Entertaining

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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.

La Petite Peach_Stacey Hedman Risotto 15

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!

 

onlineclasses

I get super giddy when I discover new online classes!  It’s perfect for moms like me because I can work at my own pace, and around the kids sleeping schedule. Two years ago I took a wonderful class for bloggers called Blogshop (now you can take it online!). I brushed up on my seriously lacking Photoshop skills, and made some new blogger friends.

Most of the time I take classes to fill my brain with blogging tips, and how to write better. Other times I just want to try something new. There is literally a class for everything! Here are my top 5 online classes to try.

ALSO, AMAZINGLY we are offering a discount code for LPP readers who sign up for Nicole’s Classes! 20% off with code LAPETITEPEACH

BEST Online Classes:

1. Nicole’s Classes: I took the photography 101 class which I recommend for anyone who wants to learn digital camera skills. Perfect for bloggers, photographers or anyone looking to take better photos, period.

2. The Blogcademy: If you are a blogger just starting out, haven’t started yet, or have been blogging for years, you MUST take this class. I won’t say anything more-just trust me! The headmistresses are seriously so knowledgeable about every aspect of blogging.

3. A Beautiful Mess: I took the “blog life” class for fun, but it turned out to be super informative. You get to see how these girls took their blog from the ground, to a million dollar business. They also offer creative classes.

4. Blogshop: I mentioned above, this was a fantastic way to get to know Photoshop functions as they apply to bloggers. You meet other fabulous bloggers as well!

5. Braid Creative: If you are in the creative industry or you want to be, then you need to take the Braid, Personal Branding Course ASAP! These girls are legit! I love the letters for creatives too-it’s an email a week from owners Tara and Kathleen sharing business advice.

6. Atly: Hand Lettering is an amazing creative class. There are also classes on business and photography!

*Bonus-I haven’t taken a class from Lynda yet, but I have heard great things!

**Bonus-for friends across the pond-Check out The School of Life

 Photo by Cambria Grace

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The Best Baby Carriers

I’ve been keeping a secret from not just all of you, but from my friends and family as well. I have the secret to the best coffee ever.

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The best kept secret to making the most perfect cup of Joe is…VANILLA SUGAR! It’ so delicious you will be stashing it in your purse because you’ll NEVER want coffee again without it.

It’s SO simple.

Take regular ol’ white sugar-I love natural cane sugar but it doesn’t absorb the vanilla properly-and fill it half way into a mason jar. You can buy fresh vanilla pod at any grocery store-I got mine at whole foods but I don’t think it matters too much-slice the pod right down the middle to expose the meat. Place the pod into the glass jar, and fill the remaining amount of sugar to the rim. Store in your cool/dark cabinet. The longer you have the sugar, the more tasty and fragrant it gets.

I discovered this tip two years ago when I checked a French cookbook out from the library to collect some new recipes (I can’t remember the same for the life of me-but when I do I will be shouting it from the roof tops so stay tuned). This Madame had called for vanilla sugar in her baking recipes, which she recommended you keep a jar of, in your baking cabinet. She suggested you use this concoction whenever she mentions “sugar”.  So I did, and it is delicious in cakes and breads, and the most divine in banana bread.

Since I take my coffee with extra cream and sugar-I thought it might be nice to try the vanilla sugar (I don’t actually like the taste of coffee which is why I take it light and sweet). The result is the BEST cup of coffee-ever! Try it out and let me know what you think!

Other Tips:

1. There is nothing like fresh ground coffee! It’s so easy to grind your own beans, you can get a grinder almost anywhere and they range from $ 30-12 . Plus, you can buy beans in bulk and keep them for up to a year in a cabinet, which saves a ton of money.

2. French Press! When I make my coffee in the morning, I am making it for just me, so there is no need to make a whole pot. A French press makes coffee strong, and delicious. I barely need one cup.

3. Save your French press coffee! I save my left over French press coffee to either, make ice coffee later (just store in the fridge) OR pour into an ice cube tray to add it to ice coffee or a smoothie.