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 Post subject: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and it is such a relief to find a place with like-minded souls. My daughter just turned one and had a wellness visit with her pediatrician. She has always been on the small side and that has never been cause for concern, until today. She hasn't gained much weight since late September. I was a little surprised because she has an excellent appetite, eats three meals a day plus snacks, and has a ton of variety in her diet. Also, she still breastfeeds about three times a day. The doctor recommended formula, replacing water with juice, and adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil to one of her meals. Has anyone else dealt with a doctor's concern over size and weight gain? I really appreciate any thoughts/advice on this topic. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Hi there! My younger son was/is small too. I don't think replacing water with juice is a good idea, but we supplemented with Nature's One Toddler Formula and did make sure to add fats to his diet - coconut/olive oil, lots of avocado (great source of fat) and smoothies with coconut milk yogurt, sun/soybutter, avocado & banana. They are so active at that age, weight gain really slows down as a general rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Thanks for the reply grrl :) Yes! The foods you listed are exactly some of the things I give her everyday, that's why I'm trying not to freak out at the doctor's reaction to her weight. I figured her growth would slow down a bit at this age. Thanks for the formula recommendation, I think I'll try that. Is it soy-based?


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:12 pm 
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well, i have to say that none of those things your doctor mentioned sound like particularly good ways to put on weight, let alone necessary. it's common for doctors to be a little uninformed on the benefits of breastmilk after the age of one. your milk is as nutritious as any formula could be. juice isn't going to add any significant calories either! it's mostly just sugar, even fresh pure juice. if anything, i would up the breastmilk in place of other liquids (juice or water) and just focus on getting lots of fatty, high-protein foods into your baby.

i have a petite 11 month old too... she has not put on much weight since the fall, but is staying steady on her curve (and has also gained a LOT of height). plus, she is obviously healthy, happy and thriving... meeting milestones, really active. is your daughter's weight the only thing lagging? has she been sick recently? has she really gotten active since september? weight is only one (and in older babies, not the greatest) indicator of health. and a bug or leap in milestones can really hamper weight gain. check too what chart your dr is using to assess her weight. if it is not one that is meant for breastfed babies, that could be causing a problem, and she may not have even fallen off her curve at all.

take a look at her diet... are there any nutritionally void things she eats a fair amount of? things like cheerios, crackers, etc. and think about where can you pump in extra fat and protein. we use coconut milk (full fat, check the label), a variety of seed and nut butters (pumpkin seed, almond, peanut, sunflower seed), liberal amounts of extra virgin olive oil and other oils, tofu, beans, etc. i rarely give her anything to eat that doesn't have some kind of fat in it. her morning oatmeal is made with coconut milk and mashed banana, her sweet potato is drizzled with olive oil, her black bean soup has a big tbsp of pumpkin seed butter mixed in, her snack is avocado chunks or some tofu. i've always tried to feed her like an athlete, because i figure babies really are.


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:13 pm 
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Yes. There aren't many options for non-dairy, and I liked that this one uses brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:37 pm 
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Where do you find pumpkin seed butter?

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:37 pm 
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My son is on the other end of the spectrum-- he's a HUGE vegan baby-- and his weight gain super slowed down right around 10 months when he started walking. I've always been told it's normal for a lot of babies to just slow down with weight gain at this age and I'm kinda surprised to hear that your doctor's really concerned about it.

But yeah, more healthy fats... juice isn't going to probably do anything good for her.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Also, I wholeheartedly agree with breastmilk being the best source of vitamins/fat even after age one. We supplemented for a few reasons. You have the advantage of still nursing, my son dropped it at 11 months, even though I was willing to go until age 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:45 pm 
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My son was a huge baby who evolved into a skinny kid. He's healthy, meeting all of his developmental marks and is never sick. His doctor was never worried about his weight.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Yeah, that totally makes sense about the formula. It seems unnecessary since I am still breastfeeding. Plus, I doubt she would drink much, if any, of it.

littlebird--I thought she was getting a good amount of fats, but I definitely see opportunities I have been missing to add more. I will add oil to her sweet potatoes, I usually just give them to her straight up. In response to your question, her height has pretty much stayed the same. She has not been sick and, yes, she is very active!

Thanks so much for the advice everyone! I will sleep better tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:54 pm 
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I love what everyone has said so far, just wanted to chime in as another mom of a smaller kid - Henry finally hit 20 pounds at 15 months; now at 22 months he's 23 pounds. I can't remember what his heights have been, but he's always been noticeably shorter than his pals. He's been in the 5-10 percentile since about 9 months. I look at the whole picture: he's healthy looking, bright-eyed, smart, and active. I offer lots of high quality foods and like littlebird said, add good fats in anywhere I can. His dad was a little guy until high school and it wouldn't surprise me if our son grew along the same trajectory. Kids come in all sizes - if your daughter is doing well otherwise I wouldn't fret.


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:43 am 
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grrl13 wrote:
Where do you find pumpkin seed butter?


i find it in the "natural food" section of my regular grocery store. it's on a shelf with all the other "fancy" butters. guys, this stuff is seriously the bomb. it tastes so good, is not a nut for those who want to avoid nuts with younger babies, and is also super high in iron. we mix it into everything, but it's especially good in roasted veggies like squash and sweet potato.


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:38 am 
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My baby isn't a baby anymore, 2 years old-but she is teeny tiny and I think people say it's cause of the vegan thing behind my back. I went vegan when she was around 1 years old and she nursed frequently. She's weaned and still little. She eats more than my 5 year old, I'll set aside a portion of food for her at meal time, she'll sit in my lap and eat my food and when that's gone she'll go eat hers.
My husband and I are tall, but have a lot of short people in our family so I think she just takes after them. She was born two months exactly after my short little grandma passed away and my grandpa is convinced she's been reincarnated.


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:43 am 
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I just want to say that I'm thankful to read about all the other healthy, small vegan babies! Poopiebaby is six months old today and weighs less than 15 pounds. He's smart, super strong, right on target for development, but I get shiitake all the time about how he's 'too small'. He's LONG though, so I'm sure his weight will even out with his height at some point!

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:27 am 
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Aliks wrote:
My baby isn't a baby anymore, 2 years old-but she is teeny tiny and I think people say it's cause of the vegan thing behind my back.


I hate that kind of shiitake!!!
My toddler has bowed legs and everyone said it was rickets due to his vegan diet. He had his blood and pee tested, he had x-rays, he had his liver and kidney function tested, he was evaluated by health visitors and (we think -- long story) social services for over an hour, he was sent to a pediatrician (who said his diet is very restricted and told me to stop breastfeeding him since I am nursing his wee brother, too), he was sent to a dietitian (who said it was fine to keep breastfeeding him and that his diet is fine, too), and, finally, they sent us to an endocrinologist who just finished a study on kids with rickets in our area and he took one look at my son and said it didn't look like rickets to him.

blah blah; vent vent.

Aliks wrote:
She was born two months exactly after my short little grandma passed away and my grandpa is convinced she's been reincarnated.


That is super cute!

ETA: My toddler is skinny, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:44 pm 
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yikes crabby! that's why I usually avoid the whole vegan thing with doctor discussions. somehow it came up with my sons pediatrician when he asked how much meat he eats when I thought he had celiac-he has type 1 diabetes and a lot of children with it also get celiac. So he did all the blood work for nutritional deficiencies because he was convinced he was gonna die from no red meat, and it was fine, actually it was perfect-and he had mono. the whole time i was sorta freaking out!


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:03 pm 
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poopiebitch wrote:
I just want to say that I'm thankful to read about all the other healthy, small vegan babies! Poopiebaby is six months old today and weighs less than 15 pounds. He's smart, super strong, right on target for development, but I get shiitake all the time about how he's 'too small'. He's LONG though, so I'm sure his weight will even out with his height at some point!


yeah, tziporah weighs just over 17 lbs at 11 months. she's been kind of at that weight for at least two months if not longer. but she's staying on her curve, which is really the only important thing. dropping percentiles is bad, but obviously some babies are just going to be lighter than others. healthy adult humans range from like 100lbs to 250+lbs, so why on earth do people think babies should all be the same weight?


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:25 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
healthy adult humans range from like 100lbs to 250+lbs, so why on earth do people think babies should all be the same weight?

This. Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Aliks wrote:
yikes crabby! that's why I usually avoid the whole vegan thing with doctor discussions. somehow it came up with my sons pediatrician when he asked how much meat he eats when I thought he had celiac-he has type 1 diabetes and a lot of children with it also get celiac. So he did all the blood work for nutritional deficiencies because he was convinced he was gonna die from no red meat, and it was fine, actually it was perfect-and he had mono. the whole time i was sorta freaking out!

I try to avoid it, too. It came out for a really stupid reason -- I jokingly said, "BabyCrafter likes books so much, he eats paper!" and the health visitor FLIPPED THE FORK OUT and started acting like he had pica and was going on about how I had to give him rice crispies or corn flakes with fresh orange juice so he would get enough iron. "You're vegetarian, aren't you? Are you vegan?!" Well, I didn't want to lie, but sometimes I wish I would have, since she also wrote the pediatrician behind our backs and told him she thought Bert's legs were bowed because he didn't get enough calcium because we didn't give him milk.* During the course of the conversation, she also told me it was bad to put him on a low-fat diet. (what the fizzle?) And that Asian vegetarians don't know what to feed their kids. (Double-WTF?)

I was kind of freaking out the whole time because everybody made it seem like he totally had horrible rickets and I started to totally doubt myself. Of course, he was fine. (Then my husband went to get his B12 tested and the nurse told him his calcium would be low because he was a vegetarian. He got that tested, too, and everything was fine.)

The weird thing is, both my kids are really skinny, but no one has said anything about that to us. They are just all weird about the kids not having meat and dairy.

* I think the whole milk thing is kind of weird. I get that babies need to be breastfed (and, like I probably said, I'm nursing in tandem), but I don't get why everybody is all, "kids have to have milk (or a milk substitute) as a drink every day!"

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:34 pm 
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they'd probably say nothing if you said you visit mcdonalds regularly! My daughters nurse got real pale when she was a baby and asked how much formula she drinks. I said none. then she asked if I had switched her to cows milk, I said no. Duh lately, think about what babies can drink! I've seen a nutritionist for my sons diabetes, gone over a food diary, and she said we are perfect. Oh yeah, my 2 year old is 21 pounds, she's pretty close in size to her 11 month old cousin.


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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:09 pm 
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Axel Foley wrote:
I love what everyone has said so far, just wanted to chime in as another mom of a smaller kid - Henry finally hit 20 pounds at 15 months; now at 22 months he's 23 pounds. I can't remember what his heights have been, but he's always been noticeably shorter than his pals. He's been in the 5-10 percentile since about 9 months. [...] Kids come in all sizes - if your daughter is doing well otherwise I wouldn't fret.


I wanted to add... someone's got to be in the 5th percentile. That's how percentiles work! If all of your little babies were bigger, then the 5th percentile would just move.

There's no shame in being in the extremes. Mathematically speaking, someone needs to be there!

And healthy is healthy, regardless of size.

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:45 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I wanted to add... someone's got to be in the 5th percentile. That's how percentiles work! If all of your little babies were bigger, then the 5th percentile would just move.


exactly! sometimes i am not sure pediatricians understand statistics. my son has always been in the 5th-10th wieght percentile. his weight gain slowed down right after he turned one and we were told to give him hamburgers and ice cream. uhhh... we gave him nut butters (which he loves), flax oil in his soy milk, soy yogurts, whatever healthy fats we could think of. as long as your daughter enjoys eating and has lots of energy, i wouldn't worry about it!

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:43 pm 
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littlechickadee wrote:
his weight gain slowed down right after he turned one and we were told to give him hamburgers and ice cream.

My god, and they wonder why obesity is on the rise in the western world. Hamburgers and ice cream?!! Way to get a kid off to the best start....

A friend of a friend in Glasgow was told to give her kid chips (fries) and heavy cream to fatten him up. I am SO glad I haven't had to deal with that. (Yet. After all the other weird shizzle they've pulled, I don't exactly expect them not to.)

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:02 pm 
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poopiebitch wrote:
I just want to say that I'm thankful to read about all the other healthy, small vegan babies! Poopiebaby is six months old today and weighs less than 15 pounds. He's smart, super strong, right on target for development, but I get shiitake all the time about how he's 'too small'. He's LONG though, so I'm sure his weight will even out with his height at some point!

Baby twins! Willow was 6 months at the end of December, but her 6-month checkup was last week, and she was 14.74 pounds. I'm grateful we have the genetics card to play when people talk about how tiny she is: "I was 18 pounds at a year, and there was nothing wrong with me!"

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 Post subject: Re: Petite vegan baby
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:52 pm 
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and we get to join the tiny club, kinda. we finally had the little man's 18 month appt (19 months next week) and although he is taller, he weighed exactly the same as he did almost 4 months ago. So he's no longer height and weigh proportionate, and that set off alarm bells for the doc. i have always been very casual about his eating and always get compliments at how well he eats and that he eats such a variety of fruit and veg. I am trying not to second guess myself. the ped was on the edge of telling me to breast feed less (he bfs before nap and bed and once at night and in the morning before we get up). We had to travel quite a bit these last few months, and he got a bit sick over christmas, i think he ended up eating some dairy and had about a week of crazy bowel movements, and i want to blame all that for the lack of gain. Still i am going to cut out the little bit of water he drinks and start adding a bit of oil to his soymilk, just in case. They want to do a weight check in March and make sure he is gaining.


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