One of the most important concepts when raising a child vegetarian is to not just serve up a meal and simply leave out the meat…
It is about filling the ‘gap’, so to speak where meat would of been present otherwise, and replacing it with a nutritious, healthy ‘alternative’ Organic Tofu, Lentils, Various Beans & Legumes (if tinned make sure it is either sugar and salt free) and as your babies/ child’s digestive system grows, organic tempeh and seiten. This also includes green leafy vegetables, and a variety of root vegetables, for example; carrot, squash, sweet potato to name but a small few. Vegetarian parents can opt for flax for their children instead of fish oils, which are available at all good health stores.
Many tins of baked beans profess on the tin, how they are one of your ‘5 a day’ but be careful as many, many brands of baked beans contain a very high, and unnecessary amount of sugar.
One long term, convenient and price conscious way of keeping pulses and beans at the ready is to always have them soaking… buy uncooked beans in bulk from a local health store, and very often now from your local big supermarket, ready to put on to cook an hour before they will be ready, as we go about our parent duties 🙂 Puy lentils are actually very quick to cook, with no soaking, and make any meat based meal, a hearty, healthy vegetarian or vegan alternative!!
Sometimes, meal times with a small baby especially can be bit of a panic, especially when all you want is to feed your baba the best for their health needs… so convenience is a must, but convenience does not have to mean unhealthy, never 🙂 a quick homemade sauce for some baby pasta can be made prior and heated later on…. frozen veg, which is, in my opinion locked with goodness, can be added to meals and cooked in minutes.
Sometimes, okay, a lot of the time 🙂 the day can get away from you, and luckily there are plenty of organic pre made baby foods out there for those days, once we don’t do it too often a week 😉 An age old mama’s savior for this is freezing homemade food ready for the next days feed, and so forth!
‘Meat free’ never ever has to mean ‘critic’ for, to go without! 😉