Meal PlanningVegbaby

Healthy Fats for Vegan Toddlers

I was recently having a medical procedure done, and the topic of veganism came up because the doctor asked what I did for a living (and also because he was trying to keep me conversing so I would stay conscious, because I’m a baby).

We somehow (as expected) got onto the topic of my son being raised vegan, which was met with a side eye and a comment about how “you know, fat is VERY important for a child’s brain development.”

“Yes, it is,” I responded. “But they don’t have to drink whole milk or eat meat to get it.”

And thus I took the opportunity to impart some plant-powered wisdom. ūüôā

 

Healthy sources of fat should NOT be limited for children, especially under the age of two. Once breastmilk is no longer providing the majority of a child’s nutrition, there are plenty of vegan options for fats that support cognitive development (assuming no allergies) when consumed in appropriate amount and variety. If you are unsure how to best incorporate adequate plant fats into your child‚Äôs diet, please consult the help of your pediatrician and a registered dietitian who specializes in this area.

 

There are 8g of (mostly saturated) fat in 1 cup of whole dairy milk.

 

Compared to (mostly unsaturated):

Nut butters (peanut, cashew, walnut, almond)

2 Tbsp ~17g fat

Olive, sesame, hemp, flax, walnut, canola, coconut oil

1 Tbsp ~ 14g fat

Ground flax seeds

2 Tbsp ~ 4.5g fat

Chia seeds

1/4 cup ~ 11g fat

Hemp seeds

3 Tbsp ~ 13g fat

Avocado

1/2 avocado ~ 12g fat

Vegan butter/margarine (Earth Balance)

1 Tbsp ~ 11g fat

Hemp milk

1 cup ~ 8g fat

Soy milk

1 cup ~ 4g fat

Whole grain bread with nuts/seeds

1 slice ~ 3.5g fat

Hummus

2 Tbsp ~ 6g fat

 

No cow’s milk needed here, my friends.

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