Wednesday, August 22, 2007

chocolate, beans and whole wheat pasta

as many of you know, we are a mostly vegetarian household and i don't cook any meat. our little jove has been vegetarian his whole life, although he has been offered pieces of chicken on various occasions (he always refuses). i make an effort to understand balanced nutrition and sources of different nutrients even more now that i am responsible for two little ones.
one nutrient that is a little harder for vegetarians to get enough of is iron. with that said, i have gone through two pregnancies/births and never developed anemia. iron is found in a lot of vegetarian foods, but it is not as easily used by the body in this form (non-heme). two ways to ensure adequate iron intake is to eat a variety of iron rich foods everyday and to eat foods rich in vitamin c along with the iron rich foods. for example, i always make my beans and rice with lime juice and red peppers to combine iron and vitamin c.

for more info, click here

iron rich foods
  • whole wheat anything
  • oatmeal
  • nuts
  • beans and lentils
  • raisins and dates
  • eggs
  • cocoa powder (my fave)
  • soy beans and tofu
i give jove at least two iron rich meals or snacks everyday and i try to sneak extra good stuff in where i can. some examples of things i give him are oatmeal with apple sauce (preserved with vitamin c), date and nut bars, shredded wheat cereal, mashed potatoes with egg yolk and beans and rice; also he will eat uncooked tofu and wheat germ out of a bowl for snacks. it is weird that he is so picky about some things, but will eat a bowl of wheat germ or tofu. whenever i bake or make pancakes, i throw in wheat germ, chopped walnuts and flax meal.
good luck to any of you with picky eaters

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