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don't mix tofu and spinach

My husband and I are trying to become vegan after watching the "eating" DVD and reading the book "mad cowboy".  We just started to subscribe to regularly delivered farm veggie/fruit and vegan home cook meal delivery.  I tried cooking a few things last week and most of them came out pretty well. 

Only problem is I have a 3 yr old at home and like most kids that age, she doesn't like a lot of food and her taste changes everyday. So far she likes tofu, just plain ones that I boiled in water, and also if I pan fry with some soy sauce. But I can't give her tofu all the time.  She doesn't like the soy beef or chicken I got at Trader's Joe, so I am still trying to figure out what to make for her.  I am still buying egg for those days when she doesn't eat anything else but rice or noodle.

Meanwhile, I got some "bad" new from a friend. I love tofu and spinach, but she told me not to mix the two because calcium in tofu will react to oxalate in the spinach and promotes the formation of kidney stones. I googled about this and there is no specific mention of tofu and spinach mix, only about kidney stones form from calcium oxolate, but tofu is confirmed to be a calcium rich food.

Hi!  I don't eat much tofu, so I can't help you there.  Take a look at the What did you cook/eat today: Parents and Kids Edition! thread for ideas.  What about chopping up veggies and rolling them in rice paper, spring roll style?  It's fun finger food.  If you can get a variety of food in her (it's a tough job for some kids), I wouldn't specifically worry about the protein, if that's why you're giving her the tofu.  Do three-year-olds drink from straws?  You could also blend vanilla almond milk, vanilla protein powder, half a banana, and some other fruit to make a smoothie.

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regarding oxalates, spinach does have them. but spinach also has calcium, which is why spinach isn't as great of a source of calcium as it appears to be. calcium with oxalate actually appears to decrease oxalate absorption in the GI tract, as stated here:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/l5xh217202326110/
but regardless, there is not so large an amount of oxalates in spinach that it sequesters calcium from other foods. some greens (like taro leaf) have higher levels of oxalate, and if consumed raw, is fairly toxic. but spinach is relatively low.
the calcium oxalate kidney stones depend on calcium & oxalic acid filtration in the kidney; in other words, both of these substances have to be in your bloodstream. If you're not absorbing oxalic acid (or not a whole lot of it), then it won't be coming out through the kidneys. Also, calcium oxalate stones tend to form in an acidic urine. Plant-based diets tend to yield more alkaline urine because of the different protein composition (I think that's why?) versus animal foods. So, everything else being equal, a vegan will have a urine that is more alkaline than an omnivore, and be less disposed to forming oxalate stones. I think that there was a organization (american urological society or something. or nephrology, i forget) that recommended reduced dietary animal protein to prevent kidney stones (as well as less salt, more water, etc).

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Excellent answer FB....nuff said.

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