I am curently debating the whole whole milk situation. Although my doctor strongly recommends I keep my 1 1/2 year old on whole milk until she is 3, I feel for so many reasons that it is just unnatural and not great for her. She actually prefers the soy/rice blend milk to whole milk but b/c the doc feels so strongly that she get the "full fat" I am keeping her on the suggested 12 oz a day. However, when I do give her the milk, I just feel like I'm giving her bad food. The rest of the time when she wants milk I give her the Eden blend which she loves. Anyone else having this dilemma?
Hi Alison, I think you and your one year old have excellent intuition about what is healthiest. No other species drinks the milk of another animal or milk after weaning. My boyfriend has type 1 diabetes and is pretty furious now that he just found out that dairy given early in life can cause the autoimmune reaction that triggers diabetes. It can also cause other reactions, such as asthma and allergies, which I had. Milk is one stop shopping for certain nutrients, and doctors were raised just like everyone else in this country, but, there are better sources for protein and calcium and sugars than milk. The benefit of full fat is that it has vitamin Da, which is fat soluable, but give her a vitamin with some actual healthy fats and she'll be great.
I am not still nursing, but b/c this is such a debate I just want to nurse the next one until she/he is three (not really!) It seems so obvious that cows milk is not the right choice, but it is hard to stand up to your doctor (and everyone else) when they are so ridiculously alarmed. I feel much more comfortable switching to the soy/rice milk knowing I can replace the full fat with a vitamin- any recommendations? Michelle- what did you do with your older child- did she drink whole milk until she was three? The only other difference I noticed in the nutrition of the milks is that whole milk does contain a fair amount more calcium, but I assume a vitamin would cover that as well- any recs?
There are so many places to get calcium besides milk, the issue is that babies can't eat as much of the greens, which is one place I get my calcium. well cooked and mashed Beans like chickpeas are soft and full of calcium. Fortified orange juice and soymilk are good. I found this website.http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/pregnancy.htm (basic needs for infants) There are a lot of books out there. If you tell your doctor alternative sources I'm sure he will be reassured.
There is absolutely NO REASON to keep them on cow milk. My two daughters have been raised on soy milk. I would prefer for them to drink rice, almond or coconut milk but they really like the soy. You can check their pix on my profile in the album Me & my Family. Doctors don't really know more about nutrition than anyone else unless they make a point to study it. They aren't required to do more than a few token hours in nutrition and that is the USDA version of it.. They have been fed the same lies that we have.
all I can add is READ THE CHINA STUDY!!! if you do, there is no way you will feed your child - or yourself - cow milk. Doctors are NOT educated in nutrition, do not go with what they say if your intuition - or better yet, your research - tells you otherwise. Seriously. I recently found a sheet of paper at my parents for my feeding schedule as an infant....at 3 months, solid food! Well, they thought that was true then and it was not - and now I know where my lifelong digestive problems originated.....do not rely on a doctor who has had at maximum a one credit course in nutrition in med school, do your research and you will do whats best for your child - I'm so happy to see you questioning the powers that be and trying to figure out for yourself whats best for your child!
I'm in the same boat too. My son is 19 months old and I'm still nursing him (he actually nurses a LOT compared to most toddlers), so I don't worry about him getting cow's milk since he's getting human milk. However, I started giving him cow's milk at a year (I didn't really know any better, though I had reservations) and now he expects a bit of it in a cup, so he drinks it off and on throughout the day. He doesn't drink that much, but he does eat yogurt as well. I'm wondering if I should take him off those things completely. I read The China Study too, and I don't want him to end up with diabetes or all the other problems cow's milk can cause, especially since I know I've done him a favor by breastfeeding so long.
I swore up and down that I would stop nursing my daughter at 12 months... well it is 15 montths and we're still nursing. We are both very happy about that - I'm going to let her wean herself. I am pretty sure that the biggest worry is enough fat for proper brain development. The soy milk is fine as long as it isn't reduced fat. Also, look to feed your child other natural sources of fat. Those will be even better for your child than the fat from cow's milk. Now it is SUPER EXPENSIVE, so see if you can buy in bulk - but HEMP MILK is so so so so so good for your baby! Compare the nutrients to cow's milk and you will be blown away. It is also pretty tasty stuff. I'm not a nutritionist, but that is my two cents. :-)
PS- it is late and I am not thinking straight... I should also mention that my 4 year old has not been on cow's milk at all except for about 2 months of his life. The doctors recommended it, of course. Shortly after we started it, he started wheezing all the time. I took him to the doctor and they told me that he had childhood asthma. They sent me home with steriods and a nebulizer. I felt HORRIBLE about the whole thing. I mean, seriously, my poor little guy on steroids! :-( About two months later I ran into a nurse friend of mine who recommended taking him off cow milk. I switched to soy and was able to take him off all medications within 2 weeks. Just an FYI.
I don't have anything scientific to add here, but I would say to read all you can to get a well-rounded idea of what's healthiest. As many people have said, doctors are not at all well schooled in nutrition, and many think a plant-based, whole foods diet isn't entirely healthy. What I can also add is a comment my grandma made recently. My cousin's daughter recently turned one. My grandma told me that she's much larger than any of the rest of us were (the first baby in the family not to be mostly breast-fed), which she attributes to the baby formula. She was also very upset that my cousin's doctor had told her she didn't need to give her baby any water because she got all the fluids she needed from formula. I don't have kids, don't know much about it, but I was a child of the seventies and my mom nursed me past two years old, never had formula or milk until I was older. And when it comes to some things, I'd listen to my grandma before my doctor (but I would also educate myself without taking either of thier advice without any other support).