It’s no longer a struggle to find vegan recipes on the internet; they’re everywhere. All of these recipes will lean toward things you can feed to your entire vegan family.
Vegan recipes through the stages of your life:
During vegan pregnancy:
When you’re pregnant and feeding yourself and little one, keep in mind that the adage, “eating for two,” is outdated. You only need to add about 80 calories/day during the first trimester, 300 calories during the second trimester, and 450 calories in the third trimester. That really isn’t hard to do, and it certainly means you aren’t eating for two; more like 1.2.
Weight women should gain during pregnancy:
Underweight: 28-40 pounds
Normal weight: 25-35 pounds
Overweight: less than 25 pounds
During pregnancy, focus on eating whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits, like with an awesome vegan salad, and add in some nuts for vegan snacks. Here's a great recipe for raw vegan gingerbread cookies that are perfect snacks to help combat nausea and a nice craving buster with these vegan peanut butter bars.
I also made sure to store up premade food for my postnatal time when I wouldn't feel like coming up with a meal plan or cooking. These vegan bean burritos are perfect for postpartum, as well as for feeding hungry kids on busy weeknights.
Eating while breastfeeding a new baby:
When you’re breastfeeding, you should go back to eating about 300 extra calories a day to ensure you have plenty of calories to produce enough milk for your baby.
Don’t worry—you will still lose the baby weight. Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories, and if you eat a well-balanced vegan diet, the weight will come off quicker than if you were to give your baby formula. In fact, a chemical called oxytocin is released when you breastfeed, and oxytocin makes the uterus contract and return to its normal size (among other amazing things it does for our bodies).
Also make sure to drink plenty of water during breastfeeding; about 10 glasses a day. A lot of women feel really thirsty when their children feed, so they even actively drink water while the baby is feeding.
I love this vegan tuna salad recipe for vegan pregnancy, breastfeeding, and even as a quick, nutritious meal for your children.
Feeding a new baby a vegan diet
There’s huge debate as to when to start feeding your baby solid foods, and which to introduce first. We’ll dive into the logistics of introducing “real” food to your baby on another page.
As a general rule, you can start introducing solid foods as early as 6 months, and you will want to start with foods that the most unlikely to trigger a food allergy. You can usually tell when baby is ready to branch out to more exciting flavors because he’ll start looking at your food, or opening his mouth when you hand him a spoon. You’ll definitely want him to be able to hold his head up and sit up unassisted, to make sure he can get the food down.
Good foods to start with are pureed cereals, vegetables, and fruits. We will have a whole section dedicated to making your own vegan recipes for baby foods, and to selecting the best foods in stores.
Strict Vegetarian Recipes for Kids
If you’ve raised your children since birth as vegans, you know it’s really no big deal to keep them eating healthy vegan foods. They say eating habits are established by age three, so if your child has tried a variety of foods and has stayed away from most of the junk foods available, chances are really good they’ll maintain that lifestyle.
If you’re transitioning your children to a vegan diet, the initial few weeks or months can be tricky, and a lot depends on their personalities, existing eating habits, age, and other intangible qualities. If, for instance, the members of your household will simply eat what you give them, you are in luck.
With younger children, you can make vegan recipes that will mirror what the other kids have in their school lunches, making your children feel less conspicuous. Try this awesome vegan goldfish crackers recipe for a fun treat. I also recommend making your own milk substitutes, like this fortified almond milk recipe.
The older your children, the more resistance you might have at first as well. Even skeptical older kids will love things like this recipe for black bean burgers.
There are tons of vegan recipes that are so kid-friendly, yet totally vegan that you’ll love, like blueberry muffins, cookies, cakes, ice cream, seitan recipes, tempeh recipes, vegan breakfast recipes and tons of other desserts like this family favorite strawberry shortcake.
Prentice AM, Spaaij CJ, Goldberg GR et al. ( 1996) Energy requirements of pregnant and lactating women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 50 ( Suppl. 1): 82– 110.
www.usbreastfeeding.org “Benefits of Breastfeeding”
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