces: There is nothing, I said NOTHING like a roaring fire on a cold, and storming winter night. If you live in New England, and you don’t have a fire place, get your self to the nearest charming hotel for brunch, a cocktail, whatever and ENJOY an old fashioned fire in a fireplace.

5. Snow is pretty: Right now it’s muddled with dirt and sand during a brief melty stage, but seriously how peaceful is snow when it’s falling?

6. We get to wear cool sweaters and cute coats: Just think, we would never get a chance to wear those cute tall boots, sweaters, scarfs and overcoats-and all together if we lived in Florida!

7. The summer is so so beautiful here: This cold weather makes us have an appreciation for the summer, and all it’s glory. There is NO way the southern states appreciate EVERY single sunny day.

8. Snow days! OK I will admit that a week of snow days gives me cabin fever+makes me thankful at least one of my kids goes to school every day. However, it’s so nice to stay in bed, have a family breakfast, play games, watch movies etc…

9.  Skiing! Even if you are not a skier, I promise you will have a blast heading up to the mountains with your family and/or friends. Hot cocoa in the lodge, ski tans, cute ski attire, and burning calories while having FUN!

10.The greatest thing about living in the North East is that it’s the best place to live, ever. We have snowy Christmas’s, everyone wants snow during the holidays. We have the most beautiful summers, with the BEST beaches! We have the best schools, food, culture…o.k. now I am bragging-but see it’s not so bad?!

All photo’s by Lisa Elizabeth Images

This location is now covered under 3 feet of snow hehe