Milk Substitute for Babies

posted by Estelle September 19, 2011 0 comments

I had an excellent question this week following my blog on The Truth Behind Milk, a friend was wondering what she could give her one year old instead of the homo milk that her doctor recommended. First off I want to commend this mom for going with her mommy instincts instead of discrediting all the evidence and just listening to her doctor. Many people put too much trust in their doctors for advice and recommendations. Doctors get VERY little nutritional teaching in their years of study and therefore it is up to you to do the research and go with what YOU feel is best.
I am going to focus on babies that are one year and older and the substitutes that you can use if you choose not to give cow’s milk to your child. There are actually quite a few milks out there that you can use such as: Nut milks, Rice milk and Soy milk. I personally recommend using almond milk.  
It is lower in calories and fat than regular cow’s milk, and is high in vitamins, such as vitamin E. Like cow’s milk and fortified soy milk, almond milk boasts an impressive dose of bone-building calcium.
Like conventional dairy products, almond milk is nutrient-fortified, and a good source of several important fat-soluble vitamins. One cup of plain almond milk meets 10 percent of the Recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A, 25 percent for vitamin D and 50 for vitamin E, making it high in many nutrients compared to the amount of calories it provides per serving. Vitamins A and E act as antioxidants, enhancing immunity and protecting the body’s cells and tissues from damage. In addition, vitamin A is important for healthy eyesight and supports normal growth and development. Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth, and enhances immunity.
Almond milk is rich in calcium, providing the same amount per cup as cow’s milk and soy milk. One cup offers approximately 300 mg, meeting 30 percent of the DV for this major mineral. Calcium plays many roles in the human body. Along with vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium, calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. 

(Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/246903-nutritional-benefits-of-almond-milk/#ixzz1YQbafcBp)

A great thing about almond milk is it is just as easy to make as it is to buy and I have yet to find a recipe that I can’t replace cow’s milk with almond milk! 

Almond Milk Recipe
1 cup almonds soaked* for at least 6 hours beforehand if possible
2 cups water
1/2 tbsp raw sesame seeds (very high in calcium)
optional ingredients: vanilla, agave, cinnamon, maple syrup 

 Soak your almonds for 6-8 hours if you can

 Place the almonds and the water in your blender and blend for about a minute

 You could use it as is but if you prefer a smooth texture, you will want to put it through a 

Here I am using a coffee filter 

 You can just leave it to drain or you can use a wooden spoon or spatula
 to push the milk through the filter 

 You will be left with almond pulp that you can use to make almond flour, pie crusts, cookies, etc.

 Voila! This almond milk will stay good in the fridge for 3 days
 My girls LOVE almond milk!

Vanilla Almond milk: Add 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract and 2-4 dates 
Chocolate Almond milk: To the recipe for vanilla almond milk, add 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs or unsweetened cocoa powder
Cinnamon milk: To the recipe for vanilla almond milk, add 1 tsp cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg

The following recipe came from wholefoodmommies.com and is great for everyone but especially the little ones

Almond Milk Smoothie

1 cup Almond Milk
1 Half frozen banana
3 frozen strawberries (or any other frozen fruit)
Handful of raw spinach
1 tsp. flax seed
1 Vitamin D capsule (opened and emptied into smoothie)
.5 ml DHA oil (I use Dr. Fuhrman’s brand for all my supplements)
Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  This shouldn’t be too thick- more like a flavored chilled drink.  Pour into sippy cup and let your kids go to town.

*The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds
  • Enzyme inhibitors get neutralized.
  • The amount of vitamins your body can absorb increases.
  • Gluten breaks down so digestion is much easier.
  • Phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals, is reduced.(http://www.raw-food-living.com/soaking-nuts.html)

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