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Can You Feed A Toddler Plant Milk?

By HERWriter
 
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Can You Feed A Toddler Plant Milk?

Milk. It does a body good. It definitely does a baby good.

Or does it?

Milk is a hotly debated commodity. I stopped liking it as a child and in the 80s, this was a startling decision for my mother. How would I get my calcium? How would I GROW?

In 1974 the Committee on Nutrition (as part of the American Academy of Pediatrics) estimated that daily milk recommendations probably exceeded babies’ and children’s calcium needs. However, like so many other similar studies and recommendations, this was swept under the rug. “Being against cow milk is equated with being un-American,” declared Frank Oksi, an ivy-league educated physician whose views in 1984 were dismissed as radical. (1)

In other words, this milk debate is nothing new. What is new is the plethora of dairy free options.

Pediatricians have continually pushed back the ideal age for introducing cow’s milk to babies. Milk does introduce important nutrients, that is true. However, its case of being a perfect food are most certainly overblown. It is possible for a baby and a toddler to get what they need from food and hydration. (1)

This is not an article about breastfeeding and formula feeding or even what you should feed your child. (Thank goodness.) Once your baby is at an age to drink a milk other than breastfeeding and formula (which will depend on your physician and your parenting style more than anything) you might be wondering about milks that don't come from animals. Particularly if you are already drinking these milks yourself.

(We know that the FDA may be cracking down on calling plant-based drinks, milk, but until it is officially illegal, I'm going to keep calling them milk.) (2)

A new player to the plant milk field, is pea protein milk. Ripple is the most popular brand and it has the same amount of protein and 50% more calcium than cow’s milk. It’s also high in potassium and those omegas, but could do with a little more fat, so pairing it with some nut butter or half an avocado may help this to be a nutritional powerhouse. (3)

Soy milk is the typical pick for those moo-ving away from cow’s milk (I apologize but that came into my head and it felt appropriate to share).

1.     Making The Case For Milk: It’s Cloudy. Another School Of Thought. http://www.anotherschoolofthought.com/articles/making-the-case-for-milk-its-cloudyRetrieved 17 December 2018.

2.     The FDA May Start Cracking Down On Calling Plant-Based Drinks “Milk.” Shape. https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/fda-cracking-down-calling-plant-based-drinks-milkRetrieved 17 December 2018.

3.     Woo, Michelle. What Is Pea Milk And Could It Be A Good Dairy Alternative For Toddlers? Offspring. https://offspring.lifehacker.com/what-is-pea-milk-and-could-it-be-a-good-dairy-alternati-1818850749

4.     I’ve Heard That Soy Milk Contains Hormones. Are They Safe For My Toddler? Babycenter. https://www.babycenter.com/404_ive-heard-that-soy-milk-contains-hormones-are-they-safe-for_1200462.bc Retrieved 18 December 2018.

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5.     McHardy, Ailsa. Which Vegan Milk Is Right For My Child? Vegan Food And Living. https://www.veganfoodandliving.com/choosing-right-vegan-milk-alternative-child/Retrieved 18 December 2018.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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