Is Almond Milk Safe for Babies – Did Someone Say Nuts?!

Is Almond Milk Safe for Babies

If you are considering giving almond milk to your baby as an alternative to cow’s milk, the question on your mind will be: Is Almond Milk safe for babies? Nuts and babies shouldn’t go together. Or should they? First, let’s be clear newborn babies should be drinking breast milk or formula until they are 1 year old. They should not be drinking cow’s milk or other kinds of milk before this time. Simply put, there is no need.

The question then becomes: Is Almond milk safe for children aged 1 year and older?

At a recent get together with my mommy friends I was amazed to discover one of them is giving her daughter, almond milk. I had never heard of anyone doing this before, so naturally, I decided to do some research. In a group of 5 moms, 2 had already experimented giving almond milk to their toddler and the remaining 3 (including me) hadn’t even thought of giving our child almond milk as an alternative to normal milk. To be honest, up until this weekend, it never really crossed my mind of supplementing almond milk instead of cow’s milk for babies. The whole idea of giving my child almond milk and whether it was safe for them to consume and actually, healthy for them to consume, is the reason why I decided to sit down, research and open the discussion of whether almond milk is safe for your baby. So is it? What did I find out? Keep reading and I will reveal all…

Let’s talk first about why you might want to serve almond milk and some of the nutritional implications:

Why Might you Consider Almond Milk?

Many parents may have concern about cow’s milk because they have a history of dairy allergies or lactose intolerance in the family. Dairy allergies are a reaction to the protein in the milk. Lactose intolerance is more common and causes diarrhea, pain, nausea, bloating, and gas. Yesterday’s news told us all cow’s milk is heavy on the stomach for babies and young children. This indicates almond milk could be preferable. But is it?

Another reason to avoid cow’s milk would be if you are from a Vegan family. Then, you need to consider the moral implications of restricting your child’s diet before they have their own free will. We will save this discussion for another day!

Almond Milk for Babies

We all just want the best for our babies

Toddlers Bodies are Different to Adult Bodies

You don’t say! You do say! As we know the nutritional needs of babies and toddlers are different to ours. This is because they are growing and they need good fuel. Protein and calcium are important for growing little ones. If they don’t get the nutrients they need their growth can be stunted. Or bones can even develop with weaknesses.

What do Babies Get from Milk?

Milk is important in children’s diet because the milk provides Protein and Calcium. There are also usually vitamin D supplements in milk which is important for their health.

What do Babies Get from Almond Milk?

Almond milk doesn’t have a lot of protein or calcium, and it can contain sugar or sweeteners. In short, almond milk is usually a healthy choice for adults because the milk has fewer calories. Yet, for children, this can be a less healthy choice because they need the protein and calcium you find in cow’s milk.

If Your Child Can’t Tolerate Cow’s Milk What Then?

If you do have allergies in the family, or another reason to prefer almond milk you can easily avoid the products which use sugar.
You can find sugar-free, sweetener-free, calcium-containing almond milk products. Natura has tasty unsweetened almond milk with added calcium. Unsweetened Almond Breeze is made with Californian almonds with added calcium.

You could even make your own homemade almond milk, it is really very, very easy. I am a walking kitchen disaster and even I can manage the recipe!
If you are dealing with allergies or lactose intolerance go for a product with these additions. You can then look for ways to make sure you little star gets his protein from other sources.

Almong Milk For Babies

Nuts means no don’t they?

Are you Nuts? Almonds are Nuts. Meaning Keep Away!

Yes, they are, and most people will think you should not give this milk to young children. Research conducted in 2008 demonstrated the practice of not giving babies and young children nuts early had no effect on reducing nut allergies. In fact, the research showed completely withdrawing nuts from babies and young children was actually exacerbating and increasing nut allergy problems. As a direct result of this research, the American Academy of Pediatrics adjusted their advice saying there was no need to restrict nuts 100%. They have written a set of guidelines for people to help them introduce nuts early and avoid their children developing a nut allergy. The research is for peanuts but the principles can be followed for all nuts. Research conducted in 2005 indicated almond milk could be a superior alternative over soy for children with dairy allergies. This research was conducted on babies who could not tolerate cow’s milk formula.

From what age can kids drink almond milk

Delicious and healthy almond milk but from what age?

What Then is The Answer?

As with any parenting choice, in the end, you have to find the way which works for your family. T.V or no T.V, whispering or no whispering, religion or no religion, you will make the choices which define your tribe.

Chances are if you are reading this you have a reason cow’s milk is not working for you and you currently aren’t or thinking of stopping breastfeeding. In this case, you don’t have to worry about the nut part as much as you would think. As medical research advances, recommendations get made and changed.

Remember, breastfeeding is always best if suitable for you and your baby, up until the times right, which is different for everyone and there shouldn’t necessarily be and definite end date. Up until then and when your child is old enough, you can slowly start incorporating other milks such as almond milk. It’s important to do what’s comfortable for you. Don’t forget to read about other Mom’s experiences with breastfeeding so you don’t feel so bad or insecure about your breastfeeding journey.

Giving toddler almond milk

When introducing almond milk into your babies diet, the important thing is to do so with caution. Let’s not give them a full 6 oz bottle the first time. The second important thing is to remember they will not get as much protein or calcium from the almond milk. This means you actively need to find ways to make up the shortfall.

Let’s also not forget if your child doesn’t already have a milk allergy there is no need to introduce any milk, other than breast milk or formula, before they are 1 year old. With some knowledge, and care there is no reason you can’t give your baby (1 year and older) almond milk.

What do you think? Have you given your baby almond milk? If not are you going to give your baby almond milk? Why are you considering almond milk in the first place? Let us know in the comments!

More:

♥ Thinking of Tandem Nursing? Yes or No? Let’s Talk About It…

♥ How to Make Healthy Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 5 Minutes!

♥ More On Parenting: From Pre-Natel Depression to Mindful Mothering

Anna About Anna

Hi Moms and Dads, Anna here and welcome. I'm a relatively young mom, in my early 30's and my husband and I have 2 young (and incredibly cheeky) children. With my first child, I was confused about absolutely anything that had 'baby' written on it. I felt flustered and overwhelmed. For some Moms I believe it comes naturally, for others it takes a bit of work and patience, and the latter was me. With my second child, all those first round nervous flusters were gone and I approached everything ease, although I do admit, in between 2 children, baby products and my needs and wants had changed and in the baby/infant world, things change very quick and products that were suggested a few years back are now out of date, recalled or just not suitable no more. So it's not only your little bub that grows; products change and the needs and wants of your baby and you change also.

Speak Your Mind

*