Kid Friendly Healthy Diet for Food Allergies
Mom worries tofu won’t have enough protein for toddler with food allergies
My 20 month old daughter has food allergies – she is allergic to dairy, eggs, and all nuts. I am concerned that there are several key nutrients she may be either low on or not getting, among them protein.
Her doctor recently suggested I add tofu to her diet…is this enough? We already eat soy yogurt and soynut butter and soymilk. I have removed all allergens from the house…what other foods can I use to replace those she’s allergic to?
I want to make sure she has a healthy diet, and as healthy a start as possible. Thank you – Rebecca S.
Savvy Vegetarian Advice:
It’s the age old mother’s dilemna: how to give your kids a healthy diet that’s also kid friendly! Things get complicated when there are food allergies to take into account, but it’s still pretty easy to give them a healthy but kid friendly diet they’ll actually eat.
Fortunately, kids love tofu, and it’s high in protein. There are lots of great tofu recipes on Savvy Veg. Some kid friendly favorites are tofu burgers, pasta, tofu & veggies, tofu quiche, and fried tofu.
But rather than focus exclusively on soy foods to compensate for her food allergies, you could add beans and lentils, mashed to make them easier to digest and also to disguise them, to her diet. Or cooked in veggie soups and stews, until very soft. Crockpot lima bean stew and mung dhal veggie soup are two easily digested examples a 20 month old could eat. Kids a little older like black eyed peas and pinto beans a lot, because they’re soft, sweet tasting beans.
Kids, even as young as 20 months, usually like mild hummus. ( if you make the recipe on Savvy Veg , omit the garlic). Lentil burgers or black bean burgers might also appeal to her – something she can eat with her hands. Check our bean recipes for these and other recipes to try.
I’m assuming your daughter can eat sunflower, sesame or pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or flax seeds, ground up and added to other foods or made into a paste? Remember too that all veggies and most fruits have some protein, which adds up over the course of the day. A one cup serving of avocado, for example, has 3 grams of protein, and a medium potato with skin has 4 grams. And whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and oatmeal have significant amounts of protein in each serving.
From what I’ve read, and my own experience, giving her lots of those foods should also help the food allergy situation by making her diet more alkaline and adding a wide variety of vitamins and minerals not found in non-plant foods.
I know this is a challenging situation but here’s the upside: Dealing with your daughter’s food allergies will help the whole family move toward a healthier diet!
By the way, it might be helpful to check out our article on Vegan Baking Substitutions.
All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian
More On Children and Food Allergies:
- 3 year old has dairy allergy
- Lactose intolerant baby has soy allergy
- Food Allergy Survival Guide Review
- Son’s allergic reaction to dairy in M & M’s
Medical Disclaimer: Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and responsibility. Savvy Vegetarian and its employees do not claim to be health care professionals, dietitians, or nutritionists. We do not treat, or recommend treatment, for any illness or health condition.