(Originally posted here)
When the kids turned a year old, they switched from the preemie formula they'd been on for 9 months (since my milk dried up) to organic whole cow's milk. I'd talked to the pediatrician about other types of milk (rice, almond, etc) but her concern was that they would need the calories offered by the cow's milk (150c/8oz). This is a large difference, when you consider almond milk is 60c/8oz (for original; unsweeteend is 40c). That being said, these kids are good eaters, so as we've been discussing adding even more new foods into their diets, nut and grain milks have once again come up. Some are fairly high calorie, so it wont be a big deal, calorically. And, since I keep up with what they eat and about how many calories they are getting per meal, adding in a little extra for a snack or meal isnt an issue either.
So, today... Their cups have been filled with oat milk! With 130c/8oz, there's only about 40 calories I'll need to make up throughout the day (they normally drink about 16oz of milk throughout the day from their cups). That's easily made up with a cinnamon graham animal cracker covered with peanut butter (the kids get the creamy while I love the super chunk!). The problem is that they will go through a box of the oat milk today! Since they are a little over $3 each, it makes it out to be about the same as the organic milk we buy ($7/gal, and we go through a gallon every 2 days). I bought one box of oat and one of hazelnut milk too, although at 110c/8oz, I'll need to add in 2 more cookies/PB to their snacks. And, I have a box of hemp milk (140c/8oz) to try.
The oat milk is a hit it seems... I gave them their cups with breakfast at 8:30am. Normally, they need a refill at lunch time (around 1-1:30pm) and that carries them through the afternoon, when they get water (or, if I give them juice, then they get their milk at lunch and drink through dinner). But, at 9:30, I had to refill Bobby's cup! Usually, he drinks more than Maya by an ounce or two (she's drank half her cup so far), so this is quite the love of (oat) milk! We'll see if hazelnut and hemp milks are as loved! [email protected]:30am- The box of oat milk? GONE! I just filled up their cups (M for the 1st time, to make for her second cup, and I topped B off to make for his 2.5 cup). Talk about excited to drink!
(Just a side... I dont plan on introducing soy milk into their diets in the near (or distant) futures. We do eat a fair amount of meat substitutes, but we typically eat Quorn products which are soy-free. However, when I make things using Morningstar or Boca, those items do contain soy. With them getting it in that, as well as a food additive (which, it seems, it is in everything!), they already get soy. Nine times out of ten, I'm cooking with Quorn so I dont worry about it, but it isnt something I want to add on top of everything else.)
I just had this discussion w/sorority sister of mine, seeking advice on what to do. We remain VERY worried about aut.ism triggers in our food supply. Said sorority sister is a physician, nutrition wonk, and studied immunology (she is pro-vaccine).
Amy recommends organic whole milk (any store brand) until age of 2-2.5 yrs. She stressed that babies/toddlers need fat in milk for proper brain development, and unles lactose issue or weight issue that organic whole is way to go. There is SO much info to sift through that it was a relief to just let her give us some sound perspective.
I've never heard of the oat milk. Kyndra drank organic whole milk for a while. She mostly drinks 2% organic now with some skim organic, which is what we drink.
I agree, J, that you have to make sure they are getting good fats in their diets. We are really lucky that our kids like to eat EVERYTHING. For fats, they enjoy PB, advocado, and eggs, in addition to other things. Of course, we arent weaning them from cow's milk, just adding some diversity. And they still enjoy whole cheeses and yogurts. (I think they'd mutiny if I dared ever remove their yogurt!)
They really enjoy fish (especially salmon which is a great source of fat) and I cook for them with olive oil (or butter). So their diets arent lacking in fats.
There are also some good books and resources for raising children vegan or dairy free (by choice or due to allergies). While we are no longer the strict vegetarians we used to be and eat (free range, organic, and local whenever possible)meats 10-20% of dinners these days, we still keep up to speed with the nutritional information out there for raising vegan and veggie children healthily.
Wow- I never knew about all the different milks. Fascinating to hear about. And you pay $7 for organic gallon of milk? Its $5 here and I feel like that's obscene. Its so unfair that its so expensive to provide healthy options for ourselves and our families but its what you have to do.
We could buy cheaper (like the store brand) which I think would be closer to $5 or so, but we buy a local dairy where we can vouch for the care of the cows. Ethically it works for us, even if it is more costly.
Our son has been on almond milk (the vanilla sweetened, since he needs the extra calories and tends to have weight gain issues)since we learned he had a dairy allergy at age one. Our pedi didn't want him on large amounts of processed soy, saying there are recent studies that show it can cause thyroid issues. Though he gets a soy yogurt once a day for snack and a vegan veggie burger a few times a week. We go through 3 half gallons of almond milk a week, and I use a coupon clipping service on Ebay to buy 20 almond milk coupons at a time, and it cuts my cost to 50%.
We eat vegan/veggie most of the time too and our son loves homemade hummus, and loves peanut and almond butters a lot.
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