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Old 01-24-2013, 08:38 AM   #1
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milk alternatives?

So, from some trial and error it appears that the baby breaks out in HORRIBLE full body eczema when she drinks whole milk. Odd because she drinks milk based formula and I didn't limit milk when I bf her.

The Dr. rocommended soy milk. HE said it had comparable "nutrition" to cow milk...he said almond milk and coconut and rice milk had less nutritional value and higer sugars etc.

We have tried some soy and it appears to not cause the eczema (only tried one cup a day).

BUT I had friend say soy is loaded with a bunch of hormones....thoughts?
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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I just keep it mixed up. What many plant milks lack that cow's milk has is fat and protein. And you can get other sources of that. Coconut milk has decent fat, but not much protein. There is almond milk with extra protein. I think it's fortified with pea protein or something. Hemp milk is a good alternative. Whatever you pick, if it's lacking in anything and she's a big milk drinker, just get it in her diet some other way.

We have a different situation because my DD is tube fed, but if I use coconut milk, I usually add a scoop of protein powder to her blend. If I use almond milk, I'll use a little protein powder AND some flax oil. I often do two or more kinds of milk in one day and just try to vary it. I just toss things in there to balance out her fat, protein, and carb needs.

ETA: we do use soy milk too. I'm not worried about hormones. You get that in cow's milk too, just different kinds. I just don't want too much of any one food in our diets. Variety is important. I do think it's possible for soy to be harmful if you consume a ton of it, but that can be said of any food. Rice milk is advised against because of the levels of arsenic in it, but only for little kids who consume a lot of it compared to a typical adult diet. But a few cups a week isn't going to hurt anyone.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: milk alternatives?

I initially went through the same confusion. DD1 had a bad reaction to dairy. No matter what you choose, there's always something to worry about. I ended up with soy because it has the most protein and nutrition out of the milk alternatives, and DD is not a good eater. From what I understand, and what other posters mentioned, milk itself is not necessary if nutritional requirements are fulfilled in other ways. Broccoli has lots of calcium and peas have lots of protein, for example. If you have a good eater then I wouldn't be worried.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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Have you tried goats milk?

Most likely nursing and typing. Please pardon any mistakes.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #5
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I would do goats milk
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: milk alternatives?

We mostly just give water and occasionally unsweetened almond milk. But I'm not worried about my kids getting enough nutrition, they eat anything I put in front of them. They're like goats.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:48 PM   #7
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Re: milk alternatives?

Originally Posted by MarchMama2010 View Post
We mostly just give water and occasionally unsweetened almond milk. But I'm not worried about my kids getting enough nutrition, they eat anything I put in front of them. They're like goats.
I want a goat too!

The reason she reacts to whole milk and not milk based formula could suggest the specific component she is sensitive to. For instance, often the formula is whey based, and some people are sensitive to casein.

These things also build over time. My son started out colicky when I had too much milk or egg, and his dad has whey, casein, and chicken yolk and white sensitivites ... So I drank soy milk while nursing, and gave him soy milk after 1 year old.

Then all of a sudden, at 2, he had a huge allergic reaction and it turns out he's off the charts allergic to soy. His readings for cow millk are quite low, mostly because he's had very little exposure (because when he has a little exposure, he gets an upset stomach).

It's true that almond and other milks have very little nutritional value. Giving only 35-50 calories per cup in many instances, I don't find them to be worth the money unless we really "need" some kind of milk (for cereal, for instance).

Unsweetened, un-messed-with soy milk can be very nutritious, as it has protein, fat, and fiber. It doesn't have the carbohydrates cow milk does. But you get a good number of calories per glass, like cow milk.

We have always been over goat milk, try as we may. Sometimes I can get it by him or me by doing half unsweetened almond and half goat.

But mostly we give him goat cheese (chevre) to get him the protein and saturated fat that babies need. For some reason he LOVES goat cheese (Trader Joes and Costco have the best prices on Chevre ... I nuke it for 8 seconds to make it spreadable, more makes it grainy).

Trying to navigate food sensitivites can be a real because there are positives and negatives to every food. We went the controversial route and had a naturopath do food sensitivity testing. I was told that A) "Alternative" testing isn't safe enough because it'll miss things and B) "alternative" testing will give you false positives so you'll eliminate too many things to give a good diet.

We came up with a list of 25 foods to avoid for 3 months. It was tough at first but after just a few weeks it was easy to find a ton of dishes that my son and I both liked. After 6 months, he no longer has eczema from a little bit of dairy or hives from soy. The doctor says there's a good chance he'll grow out of everything by the time he's 5, though we do still have 15 things to keep avoiding till he's 5.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, you might want to consult the specialist of your choice (an immunologist, or a board certified naturopath who has an ND degree) to have them help you choose how to substitute, to avoid problems in the future. And to make sure there aren't other sensitivities that are causing inflammation below the surface.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: milk alternatives?

kids don't have to have milk. If she likes to drink milk, then a milk alternative would be fine. We do almond and coconut milk. I would avoid soy because of the hormones.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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Re: milk alternatives?

I used to drink soy milk but since learning more about it I don't and I wouldn't give it to my child. It messes with hormones and is damaging to the thyroid. Raw milk (goat or cow) might not cause the same issues with her. Homemade meat broth is also a great milk substitute. It has a lot of the same nutrients.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:10 AM   #10
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Re: milk alternatives?

I wouldn't use soy because of the estrogen it has in it and the damage it can cause (I wish I knew about it when my first son was born and I gave him soy formula ). I would try raw milk and if you can't get your hands on that, then try almond milk...
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