Monday seems to be turning into recipe day, so this week I’ll continue the trend with something extra special. It’s super easy and super practical – in fact, it’s kind of like my DIY Green Powder in so much as I’m surprised that I’ve never seen it done before!
When Waits was first starting solids I put on my research hat and got to reading. I learned a lot about toddler nutrition, and of course, I came across the issue of milk. The main reason that doctors push milk is because it’s high in fat and it’s a good source of calcium: both things which growing bodies need. But there’s also plenty of ways to secure these nutrients from other sources, so with my pediatricians blessing (she isn’t vegan but her children are dairy-free!), that’s just what I did.
Except here’s the thing: Waits is an incredibly active kid. He burns a bunch of fuel and he’s just not so interested in eating much, which means he’s a pretty skinny dude. And that’s okay – his parents are both slender and obviously, he’s inherited our ectomorphic body type. However as the momma, I have to figure out some creative ways of getting extra calories into him.
Which brought me right back to milk. Okay! No problem, I was already making my own plant milk all the time, and I began giving it to Waits as well.
But then, my overactive brain got to thinking. “WELL“, I thought, “If I’m already giving him the milk, am I wasting an opportunity to slip him some extra nutrients? Should I start buying the packaged stuff, since it’s all enriched and full of extra vitamins and minerals?”
I wasn’t sure, and for a while I would go back and forth; one week I’d buy some boxed coconut milk, and the next week I’d make my own almond-walnut-hemp blend. And on. But . . . every time I made my own, I wondered if he was missing out. Conversely, every time I bought the pre-made products, I couldn’t help but grimace at the ingredients list: sweeteners, stabilizers, additives and more. Either way seemed like a compromise, until I realized . . .
HEY WAIT A MINUTE!
And now I just make my own fortified milks. Really, what the hell took me so long, right?!
These days I make my plant milks exactly as instructed here. I usually add a few Brazil nuts for extra selenium, one medjool date to sweeten it up a bit, and a few drops of vanilla extract for flavor. Waits loves it like this.
HOWEVER. Before I blend, I also add a number of supplements. If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can toss pressed pills right into the mix. If you’ve got an older blender or a food processor, then I suggest emptying the powder out of capsules. Make sure you get vegan ones! Most gel-caps are made from gelatin. You can also buy vitamins/minerals in powdered form, such as dolomite.
We all know that calcium is key for bone health, but calcium works in a synergistic relationship with magnesium and vitamin D. Vitamin K2 and zinc are also important for proper development, but can be a bit tricky for vegans to obtain . . . especially for picky toddlers!
So these are the micronutrients that I focus on. I use various products to meet my needs, but I’ve found Deva’s Cal-Mag Plus and NOW Vitamin K2 Vcaps to be especially helpful. Vegan versions of zinc and vitamin D are not as hard to come by. (try: zinc and D)
Here are the stats for a 1-cup serving (these Daily Values percentages are for adults, and I should note that Waits would never drink even close to a full cup in a day):
Calcium: 333 mg / 33% DV
Magnesium: 133 mg / 33% DV
Vitamin D2: 633 IU / 105% recommended
Vitamin K2: 50 mcg / 62% DV
Zinc: 17.5 mg / 116% DV
You could also add B12, or anything else you feel is important.
Also, I feel the need to remind you that I am neither a nutritionist nor a food manufacturer, and this method has not been laboratory-tested, and this recipe certainly should not take the place of proper diet OR professional advisement. Okay?
So there ya go – I hope you like it as much as we have!