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Milk Substitute For Toddlers

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Because there are now so many various kinds of “milk” available, it may be difficult for you to choose the one that is most appropriate for your kid to drink. Parents who are weaning their children off of breast milk or formula commonly question pediatricians whether kind of milk is superior to use beyond the age of one in their children.

The majority of youngsters will continue to consume whole cow’s milk up to the age of two. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children who are at risk of becoming overweight or whose families have a history of obesity, heart disease, or high cholesterol start drinking low-fat milk between the ages of 12 and two. This recommendation is made for children who are at risk of becoming overweight. Your kid should be consuming around 2.5 servings of dairy products per day between the ages of 2 and 3, at which point you may make the switch to low-fat or nonfat milk.

When seeking for an alternative to milk for infants and young children, there are many different alternatives to consider. In this post, we will cover the benefits of soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and pea milk, and we will also explain how each of these milks has both positive and negative aspects. Keep reading if you want to find out more. Check out our compiled list of the best alternatives to dairy milk for your young child if you are seeking for a milk substitute that does not include dairy. You have alternatives, regardless of whether your youngster need an alternative that is healthier or suffers from an allergy to cow’s milk.

Some Milk Substitutes for Toddlers

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a common alternative to cow’s milk given to infants and young children, regardless of whether or not the child has an allergy to milk. Although it has a sufficient amount of calories and protein, and it also has the potential to be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, it should not be given to newborns until they have reached the age of at least six months. Because cow’s milk causes allergies in many children, it is imperative that you consider the requirements of your kid as well as the most appropriate milk alternative for your infant.

In a similar vein, almond milk is a wonderful alternative, although it has a lower protein content than traditional dairy milk. On the other hand, it contains a significant amount of calcium and need to be included into a diet that is nutritionally sound. It is best to steer clear of providing almond milk to your kid if he or she has an allergy to almonds. There is a possibility that children who are allergic to milk also have an allergy to soy. If you have an allergy to dairy products, it is recommended that you choose one of the alternatives that does not include dairy.

Pea Milk

Think about giving your young child some pea milk as a dairy-free alternative for when you need something for them to drink. Pea milk is made from yellow split peas, and it has a protein, fiber, and calcium content that is comparable to that of whole milk. In addition, pea milk contains more calcium and vitamin D than cow’s milk does. Additionally, when compared to other alternatives to milk, pea milk offers the best quality fat content.

It is essential to choose a non-dairy milk alternative that is strong in protein content since the digestive system of a toddler needs more nutrients in order to grow. On the other hand, compared to cow’s milk, pea milk has a lower overall calorie count as well as lower fat and carbohydrate content. If you want to provide your child with an extra source of healthy fats, you can think about combining pea milk with seed milk.

Rice Milk

The use of rice milk as a milk alternative for infants and young children comes with a number of benefits; nevertheless, parents should be aware of the associated downsides. Calcium content is high but protein content is low in this plant-based milk, with 330 mg of calcium per cup. Rice milk shouldn’t be given to children on a regular basis, and it should only be given to infants and young children who have an allergy to cow’s milk or soy. Rice milk is a non-dairy milk alternative that provides a sufficient amount of vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. In addition to that, it is low in fat and protein and an excellent source of calcium.

Rice milk, in contrast to cow’s milk, has relatively little protein and calcium while having a larger quantity of carbohydrate, making it a bad option for diabetics. Cow’s milk is an excellent source of protein and calcium. However, it is a risk-free option for those who are allergic to peanuts or soy, as well as for people whose activities need a lot of energy, such as sports.

Almond Milk

As an alternative to cow’s milk for your kid, you may want to think about switching to almond milk. If such is the case, there are a few things that you need to be aware of before moving on. To begin, the protein content of this kind of milk is rather low, which makes it an unsatisfactory replacement for cow’s milk. However, it does include a trace amount of fat, around the same as what you would find in cow’s milk that is 1 percent. In addition, supply your child with a variety of types of protein, as well as some Vitamin D, and purchase almond milk that has been fortified with calcium.

Oat Milk

The use of oat milk as a replacement for cow’s milk in a toddler’s diet comes with a number of benefits as well as drawbacks. To begin, infants less than one year old cannot drink this milk since it does not meet their nutritional requirements. As a consequence of this, it is best to utilize breast milk or formula instead of water. If your young child’s first milk is oat milk, you should check to see that it is fortified with vitamins D and B12 so that he may obtain all of the necessary nutrients.

Lactose-Free Milk

By adding an enzyme to conventional milk, which helps in the breakdown of the protein that lactose is composed of, it is simple to produce lactose-free milk. There is not a significant difference between cow’s milk and the lactose-free variant; the nutritional profile is the same, and the taste is often sweeter than the original kind. However, real lactose-free milk is created from plant-based sources or other components, despite the fact that many commercial companies label their milk products as “lactose-free.” In addition, children who are unable to digest lactose or who have an allergy to one of the other components contained in milk will not benefit from drinking this milk.

Seed Milk

In the production of seed-based milk substitutes, typical ingredients include hemp, flax, and sesame seeds. Although hemp milk and other types of milk made from seeds both include a high amount of fat and fiber, both types of milk also contain a low amount of carbs, protein, and calories.

My go-to plant-based milk is sunflower seed milk since not only is it economical and simple to make, but it also has a deliciously creamy texture. Because sunflower seeds, unlike many other types of nuts, are almost never fried, they may be soaked and sprouted to produce a milk that is both nutritious and simple to digest. Vanilla extract is not required at all for the milk that does not include any dairy.

Is it OK for Toddlers Not to Drink Milk?

Children who are now one year old may make the transition from infant formula to whole milk. There are toddlers who flat-out refuse to drink milk; if your child is one of them, you shouldn’t compel them to do so. Calcium and protein, both of which may be found in milk, are essential nutrients for toddlers. These nutrients, on the other hand, may also be acquired from a variety of different sources. Young children do not need to consume milk.

Newborns and early children benefit from the fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals that are provided by dairy products. The majority of an infant’s caloric needs may be met by either breast milk or formula throughout the first year of life, but you can begin to include cow’s milk in their diet as early as the age of one. The use of dairy products continues to be an important source of dietary fat, which is necessary for proper brain development. Between the ages of one and two, it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that toddlers have two servings of dairy products each day, which is equivalent to drinking 16 ounces of milk.

Can Toddlers Drink Almond Milk Instead of Cow’s Milk?

Almond milk is safe to consume for the vast majority of children, however it should not be used in place of breast milk or formula for infants. Although almond milk may be a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk in some situations, consumers should be aware that there are substantial nutritional differences between the two before making the move.

Breast milk or an infant formula made with dairy or soy should be the primary source of nutrition for infants less than one year old, according to the majority of medical professionals and the American Academy of Pediatrics, unless there is a specific reason to the contrary. After a baby has celebrated their first birthday, it is OK to expose them to other types of milk such as cow’s milk or almond milk. This is because breast milk and formula both include a unique nutrient profile that is essential for a child’s development. Almond milk may be given to infants and young children aged one year and older once or twice daily, in addition to the breast milk or other meals that they are already consuming.

Almond milk is made by combining water with finely ground almonds in a blender. There is also the possibility of adding thickeners, sweeteners, and flavorings like vanilla. Many manufacturers additionally incorporate vitamins A, D, and calcium. The nutritional profiles of almond milk and cow’s milk are very dissimilar to one another. Because it contains a substantial amount of fat, several medical professionals recommend it for weaning children between the ages of one and two years. Calcium is essential for the development of a child’s brain, and one cup of whole milk contains around 8 grams of this mineral. On the other hand, the amount of sugar found in unsweetened almond milk is just 2.5 grams.

Is Coconut Milk Good for Toddlers?

Because it may reduce the amount of food delivered by breast milk or formula, coconut milk should never be given to an infant who has not yet reached the age of one year. According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should only consume breast milk or formula up to the age of one year old (and optionally, small amounts of water after six months of age). Coconut milk is a fantastic component for cooking for babies as early as 6 months old; however, you should wait to provide it as a drink until after your child’s first birthday so that it doesn’t compete with breast milk or formula for nutrients.

The coconut is a fruit that is native to tropical regions and may be seen growing in abundance on palm trees. The tough exterior conceals two nutrient-dense meals that are essential to the survival of communities all across the world: fresh water and smooth, white meat. The flesh of the coconut may be eaten raw or processed into a variety of products such as coconut cream, milk, butter, and yogurt. The water of the coconut is advised for infants and toddlers above the age of 12 months.

Although it is possible for newborns to suffocate on liquids, choking on coconut milk is not very prevalent. At mealtimes, a baby should always be within arm’s reach, and parents should consult our age-appropriate serving recommendations before preparing food for their infant.

How Much Soy Milk can a Toddler Drink?

Soy milk, when used in moderation (one to two cups per day), is an excellent alternative for children who are older than one year old and who do not want to drink milk, have lactose intolerance, or are allergic to cow’s milk. However, there are certain children who are allergic to the protein that is contained in soy. Even though the vast majority of children outgrow the allergy before age, a soy allergy may persist until adulthood.

Even though phytoestrogens, which are a kind of estrogen-like hormone that may be found in plants including whole grains, potatoes, dry beans, and apples, are present in soy milk, there is no evidence from scientific studies to suggest that drinking soy milk is harmful to either children or adults. People have been consuming soy milk without experiencing any adverse effects since the 1960s. People may be able to reduce the amount of cholesterol in their blood by consuming products that include isoflavones and phytoestrogens, which are found in many soy milk products.

If you suspect that your kid has an allergy to soy, go to his or her primary care physician. If it is safe, your kid should drink the sort of soy milk that has added vitamins and has the full amount of fat. This will guarantee that they receive all of the nutrients they need. Because of the presence of phytates in soy milk, which are chemicals that occur naturally in foods like whole grains, legumes, and nuts and may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and other minerals, you should make sure that your child’s diet includes other foods that are high in calcium or that have been fortified with calcium.


Over the last ten years, the use of milk alternatives has increased in popularity as more households have made the decision to abstain from consuming dairy products. In addition, some youngsters develop sensitivities to the proteins found in milk. Milk alternatives are essential in any scenario if you want to guarantee that your child consumes an adequate amount of protein and calcium. Having a thorough understanding of the distinctions between the available choices will help you make the decision that is best for your kid.

Dairy products are an important source of protein for toddlers. If you are searching for a milk alternative, you should opt for one that contains protein and has a calorie level that is most comparable to that of cow’s milk. Rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk all have a very low amount of protein, but hemp milk and oat milk all have a relatively high amount of protein.