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From: OceanMama ( -
Subject: Help sorting out iron/anaemia diet info? Anyone? Jo? Snaps?
Date: September 14, 2011 at 6:06 am PST

Hello all---

I know I keep wafting in and out of lurker phase :) but I'm tearing my hair out here trying to feed my family. We're all still vegetarian, and making slow strides towards veganism, but my daughter (six years) has had some serious health issues, including severe anaemia, and I need some help sorting out some of this. Part of the problem is that she (unlike my son) is an extremely picky eater. I think the other part of the problem may be that she has some gluten sensitivity or similar. Her symptoms matched those of what people with celiac exhibit, but the doctor was hearing none of it. His solution was: give her steak. Yeah right.

I was told that soy and whole grains actually inhibit iron absorption, so she should avoid those. (Yeah, of course. Tofu and whole wheat bread are some of the two things she actually does like to eat. =D) Okay, no problem, I'm pretty leery of soy anyway and if she does actually have celiac she shouldn't be scarfing down bread in the first place. But also--- spinach? Spinach is an iron inhibitor? I thought it was one of those "high in iron" foods?

Also, I got a cast-iron skillet because it will transfer a bit of iron into the food. Well and good... but cooking foods with high acidity or Vitamin C (like tomatoes) will destroy the seasoning. And yet! *Eating* foods with high acidity or vitamin C will increase iron absorption. Aaaaagh!

Much of this is probably covered in Jo's book "Raising Vegetarian Children," which I unfortunately left back in the states when we moved to England two weeks ago. So now I'm attempting to figure out veg eating in a place where you can't even buy almond milk, for Pete's sake, and what to feed a kid who only likes food that's tan, white, or made from dairy. ::facepalm::

I'm pretty sure the universe is laughing at me. I have to just laugh along with it or lose my mind. :)


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