I remember when my baby turned one year old and had her checkup the doctor asked me if I had started giving her cow milk. It seemed like almost every visit thereafter, that was always the first question.
I never really understood why this particular drink was so important to doctors. I mean, humans after all produce milk for our own species, why is drinking milk from another species viewed with such a high regard, that some believe it to be mandatory? So I asked one pediatrician, and he answered, “It’s such an easy and convenient way to get fat, protein and calcium, why would you not want to give it to your child?” Ah, gotcha! So that was it: ease and convenience.
There are actually many reasons one would want to shield their young toddler from dairy. Reasons may range from eczema, to religious, to personal choice. And the truth is, although cow milk is promoted by many pediatricians, it is not necessary. What is most important is that we give our children a balanced diet so that they receive all the nutrition they need for a growing body. If you are looking for a beverage that is high in fat, try Coconut Milk. If you are looking for a rival to cow milk with regard to protein, Soy milk will be your best option. Many foods are fortified with calcium such as orange juice and cereals. Also green vegetables and white beans are naturally high in calcium. Therefore you can give you baby a healthy, nutritious diet without using dairy product at all. Below are some popular beverages that are alternatives to traditional cow milk. Some of the beverages are fortified with other vitamins that you will not get with milk such as vitamin E in Almond milk and Hemp is high in Omega 3’s. Check out the nutrition facts of a variety of non-dairy beverages below.
Mommies, what alternatives to dairy do you give your children?