Quantcast

3 Alternatives to Cow's Milk for Kids

Food

Parents are increasingly choosing to feed their children alternatives to cow’s milk for a variety of reasons. Statistics now show that between 2 and 3 percent of all babies and young children are allergic to cow’s milk, and many more are lactose intolerant—serious health concerns that requires eliminating or limiting cow’s milk products in their diets.

Naturally rich in protein and calcium, soy milk provides many of the same nutrients as cow’s milk.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Some parents are also drawn to the nutritional benefits offered in plant-based milks, such as no cholesterol, and high levels of calcium and protein. In addition, parents purchasing milk for their children are among the many consumers citing reasons why it’s better to buy organic.

Here are three alternatives to cow's milk:

Goat Milk

Goat milk is considered to be the most nutritious alternative to breast milk for infants and young children since its chemical structure is similar to breast milk, according to the leading pediatrician and health expert Dr. Sears. Goat milk is apparently easier for children to digest than cow’s milk, but is still rich in casein—the protein component in cow’s milk. While goat's milk contains more overall calcium, vitamin A, potassium and niacin per serving than cow’s milk, it's lower in B12 and folic acid.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is perhaps the most familiar of the cow’s milk alternatives. While extracting the milk from soy beans requires processing—it is done by soaking dry soybeans in water, then grinding them up to make a stable emulsion of oil, water and protein—it is not chemically altered nor does it contain chemical additives. Naturally rich in protein and calcium, soy milk provides many of the same nutrients as cow’s milk. Soy also happens to be free of cholesterol, unlike whole cow’s milk, which contains saturated fat.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is another plant-based alternative to cow’s milk with some great perks: it contains no lactose or cholesterol, and is as good of a source for calcium and iron. Most brands of oat milk are fortified with vitamins A and D, and some with B vitamins.

Allergens in Cow's Milk Alternatives

Parents need to be aware of the fact that goat milk and soy are both allergens, so children should be screened for allergic reactions to these foods.

Getting the Right Nutrients

Children need to get vitamin B12 daily, which is found in cow’s milk but is lower in goat's milk, and not found in soy or oat milk. They can get their daily recommended amount of B12 from milk alternatives that are fortified with B12, from other forms of cow or goat-based dairy products (if not allergic), from red meat or from vitamin supplements designed for children.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Alternatives to Factory Farm Milk

10 Reasons Consumers Buy Organic

USDA Approves Controversial GMO Corn and Soy

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A verdant and productive urban garden in Havana. Susanne Bollinger / Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

Read More Show Less
Trevor Noah appears on set during a taping of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" in New York on Nov. 26, 2018. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah / YouTube screenshot

By Lakshmi Magon

This year, three studies showed that humor is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
rhodesj / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cities around the country are considering following the lead of Berkeley, California, which became the first city to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes this summer.

Read More Show Less
Rebecca Burgess came up with the idea of a fibersheds project to develop an eco-friendly, locally sourced wardrobe. Nicolás Boullosa / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.

Read More Show Less
A television crew reports on Hurricane Dorian while waves crash against the Banana River sea wall. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

Some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) met with Bill Gates on Nov. 7 to discuss climate change and ways to address the challenge. Senator Chris Coons

The U.S. Senate's bipartisan climate caucus started with just two members, a Republican from Indiana and a Democrat from Delaware. Now it's up to eight members after two Democrats, one Independent and three more Republicans joined the caucus last week, as The Hill reported.

Read More Show Less
EPA scientists survey aquatic life in Newport, Oregon. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to significantly limit the use of science in agency rulemaking around public health, the The New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
A timelapse video shows synthetic material and baby fish collected from a plankton sample from a surface slick taken off Hawaii's coast. Honolulu Star-Advertiser / YouTube screenshot

A team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn't intend to study plastic pollution when they towed a tiny mesh net through the waters off Hawaii's West Coast. Instead, they wanted to learn more about the habits of larval fish.

Read More Show Less