Milk

Tiffany - posted on 06/16/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I read somewhere once that "milk is for baby calves", meaning that once they are weaned, they don't drink milk any longer...and that we humans should not be drinking milk either. There was more to this article but after reading it, I stopped drinking cow's milk and started drinking soy milk instead. I was thinking of bypassing cow's milk and putting her on cow's milk, or rice milk...are there any other moms out there who have done this with their children?

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Katie - posted on 03/28/2011

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There are lots of reasons not to give your baby/toddler milk. Like someone else said we are not meant to consume milk after weaning from the breast. The enzyme that breaks down milk proteins in our bodies stops being produced around the age of three (the average age that a child will be self weaning) unless we continue to consume milk in some form.
Cows milk is full of nutrients, but a majority of us consume it after it has been pasteurized to kill off most of the bacteria that could harm us. Once milk has been pasteurized it loses a huge percentage of it vitamins and minerals. Thats why milk is fortified with all sorts of stuff after it has been made "safe" for us to drink.
The production of milk from a single cow has gone up drastically since the 60's and a lot of that increase can be attributed to growth hormones, drugs and antibiotics. Just like a nursing mother worries about the medication they take during breastfeeding I worry about the medications given to cows. High milk producing cows are often prone to infections on and around the udders that have to be treated with antibiotics that can be found in the milk for up to 9 days (I think it was 9) after the last dose is given.
One of the scariest things I have ever read about cows milk is also the main reason I am trying my hardest to rid my families diets of it. In the US as many as 3 in 5 dairy cows have been found to be infected with bovine leukemia. That means that when the milk is all pooled together to be pasteurized it is 80-90% contaminated. Luckily the virus is killed off during the pasteurization process, but what happens if there is a mistake made. Just like we have seen recalls on everything from Maple leaf foods to Ikea cribs there is room for error in the pasteurization process. There have been no direct studies (that I can find) linking bovine leukimia to human lukeumia. But, studies on other mammals show that in an alarming number of cases animals exposed to the virus through ingestion develop the disease. Thats scary stuff.
Having said all that (which is all, by the way, my own take on the many many many studies I have read regarding cows milk and the dairy industry. I am not a scientist or a nutritionist so my opinion is simply that, an opinion.) My son and I drink only almond and coconut milk due to my lactose intolerance and IBS. I am sure that there are PLENTY of dairy farms in PLENTY of places that run very clean, respectable businesses and care for their animals. Even farms that manage to bypass the use of growth hormones and antibiotics for the most part. But, that seems to be the exception not the rule.
It is obviously your choice to feed your child what you think is best for them. And that seems to be a more and more difficult decision as time goes on and large industries become even more concerned with money and the short term and even less concerned with the publics well being. Giving your kid cows milk isn't going to kill them, and probably they will be fine. But I don't feel comfortable being a living study to see how badly the crap they are pumping into our food is going to negatively effect the population.
There are plenty of other places to get the nutrients that we could be getting from milk. The cows get it from somewhere!
Wow, long rant, sorry about that but this is something that I have spent a lot of time researching and thinking about.

Jennifer - posted on 06/16/2010

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are you breastfeeding? i think when people say "cow's milk is for calves," it is usually a case for breastfeeding past the 1 year mark because a child will naturally self wean (if allowed) between the ages of 3 and 7. i think it is strange to replace the perfection of breastmilk with milk from a completely different species so extended breastfeeding makes sense to me...i don't think cow's milk will hurt a child, but it also isn't as good human milk.



as for soy milk, i don't think it is advised to give children under the age of 2 because soy acts as a kind of estrogen in the body. so, it sounds like rice milk would be the better option but definitely do your research and compare nutritional facts, and of course, talk to the pediatrician.

Angie - posted on 06/17/2010

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I in a way agree. I don't think that our bodies are necessarily made to consume as much dairy as the American Population gets. I don't think some is bad but the abundance is not necessary. My kids don't get a lot of dairy. Occasionally they will have a glass of cow's milk but more often it's either almond or normally hemp milk. We do soy occasionally but as someone else said soy products should really be used sparingly because of the estrogen. They get a bit of cheese or yogurt a day but they get most of their calcium from green leafy vegetables. Actually the calcium from green veggies is more easily absorbed by our body than the calcium from dairy.

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There are a lot of lactose intolerant older children and adults because technically we're not made to drink milk after we've been weaned from the breast. However, many of us have adjusted to drinking milk beyond the infant/toddler years. I, like Jenna, grew up on a dairy farm. I love milk and pretty much anything made from milk. My daughter is 13 months. She hasn't had whole milk yet because she's still breastfeeding, but she's had and loves cheese and yogurt. If you're not allergic to milk protein and you're not lactose intolerant it doesn't hurt you to drink milk. If you choose not to then that's totally up to you.

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Sarah - posted on 03/28/2011

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From baby center.com
Debby Demory-Luce, research nutritionist
Soy milk does contain phytoestrogens (an estrogen-like hormone found in plants such as whole grains, potatoes, dried beans, and apples), but there's no scientific evidence to date that drinking soy milk is harmful to children or adults. People have been drinking soy milk since the 1960s without ill effect. In fact, many brands of soy milk highlight the fact that they contain isoflavones, phytoestrogens that may lower blood cholesterol levels in adults. Soy milk is a good alternative for children over a year old who won't drink or are allergic to cows' milk. Just be sure to buy the vitamin-fortified whole-fat variety to make sure your child is getting the nutrients she needs.

Also make sure your child's diet contains other sources of calcium-rich or calcium-fortified foods because soy milk contains phytates, naturally occurring substances found in whole-grain foods, legumes, and nuts that can decrease the absorption of calcium and other minerals. While the label on a container of fortified soy milk may say that an 8-ounce glass contains 200 to 300 mg of calcium, the phytates can prevent your child from absorbing that full amount. Studies have found that the body absorbs only about 75 percent of the calcium from soy milk. Calcium-rich or fortified foods include broccoli, kale, lime-processed tortillas, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified juices, cereals, waffles, and breakfast bars.

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Our daughter was 2 before we too stopped buying cows milk but she has had soy milk on and off since we started weaning her off the formula. I was worried about the fats for brain development but soy milk is a pretty good source and so is avocado (which fortunately our daughter also adores) If you are worried about what she might need nutritionally if you give her soy milk then I would probably say talk to a trained nutritionist. We've had no problems with her on soy though...

Edited to add: The above is based on light reading and not thorough research. Like I say if you have serious questions bout what to give your child I would seek the advice of someone who specializes in nutrition

SowmyaSri - posted on 03/28/2011

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Am from India, and cow's milk for kids is very normal here.in fact even from 6 months milk is given but not directly but either in porridge or biscuits soaked in milk etc. I have talked about this to ped and docs here are perfectly fine. But the milk is a pasturisied one from the diary and not direct cow's milk.

SowmyaSri - posted on 03/28/2011

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Am from India, and cow's milk for kids is very normal here. Infect even from 6 months milk is given but not directly but either in porridge or biscuits soaked in milk etc. I have talked about this to ped and docs here are perfectly fine. But the milk is a pasturisied one from the diary and not direct cow's milk.

Angie - posted on 06/17/2010

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Almonds are actually not a very big allergen provided your child is over a year (which they should be if you are giving them anything other than BM or formula anyway) and you don't have a history of nut allergies in your family.

Angie - posted on 06/17/2010

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Just a note on almond milk since I see several did recommend it. Almond milk is pretty much vitamin fortified sugar water flavored with almonds.

Krista - posted on 06/17/2010

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i know someone who used rice milk but when I looked into it I discovered that it has no nutritional value and my daughter would be missing out on a lot of the nutrients that she needs so I'm just going to keep breastfeeding until she's one and then switch to homogenized milk. Also, I saw a suggestion for almond milk but you'd probably want to talk to your doctor about that first because of risk of allergies

Crystal - posted on 06/16/2010

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well, when ppl have an allergy to cows milk and have to go with another form of milk, they tend to be healthy and fine, so i guess its okay. i would suggest using almond milk though.

Jenna - posted on 06/16/2010

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Cows will drink milk after they have been "Weaned". Believe me, we have a dairy farm in the family. It's obviously your choice on what you give your children, but milk is milk. It is used to make cheese, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, etc ... If we weren't supposed to be able to drink milk or eat milk type products (other than allergies) then we wouldn't have a dairy laden food industry. But there are other options such as soy milk, almond milk, goat milk, and in some tropical areas, fresh coconut milk.

Carly - posted on 06/16/2010

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Hi Tiffany

I dont think there is anything wrong with cows milk , we have been drinking it for forever and we turned out ok! My daughter (now 4) would not drink formlua not any that we tried and was not keen on a bottle full stop so from about 14months we gave her little bits of watered down soy milk and she loved it , she mostly drank water but I felt she needed something milky. ( i was lucky enough to breastfeed her for that long ) I have actualy been told its not good to give children under 2 soy milk but its your choice realy . while my son (2) loves formula and his bottle, we have just weaned him off it and now he drinks dark blue milk quite happily from a sippy cup , my sister in law gives her kids rice milk and raves about it,but I cant get my two to drink it so cows milk will have to do for us :) hope I have helped in some way ? good luck

Jennifer - posted on 06/16/2010

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I personally gave my kids regular milk, but I know some Moms that give soy milk instead, usually because of lactose intollerant issues. But I don't know why an article would say to not drink milk it provides alot of vitamins and minerals that we need. So my thought is it's ok to use soy milk but I think the article was not a very good one, milk is very good for you and children any doctor would tell you that.

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