So, I've been "flirting" with the idea of living a Vegetarian/Vegan lifestyle for many years, but due to laziness and lack of self-discipline I never followed through, until recently. I have a 8 month old son and I want the best for him. I have always felt that what we eat directly affects our overall health. My DH is not 100% on board or convinced that meat and dairy aren't necessary for our son. His Mother is a nurse and she will tell us again and again that he needs these things. I could use some tips and advise on this along with several other things...
Is it ok to give my baby Almond, Soy, Coconut, Rice Milk instead of regular milk? Will he get what he needs from these milks without having regular milk or cheese? I already give him Rice Milk and I do give him organic yogurt and cottage cheese occasionally too. He is breastfed and I give him the rice milk, just an ounce or two, for something to drink. Is this ok?
I have read that Soy and Tofu are not the best for babies and children, boys in particular. How do you feel about this? If not dairy, meat or tofu what else should I feed him other than beans for his protein?
What about his B-12? How can I be sure he is getting enough?
Lastly, how do you go about holidays, eating at friends houses, ice cream, etc.? DH is worried about him feeling like an oddity or left out. He doesn't want for him to feel he has to refuse to eat what a friends Mother makes for dinner. He also wants for him to grow up with the turkey tradition on Thanksgiving, etc. I don't want him to miss out on traditions either, but how do you go about it without seeming hypocritical? And, how and when do you teach them where their food is coming from without scaring them out of eating meat? I don't want to scare him, but I think he should know the truth about it.
I appreciate you reading all of this and any insight you can offer.