Feeding soy to babies

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by sheras2, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. sheras2

    sheras2 Well-Known Member

    I know there are some safety concerns about feeding soy to babies, especially baby boys. I'm not really talking about soy-based formula for babies who are lactose intolerant but wondering more about solid foods containing soy, like veggie burgers. Does anyone have any information or links to articles about the safety of soy? Most of what I am finding is about formula. I'd like to know more about how safe it is to give them food containing soy on occasion, like once or twice a week.
  2. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Well, my boys are soy intolerant still, so they can't have ANY soy, not even a very small amount. My understanding is that there are some concerns about soy causing issues with fertility down the road for boys....but I'm not sure if that's just as an infant or what.

    I WILL tell you that avoiding soy altogether is very, very hard. If you start reading food labels, it is in most processed foods - bread, cereals, crackers, most pasta sauces, frozen things like waffles, pancakes and meals, etc., although in small amounts. It is a real pain to avoid and I really, really hope my boys outgrow their intolerance soon (pedi said most likely between the age of 2 and 5).

    (edited for a typo....)
  3. sheras2

    sheras2 Well-Known Member

    I believe the issue has to do with an affect on hormones because certain types of soy simulate estrogen in the body. I've read about some of the health concerns for women who eat a lot of soy and they are related to the effects on estrogen levels. I guess I never considered that I might need to avoid giving it to my children at all, because I know they get it in some of the foods I give them, like veggie burgers. I would like to have more information about what is a safe amount or maybe there is a safe age, or maybe I'll learn that I should avoid it as much as possible.
  4. bellawillawyatt

    bellawillawyatt Well-Known Member

    Having preemies we did alot of research on soy. Our doctor really stressed that although not all soy is bad to much is really not good for kids and really for preemies. We have just been careful as far as amounts of soy, our daughter had to be on nutramigin for a milk protien aversion and we could have done soy and saved a ton of money but the risks outweighed the savings. Are you and your husband vegitarian? Is that the reason for veggie burgers? I would much prefer (and this is just my family) to do a lean organically fed ground beef burger or even a turkey burger over the risk of the soy.
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  5. sheras2

    sheras2 Well-Known Member

    No, we aren't vegetarian, although I have been considering it for the health benefits. Honestly, I'd initially given them veggie burgers in an attempt to get them to eat more veggies and I had always thought of them as a pretty healthy food. They will hardly eat any vegetables unless they are disguised in some other food. They love fruit and meat but don't eat many veggies. We don't feed them veggie burgers all the time, but they maybe get it once a week. I've also given them the vegetarian corn dogs a couple of times too - my thinking there is it has to be healthier than a regular hot dog, right? Well, after reading up a little on soy (I have an intolerance) I started second guessing my decision that these options are healthier. I wish I could find more information, facts, on what is a guidline for feeding it to babies or young children.
  6. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    This is the way I look at it for people of any age--veggie burgers and soy corn dogs, and what ever. It's a processed food. VERY VERY highly processed. To get from a soy bean to a corn dog, that's a major industrial process and it's better not to eat industrial products. You want your food to be as close to it's natuaral state as possible. Soy in forms that are close to it's natural state are very healthy dietary choices. Edamame, natto, miso, and soy bean sprouts are all very healthy foods. But nothing that has been so highly processed that the manufactures are hoping you will mistake it for something else is healthy.
    1 person likes this.
  7. sheras2

    sheras2 Well-Known Member

    I understand these are processed foods. So is pasta. And bread. It's hard to avoid everything processed so I just try to limit these in their diet and I think I do pretty well, especially in comparison to foods I see and hear about other children eating. My question really has more to do with finding articles or information on the safety of feeding soy to my sons (processed soy in this case, but other types as well) rather than wondering whether processed foods are healthy. I do appreciate your feedback, and am aware processed foods are not the healthiest options.
  8. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    I guess I wasn't clear. I mean there is pasta and then there is pasta.
    Instant Ramen noodles is technically pasta. On the other end there is fresh homemade whole grain pasta. Between those two extremes there are a variety of choices. You balance your need for a convience food and your budget against the nutritional value and taste.
    Edamame and soy bean sprouts are very nutricious. The pros of those foods in nutrition balance out any risks. But when soy is processed, much of the good things are lost and what is left are the things that can cause problems. The phytoestrogens, and other componants that can cause poor mineral asorbption. That is what I was getting at. When you hear news about health benefits of eating soy--that's always based on eating whole soy foods. The problems with soy is that one, in the US and other western countries its usually comsumed in some very highly processed form and two, some people rely on it for too large a percentage of their diets (basing meals on soy products, where as in asian diets soy is usually a small protion of the meal).
    So no--I don't think feeding soy veggie burgers to toddlers is a good idea. Its a shame that many many people do so thinking that they are making a healthy choice. That's why I support a more consumer protectionist stance when it comes to the advertizing of food products.
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