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Seven healthy alternatives for cow milk for your kids

Baby Care - By Esther Muchene | December 9th 2020 at 10:25:00 GMT +0300
Other than cow’s milk, there is a range of other healthy alternatives that you can give your baby (Shutterstock)

Transitioning from breast milk to formula and other forms of milk can be quite exciting as sometimes our babies suffer from lactose intolerance whereby they are not able to digest the protein in the cow’s milk. And whether that’s the case or not, parents may just want to give them a variety.

For babies who are allergic to cow’s milk it’s important for that the milk you buy for them or food items such as cheese you give them are not products or produced using cow milk.

For babies who have been taking formula, it is recomemmend that you start transitioning them to other forms of milk at age one.

For kids who have been breastfeeding, you can have them start transitioning to other forms such as baby formula at three months and other forms of milk at around year one.

Other than cow’s milk, there is a range of other healthy alternatives that you can give your bundle of joy. However, before settling on a milk alternative, ensure that you consult with your pediatrician.

Here are some examples.

1.Breast milk

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World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that a baby should be breastfed until the age of two and they should be nursed for at least three months, and three to four times a day before being introduced to other forms of milk alternatives.

And at this point, the other alternatives would only be formula which a child can also be given from birth. This is especially true for moms who are not able to breastfeed and for babies that are allergic to cow’s milk. They can still count on their mom’s breast for milk.

2.Baby formula

This is one of the healthiest alternatives for both breast milk and any other kind of milk. It is very rare to find a child being allergic to formula as it has been specially made for the child’s consumption.

This is also one of the easiest options to transition to as it tastes similar to breast milk. The baby won’t strain while transitioning to it. It contains vitamins, fats and proteins which the baby needs to grow.

3.Soy milk

Soy milk is one of the most consumed milk. It is a great alternative for cow milk. For babies that are allergic to cow’s milk, soy milk is a great alternative as it is plant based. It contains high levels of calcium and Vitamin D which is good for a baby’s development.

4.Rice milk

This is a great alternative for kids with allergies to both cow milk and soy milk. This is also great for parents who are vegans and would like their child to grow up with vegan eating habits.

This, however, is not the best alternative for babies because it is low in proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. It is, therefore, advisable to give them this once a day.

5.Almond milk

Almond milk, just like rice milk, is low in protein and fat and might not meet the dietary requirements for your baby. But this doesn’t make it less of a good alternative to cow milk. Just make sure to purchase unsweetened almond milk fortified with vitamins and calcium.

6.Hemp milk

Unsweetened hemp milk can be a nutritious part of your toddler’s diet but only when coupled with a variety of nutrients and supplements as it contains similar nutrients to cow milk but in lower quantities. You can use this as a substitute for cow milk while giving them cereal in the morning.

7.Goat milk

Goat milk does contain more calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin A and potassium than cow milk. It, however, lacks folate and vitamin B12. This would be the perfect alternative for cow milk as it’s more nutritious and you wouldn’t need to add other nutrients to make it healthier for your baby.

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