Many people are looking for some healthy milk alternatives for toddlers. It is important to note, that cow’s milk is truly beneficial and it shouldn’t be fully replaced (without providing the toddler with the lacking nutrients from other sources) or deleted from infant’s diet due to its nutritious values. There are many possibilities to exchange it with artificial products, but one should take into consideration various aspects that will be discussed in my article.
Basics about cow’s milk
Cow’s milk should be delivered to toddlers in a significant amounts, basically due to its nutritious values. To note only few, it is a resource of proteins, calcium, riboflavin and many vitamins like D and B 12 ones. After giving up breast-feeding , cow’s milk seems to be the best alternative, even though it is not as beneficial and nutritious as human milk when it comes to provided substances. If you are at the moment of feeding habits shift, visit this site to get information about exact nutritious values that cow's milk offers. If you are not convinced about milk feeding due to understandable fear about excessive preservatives intake, during the next visit in the market – try to look for organic milk (only produced by a reliable company) instead of UHT (ultra-high temperature processed) one, it will be better for your kid’s health. To go even further, your child doesn’t need to drink milk at all if you will provide him proper amounts of vitamins and microelements. The milk is just making the whole situation much easier.
Before I will proceed to milk concerns, it is important to bear in mind, that after being born, toddler should be fed by breast or with an infant formula for almost a year. After weaning it is advisable to make a step further and start to feed the baby with cow’s milk.
What are the issues that may exclude the milk from yours’ baby diet? First one is connected with vegan beliefs that mother wants to impose on newborn. Another one is way more complex – lactose intolerance. But even in this case toddler can have proteins and vitamins intake guaranteed, because nowadays in supermarkets it is quite easy do find products called “lactose free milk” which will solve the problem. But one must note, that it is only possible when baby has just lactose intolerance connected problems. When more severe problems emerge, like casein allergy, then any kind of mammal milk should be completely forbidden and erased from toddler’s diet. The problem can also lay on parent’s side, because they are afraid, that preservatives included in the milk can lead to unwanted health problems for their baby. Another problematic issue can be as simple as total dislike of the milk, when there is situation that toddler refuses to drink even a small amounts of it or even vomits right after consumption, even if the casein allergy or lactose intolerance haven’t been diagnosed.
If there is a strong necessity to replace the ordinary cow’s milk, it is important to decide what is the purpose of the change. Some parents aim to buy products that can be of equal value when it comes to nutrition, while other want only to provide their child with a tasty drink. In the second case it is important to remember, that due to lack of vitamins and microelements that milk ensures while consuming it on the daily basis, those deficiencies must be covered by including products containing those vital elements in everyday meals. To keep the toddler healthy, try to avoid excessive amounts of fats and sugars, that can lead to obesity and serious health problems. However, child should be equipped with some amounts of necessary fats, so if you want to find an alternative animal milk or soy one, do not replace whole milk with skim one, as it can lead to lack of basic nutritious elements needed to build up toddlers organism.
Possibilities of alternative milk implementation
The toddlers health is the most important concern when it comes to introducing new products into his dietary habits. If there are none conditions present, animal’s milk should be considered at first. If not cow’s than other mammals, because their milk has the most nutritious values and is highly recommended. If this type of milk is in somehow restricted by health issues, then it is an option to replace it with a vegetable milk or some specially prepared liquids (possibly doctor-prescribed ). It is also important to consider, which nutritious elements and vitamins it contains and which we need to provide for toddler to help him to develop properly.
Animal’s milks types
Apart from cow’s milk, there are at least two alternatives when it comes to animal milk. First one is the sheep’s milk, which is not as good as the ordinary cow’s milk, because it contains excessive amounts of fats and cholesterol. However, there are also some benefits and one of them is that this type of milk provides considerable amount of proteins. Another choice can be the goat’s milk, with similar features as previously mentioned one. Wrapping up this category, animal’s milk are one of the best choice due to the fact that they naturally posses significant amounts of nutritious values, proteins and various vitamins. But as stated earlier, it must be forbidden and erased from toddler’s daily diet in cases of lactose intolerance or any allergies. In this case, an advisable option is to use vegetable based milks or infant formula instead.
The most valuable products that fall into this category are : almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, hazelnut milk and soy milk. The main disadvantage of those types of milk equivalents is, that they do not posses sufficient amounts of nutritious elements, which are vital for toddler’s diet. Because of that you should look only for products fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Among mentioned types of milk, the most valuable one is the soy milk, but parents should refrain from excessive amounts of this product being introduced into diet, because scientists are still surveying positive and probably negative aspects concerning soy intake among toddlers and kids. Another product worth mentioning is the almond milk, due to its adequacy for toddlers with lactose intolerance, various allergies and for vegans. It can be used as a simple tasty drink and be even prepared in home. In both cases it is important not to add extensive amount of sugar to liquid. There are also some almond milk dangers. If you buy a vegetable milk in the supermarket it can contain extensive amounts of chemical substances, like one of the most dangerous ones – Carrageenan. Read the label carefully.
There are also milk-like products available, designed especially to replace cow’s and mother’s milk with it if toddler have lactose intolerance or allergies and cannot drink the traditional one. To help parents provide their kid with nutritious values as closely connected to those from breastfeeding milk or cow’s one, they are enforced with proteins, vitamins, calcium and many other microelements shown in a table enclosed to the product. Those products become more and more popular and are widely used among many families that have babies, not only those with lactose intolerance, but also for completely healthy individuals. If you are interested in this form of nutrition, an exemplary product is presented here. The "Nutrition facts" table should look like this. Before deciding whether the particular product is suitable for your child, it is advisable to ask friends or relatives, what do they think about the idea or the chosen products. While in doubts it is good to read some opinions and solutions on forums or websites devoted to the topic (or even consult a doctor).
Proper products adjustment
As stated above, if you are forced to remove cow’s milk and replace it with other product, it is hard to find one with similar nutritious values and microelements amount. In order to maintain some healthy balance, the best solution is to supplement child’s diet with various milk alternatives. Any significant lacks of elements should be compensated by providing them in meals and desserts in the daily diet routine. It is also important not to reach for extremes. We won't cover all nutritional requirements with some milk equivalent products and the same situation is with traditional milk. It is not a panacea for every malady and infinite resource of microelements and vitamins and should be supported with other products and meals rich in valuable ingredients. Remember, that with extensive milk equivalents usage, combined with poor diet, it can lead to unwanted health problems. Mainly recognized problems caused by bad feeding can be observed by the presence of rickets, poor weight gain, irritability and skin condition worsening problems.
To wrap up, I would like to encourage parents to include cow’s milk into daily diet to make their toddler grow healthy. If there are any health concerns and it is necessary to replace it with some milk alternative, one should make oneself familiar with opinions of other product’s users (and possibly doctors), as well as with the "Nutrition facts" table of those products.