Dairy and plant-based milks

Lots of parents ask, “When should I transition my child to cow’s milk?”.

Especially if your child is breastfed, there is no reason to transition a child who is drinking human milk that is designed for human babies onto cow’s milk that is designed for a baby cow.

Even if your child isn’t breastfed, there is no reason to transition them to cow’s milk.

Cow’s milk is designed to grow a 65-pound calf into a 700-pound cow as rapidly as possible. It’s just not designed for humans and it’s too strong for us. Which is why it’s been linked to many medical conditions including asthma, acne, type 1 diabetes in children and even cancer so there are many health reasons to avoid cow’s milk.

Finding a plant based alternative is the easy part. There are so many options. If you go to your supermarket, there’s every option from oat milk, rice milk, hemp milk, soy milk, macadamia milk, almond milk, etc.

The hard part is deciding which one to drink. Now, I recommend that you look at the ingredients to have a look at what’s in there. Try to avoid any preservatives, additives, numbers or anything that you don’t really understand what the word means. Also, I suggest avoiding any added sweeteners as many plant based milks do have added sweeteners especially if you are looking at giving it to our children. It is like giving our kids soft drink, they don’t need those sugars. So, I go for the ones that say “unsweetened”.

I prefer soy milk especially for our younger children who need to get as many nutrients as possible. Soy milk does have higher nutrient profile which is why I use and recommend soy milk.

I know people are concerned about soy milk and I do have some information on my website in the resources section about soy. There had been NO studies which have shown that whole soybeans have any negative impact on our health. It’s when it comes to the isolated soy protein that we are starting to have the health issues. So just keep an eye on the label. You will see isolated soy protein labelled, so just avoid that. Look for anything that has whole soy bean preferably organic, check the other ingredients in there.

I also suggest milk fortified with calcium. We all know that dairy is recommended for calcium for our bones. We definitely need our calcium but fortunately dairy is not the only source of calcium and it’s not even the best source of calcium. There are many plant based alternatives that you can use to get your calcium like soy beans, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, whole green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc. But I do recommend drinking a milk that  is fortified with calcium, just making sure that we are getting all the calcium that we need especially when it comes to our young children.

You can find plant based milks in your supermarket. In the long-life section or in the fridge section. I do use and quite like Vitasoy. I drink the unsweetened protein plus because as mentioned it’s not sweetened, and it’s made from whole organic soy beans

If you got any questions, I’d love to hear from you.