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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mommy Group Session 3: Class 4 - Alternative Milks

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We moms milled out in the hallway confused about why we were sitting in the hall instead of trickling into our little room like normal. We were directed to a different room, better for cruising kids the woman whispered. I noticed the room was smaller, much much smaller, and very obviously devoid of lots of the clutter of the other room. Simply simpler giving less things for our now very curious and very active little tykes to get into.

Today’s main subject was perfect for me and My Little Cricket and something that I desperately needed more information on. Milk, does your baby need cows milk and what other alternatives are available. When to introduce, how to introduce and how often to offer. As well as when to wean off breastmilk/formula. WHEW we had a ton of ground to cover.

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Since I am allergic to dairy and since my Little Cricket has shown indications of possibly having an allergy as well (the only two times he has had dairy he has gotten really ill) we have decided with his pediatrician to hold off any cows milk until after 1. Experts agree that toddlers do not need milk. It simply provides a convienet source of fat, protein, calcium and vitamin D for growing bodies. For a child with an allergy one simply has to get these building blocks supplied in other areas of the diet.

So when thinking about milk alternatives, like I am, I need to look at what things I need to make sure my Little Cricket gets to compensate. Since I am still breastfeeding this really wont be a problem until after I wean (since breastmilk offers all the vitamins and nutrients my son needs), but it is good to learn now and start making sure I get into the habit of offering the types of alternate milk he needs. Also I have read that offering the alternatives early gets your child used to eating them as part of their regular diet.

CALCIUM: A 1 year old needs 800 millagrams a day of calcium. Which about 24 ounces of cows milk provides. However with an allergy to cows milk I am left with meeting his calcium needs elsewhere. With possibly a supplement and adding more of these food items which are high in calcium

400 mg 1 cup cooked kale
300 mg 1 cup coconut milk
150 mg 2 ounces of almond butter
80 mg ½ cup oatmeal
60 mg 1 cup collared greens or spinach
50 mg ¼ cup broccoli
50 mg 2 dried figs
64 mg 1 tablespoon Tahini
50 mg 1 cup soy milk
30 mg ¼ cup cooked beans
28 mg 1 egg yolk
27 mg 1 ounce tufu
25 mg 1 slice whole grain bread
15 mg ¼ cup carrots
10 mg ¼ cup peas
2 mg 1 cup almond milk

10-45 % of daily calcium requriements in some fortified milk alternatives (calcium carbonate is best)


FAT: Coconut milk is the winner here, its fats are also structured differently and therefore are more easily digested than those in dairy milks. Although sadly low in protein ounce for ounce this drink has as much saturated fat as whole milk. Just be careful a cup of this stuff has 467 calories (gasp). So be sure to moderate.

PROTEIN: Soy milk has the best source of protein amoung the milk alternatives. It is a close match to 2% cows milk when it comes to nutrition. As an added bonus the fat in soy milk is unsaturated heart healthy variety where as most of cows milk fat is saturated. Note that soy bean crops are often heavily treated with pesticides so an organic product is best.

VITAMIN D: Most alternative milks are fortified with Vitamin D. Make sure when selecting you pick those that are fortified.

IRON: Coconut milk again is the winner here. Just to be sure to use sparingly because of the high fat.

Also important to note is iron and vitamin b12 that are in cows milk and that could be found to be fortified in alternate milks. Many alternate milks also dump tons of sweetener into their milks so be sure you select the unsweetened versions.

For now I have decided to stay away from Rice Milk. And Rice milk has been linked to high arsenic levels. Goat’s milk might be something that I try later if my son does end up being allergic to cows milk, but that wont be until after a year that I introduce that. In the end I am going to be offering more calcium rich foods and offering a variety of coconut, almond and soy milk alternatives.

This mommy stuff is hard, and there is SO MUCH information out there to shift through. I am so happy that I am in this class to help point me in the right direction.

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1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

Soy is what Ms Sweetie ended up tolerating. Good job on the research.

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