I've gotten my 2 year old addicted to Soylent


#1

OK, so, I’ll preface this with a brief admission of my failure as a parent. I don’t feel good about this. It wasn’t by design and I am not happy about it.

This all started when my son was about 1.8 years old. He was walking around, curious of everything. I was drinking a soylent-laced smoothie, and he wanted to try it. It was kind of chalky and it wasn’t sweet or particularly tasty, so I thought he’d have a sip and be done with it. NOPE. He couldn’t get enough. Big gulps… Chugging it… As time went on, he insisted on tasting just about everything that could possibly be something like that, which included plain soylent (mixed with almond milk). I figured, that’s definitely not tasty, he’ll avoid that if I give him some… NOPE again. Almond milk is like an energy drink for toddlers… He bounced off the walls but was otherwise unharmed…

This went on… I was never a super-habitual soylent drinker. It was always an odd treat and supplementing my meals, not replacing them. Still, he came to recognize the bags and would pursue it…

It wasn’t really an issue until 2.0 came out. The wife and I love 2.0. He ended up trying it (his mother was the one to let him have some of it, I protested actually) and he loved it, too. Soon, it became something that he frequently went after. 2 year olds are naturally picky eaters, so I’ll admit that I was happy to have him consume something when he otherwise would not be.

He’s now 2.6 years old and has been frequently drinking soylent 2-5 times a week… Now, we’re having issues.

2 year olds are picky eaters, quite often, so I think that it’s somewhat expected that he really only has a few staple foods that he’ll routinely eat… Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… grilled cheese… oat meal… pancakes… plain bread… apples and bananas… pizza… He’s not limited to that list but we rarely get him to eat new foods. We’re not totally unhappy with his nutrition but his soylent consumption is definitely troublesome.

I think that his soylent drinking may be stifling his drive to try new foods… I think that he’s figured out that if he hunger strikes long enough, eventually we will cave and give him a bottle of Soylent.

His development has been stellar. He’s big, strong, and healthy. His mental development is great. He’s brilliant, can solve puzzles and answer questions… He has a large vocabulary and can follow multi-tiered instructions (when he wants to). He does have a speech impediment. A lot of his words sound too much alike to be discernible. We’ve taken him to speech pathologists and they won’t diagnose him with anything as he hasn’t exactly been delayed to the point where they would be concerned… He’s got the words, but the sounds are giving him trouble. Strangely enough, his Japanese speech is great… We think that he’s often blending the languages. It’s expected for bilingual babies to have a slight delay… I digress…

How does the community feel about a toddler drinking soylent?


#2

I think it’s great and vastly superior to most toddler diets.


#3

I’m uneasy about it being his primary food. I can’t think of any particular reason why it would be bad as an occasional food. Last few times the conversation has come up, the community consensus was that it was non-ideal as the formula is designed for adults, not children.

The best advice I can think of is to talk to your pediatrician and continue to try to get him to try new foods.


#4

Soylent is varied in vitamin and mineral sources but not macronutrient sources. I think there’s some reliable research that kids should eat a varied diet for many reasons including reducing the chance of developing food allergies, and enabling them to enjoy more foods after they grow up. It’s probably better for your kid to consume many different proteins, fats, and carbs.

In terms of nutrition it’s probably better than anything else he eats regularly. From what you wrote it actually looks like his only source of omegas, which are used in brain development.


#5

Are these powder jokes?


#6

He’s a toddler. Unless you’re the world’s best parent, he’s going to fixate on a couple of foods at a time and eat nothing else. Soylent isn’t ideal for a small child, but it’s far from the worst thing he could be eating.

Just keep encouraging him to try different foods.


#7

focus on common allergens and live foods for things to try: shellfish, nuts, berries, dairy, meat, yogurt, kimchi, etc. a significant danger with too much soylent for children is failure to develop a healthy gut biome and risk of allergies (which could be the same thing). for allergens, he doesn’t have to eat a large quantity of the food, but he does need regular exposure. yogurt could be close enough to soylent that it could be easy for him.


#8

Perfect our first been on soylent since I was a toddler.
Did you wife have any soylent ( could have been dyi ) when she was pregnant ? looking for a I have been on soylent since before I was born!

Keep up the “this is not what you are supposed to have but ok” it seems to work well at making them want something.


#9

Up next on Freaky Eaters…


#10

I wouldn’t worry about Soylent making him a picky eater. My older daughter drives us crazy with how picky she is (she’s 14, and eats very little other than grilled cheese sandwiches and cold cereal), and she never had Soylent and we’ve been trying her whole life to make eat different foods, so anybody can end up picky. I’d be more concerned about the nutrition side of a toddler having a lot of Soylent, and other people have covered that already.


#11

I agree with the above. Nothing wrong with given them some soylent, just be aware of the differences.

http://www.calypso.co.uk/news/how-the-nutritional-needs-of-children-differ-from-adults

Edit: this one seems a bit more informative.
http://www.ivyroses.com/HumanBiology/Nutrition/Dietary-needs-life-stages.php


#12

gut biome is a big concern… He eats yogurt and I’ve slipped him probiotics in various ways… I try not to get aggressive with giving him probiotics. If I notice that if he gets particularly inconsolable and dejected, I slip him some probiotics, he takes a big healthy poop and is back to his regular self… I’d like to get more consistent with giving him probiotics but I can’t seem to find any that are specific for toddlers, so I’m cautious to give him them very often.


#13

But isn’t it better than most parents’ alternatives?

“I think that his chicken nugget eating might be stifling his drive to try new foods.”
“I think that his french fries eating might be stifling his drive to try new foods.”

When I was your son’s age, I would only eat SpaghettiOs. I still have fond memories of eating SpaghettiOs, and the horror I felt the night my parents called my sister to the adult table to eat “real” food.


#14

I think it is great that your toddler likes Soylent. My boys drink it too.

As to worrying about Soylent being formulated for adults, remember that your child will not be consuming the same amount of Soylent that an adult would due to a difference in caloric needs. I can’t imagine that your toddler is going through a full bag (or 5 bottles if 2.0) of Soylent a day.

Also, Soylent should be helpful in regulating your son’s gut flora as it contains pre-biotics.

I understand your concern that his preference for Soylent will limit his willingness to try new things, but I think that he will likely feel some pressure to eat what his friends are eating once he is in school. Also, I don’t think that you should do what one person suggested and tell him that Soylent is not what he should be eating because then he will wonder why you eat it and telling him that Soylent is not what he should be eating is just not true.


#15

Also, your 2 year old’s preferred foods sound totally normal.


#16

They actually sell probiotics in the infants department at both target and Walmart here locally…it’s apparently “a thing” now…makes total sense…we don’t eat totally right…and I personally take a probiotic if I ever go out to eat…feel it helps my digestion a bit…not to mention most “infant” formulas actually contain trace probiotics…just gotta read the labels…since I’ve discovered a “generic” version of “Similac Advanced” did not contain the probiotics that Similac Advanced does…totally understandable though…you get what you pay for…

And actually I got here searching for Soylent in toddlers…It makes me wonder, yes they need real food they say, to exercise the jawls, hand-eye coordination, etc…not to mention “social skills” since most of the American dinner table is where we get to actually gather, relax, and discuss our day…not just gobble some grub and call it a night. Which is partially why I still “chew” one meal per day…“do it for the kid” lol…

But on the other hand, makes me curious, cause Infant/Toddler formula(s) are really just Meals-ready-to-eat…so not totally far off…not to mention, infants with lactose intolerance are often given Soy based formulas…or even Goats milk as a substitute to milk formula…

I think Soylent/Rosa Labs could do this :slight_smile: But of course,with a disclaimer lol…


#17

Cool that this has been zombied…

My son’s now 3 and a half and gorgeous. Developing splendidly.

He drinks soylent often… We’ve gotten him to expand his foods a little bit, but he’s still a 3 year old, so he’s picky.

I’m actually really grateful that he’s a fan of soylent. When we’re out and about and it’s difficult to find foods, we almost always have an emergency method for boosting his nutrition and getting him back to normal!

The experiment is going well.


#18

Glad to hear this…I think of it as a well rounded “supplement” in this case especially when out and about.


#19

Yep, my day off today. He had pancakes and yogurt for breakfast. He’ll probably eat a few apple slices and a peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch… Unless he gets hungry before I present him with food, in which case, he’ll grab a soylent bottle and a straw and bring it to me.

He is quite tall for his age and just about the perfect thickness (98percentile height, 70percentile in weight). Gorgeous and inquisitive and wonderfully smart.

He gets to play nintendo once a week and watches netflix/prime around 3 times a week so Soylent is definitely not the worst thing in his life. I’d like to get him completely off video games and TV but that’s not really a feasible thing being that I’m a technical professional and I’ve filled my house with gadgets for his mother and me. Technology is a big part of our lives.

I was not very happy about my toddler being the subject of a soylent experiment. But… it’s a success story, as far as I can tell.

My son is a Soylent pioneer.


#20

Given that my personal diet has changed very, very little since I was about 2 or 3 years old, and given that I (apparently - I have no memory of this) refused to eat meat of any kind at 2 years old because I could read the labels of things and knew it was “animals” (and I have never eaten meat since)… and given that no matter what, Soylent would have been way way WAYYYY better for me as a kid than what little I actually did/do eat, if it had existed in the 70s/80s…

Personally I wouldn’t be even the slightest bit concerned. IMO, the important thing is that he be comfortable that he can get what his body needs. As he grows he’ll naturally find that he occasionally just feels like having other things at times and the rest of the time, Soylent will fit the bill beautifully. This is exactly what Soylent is supposed to be for. The staple that you have most of the time so that the other times when you go conventional, it’s for something that’s really special and worth the trouble/cost/inconvenience/time/etc.

Despite what I’m sure some will say, I applaud the parent who lets their kid have Soylent, provided the kid actually wants it. In fact, I’d say that the fact that your boy does actually want the Soylent so badly, speaks volumes. His body knows.

But this is just my opinion and all my life I have been a living, breathing, walking contradiction to what nearly everyone - from teachers to friends to doctors to my own family - insisted was going to happen to me because of my limited diet. They were all completely wrong. YMMV.