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Can I give my 3 year old soya milk?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
He usually drinks 1-2 cups of cows milk per day, and I'm more than happy for him to continue this, but I've recently began drinking soya milk, and wanted to know whether it would be ok for him to have it or whether I'd be best just leaving him on cows milk?
post #2 of 25
Yes, in my opinion. It is all we use in my family and I know several other moms who have raised healthy kids on soymilk. I tried to do a bit of research on it during my first pregnancy and based on research I've done it seems to me that all of the well-designed studies out there show no serious ill-effects from moderate soy consumption. I'd make sure the soy milk is fortified with calcuim and vitamin D (I think most are) and switch over slowly, mixing the two so it's an easier adjustment.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, I had read somewhere about it possibly being more likely to cause allergic reaction so I was a bit nervous about it. But he has had small sips of mine, and been fine. I will only give it in moderation anyway, and I'm happy enough for him to continue on cows milk although I do want to ensure its organic.

At the moment its only myself who has become vegetarian (not vegan - but wanted to try other milk alternatives) DH and DS are still eating meat, but I have asked DH to at least make sure that he buys organic meat, from our local butchers. I've found the switch over to being vegetarian surprisingly easy, no adverse effects or tiredness, in fact I have so much more energy now, I am definitely feeling healthier
post #4 of 25
My daughter started drinking soymilk at around 2 1/2. She didn't stop eating dairy foods until she turned 5, we still added cheese to her food, but it was nice to only have to buy one kind. (She started eating tofu before she turned one, we had a lovely dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Hollywood where she sucked down my garlic-spinach-tofu dish at an amazing speed. Still loves tofu, especially cold, soft tofu).

I've read the theories about soy causing hormone disruption and nutrient absorbtion problems, and I just don't buy into them. Soy's not some miracle wonderfood, but I don't think organic soy is poison either. Fortified organic soymilk is more affordable, and in my opinion, palatable than hemp milk, and it has way more protein than rice, coconut or almond milk.
post #5 of 25
My 3.5 yr old has been drinking soy milk, (and other plant-based milks), for awhile now. I don't see a problem as long as he's not reacting negatively from it.
post #6 of 25
I would never allow my kids to drink soymilk, especially boys. If anyone doubts the effects of phytoestrogen, maybe my recent experience will help. I have had regular 28 day mentrual cycles for 20 yrs. For some reason, I just went about 6 wks with no AF. I am celibate, so I wasn't worried about being pg. My cervix showed no signs of impending AF. I drank a half gallon of soymilk and AF came the next day.

OP, I know this the veg board, but maybe you could hop over to the Weston A. Price site and do some research on the bad effects of soymilk. GL!
post #7 of 25
There are plenty of super great non-dairy milks if you're uncomfortable with with soy. My kids love almond, hemp, oat, and hazelnut milk. I wouldn't recommended cow's milk for a three year old, and soy only in moderation.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
I would never allow my kids to drink soymilk, especially boys. If anyone doubts the effects of phytoestrogen, maybe my recent experience will help. I have had regular 28 day mentrual cycles for 20 yrs. For some reason, I just went about 6 wks with no AF. I am celibate, so I wasn't worried about being pg. My cervix showed no signs of impending AF. I drank a half gallon of soymilk and AF came the next day.

OP, I know this the veg board, but maybe you could hop over to the Weston A. Price site and do some research on the bad effects of soymilk. GL!
I knew from your first sentence that you were going to suggest the WAPF. I wonder, have you done research on soy *outside* that organization? Or gone to the primary literature and actually read the studies that they cite (and often misrepresent)? I'm a scientist myself, and I don't know a science-minded person who gives the WAPF any credibility. They tend to butcher science in the name of their own agenda. I very much encourage you to do some outside research - you may be surprised!

Your personal anecdote just doesn't mean anything. It's akin to a coeliac yelling about how wheat is poisonous for everybody. The truth is that some people thrive on wheat and some people are very allergic. Some people do great with soy (which is a very 'traditional food', btw) and some are intolerant of it. That's all.


OP - If your kid does fine with soy I wouldn't worry. As with any food, don't overdo it. Soy is everywhere so it can be easier to overdo, so watch for that. Also I think it's exceptionally important to only consume organic soy. The rest is genetically modified, among other things.

Luck!
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
See this is what confuses me, for every study/person who says that soy is bad, there seems to be another study/person who says its fine, I'd feel terrible for giving something to my son that may be harmful to him, but in this case, I haven't 'seen' any harm to him or myself, but worry about 'underlying' problems. But, I know that this happens with sooo many other things too, it seems every day there is a new scare story about something or other, but I'm such a worrier I tend to panic about them ALL! Oh dear!

For example, DS was three months prem, but I was determined to breastfeed, it took us a long time but we got there and he came home 9 weeks old fully breastfed. Then he was slow to gain weight, so I was pretty much TOLD i'd have to put him on high calorie formula. But then you hear about how you should exclusively breastfeed, negatives of formula etc etc, I know this is part and parcel of life, but for me, I tend to believe everything i'm told.

Sorry for rambling, I'm just trying to get my head around actually making a decision! I'm the sort of person that to's and fro's with things, speculating about problems etc etc. I guess I need to have a bit more confidence in my decisions

Thanks again to everybody's replies, and I do really appreciate both opinions, I just find the bit about making my own mind up really hard
post #10 of 25
Well if it' going to cause you stress, maybe you should just use an alternative? Soy milk is certainly not a necessary component of a veg*n diet! I would try to replace the dairy milk - personally the actual mammalian hormones present in dairy milk worry me a LOT more than 'mimic' plant hormones.

But at that age milk (of any variety) is not needed for nutrition - you can easily get protein and calcium elsewhere. If you just want it for flavor/meal component, why not try coconut milk which is chock full of healthy fats and other good stuff? Or hemp milk, which is also nice and fatty with omegas for healthy brain development!

Basically, you have options, so you shouldn't be making yourself worried over it. =)
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Very true, I will definitely be open to try other alternatives.

I'm feeling positive, and happy in my choice of becoming vegetarian, even when family have said they don't agree with it, so I know I CAN make and stand by a decision, this is progress for me lol! My DH and DS are not vegetarians, nor will I be expecting them to become vegetarians, but, the more i'm learning about alternatives, the more I'm like 'What WAS I thinking?!' and drinking cows milk has always been so 'normal' to me, but now, i'm feeling like hmmm it can't be that great drinking milk meant for calves! It sounds so obvious but i'm changing the habits and thoughts of a lifetime!!

Right now, i'm happy to continue with my moderate intake of soy milk (I thought it was called soya milk - doh!) but will be looking to try the others in the very near future
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sienna-forever View Post
Right now, i'm happy to continue with my moderate intake of soy milk (I thought it was called soya milk - doh!) but will be looking to try the others in the very near future
It's called soy milk in the US and soya milk in many other countries.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayward View Post
I'm a scientist myself, and I don't know a science-minded person who gives the WAPF any credibility. They tend to butcher science in the name of their own agenda. I very much encourage you to do some outside research - you may be surprised!
Ditto. I also agree with Sayward that the actual hormones (and antibiotics) in milk, as well as the ick factor and mistreatment of the animals leads me to mostly stay away from dairy. Soy has been used for centuries in some cultures and has become increasingly common in the US diet. I'm sure if it were causing widespread hormonal or other issues there would be a slew of well-designed studies supporting this, and multiple organizations without agendas would be behind the anti-soy propaganda, not to mention the government regulators.

And there are "hormone disruptors" in so many common products - almost all conventional soaps and shampoos, as well as chemical sunblocks and dozens of other things. I try to avoid those to the best of my abilities and take my (somewhat well thought out and researched) chances with soy. I'm a worrier too, but feel that almost anything - in moderation - is just fine. I wouldn't drink a half gallon of soymilk everyday but I also wouldn't eat an entire bag of carrots or an entire tin of almonds on regular basis.

But as a couple of others have said, if you're at all uncomfortable use almond milk or something along those lines. Or even stick with dairy but try to find a local distributor who treats his animals well and stays away from the hormones etc. Good luck with the journey into vegetarianism. I'm a mostly vegan, also married to a meat eater (kids are vegetarian and will be allowed to make their own decisions about animal products) - it can be challenging but I a proud of and comfortable with the decisions I've made for me. IMO every small step you take in that direction is wonderful on many levels
post #14 of 25
I have done a fair amount of reading about soy, and I just don't feel comfortable with it. I know that there are some legitimate health benefits to it, but a lot of research is really suggesting that we are using it in ways it wasn't meant for - like milk, protein bits, etc. These are all relatively new uses that haven't been proven safe. If you're going to use it at all, definitely go organic. Soy is one of the most highly contaminated crops when not organic, and the scariest part about it (for me) is the genetic engineering that's been done to soy. We used to be big soy people - lots of veggie burgers, soy milk, etc., but we don't use it any more, and I won't let my son have it.
post #15 of 25
Soy milk isn't a new food, and it is actually less processed than tofu, which involves adding a coagulant to soymilk and then straining out the water.

I do worry about conventional soy, but organic soymilk, tofu, tempeh and edamame are incredibly easy to find.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by somegirl99 View Post
It's called soy milk in the US and soya milk in many other countries.
Ah thanks, I'm in the UK so that makes sense!

This has all given me food for thought, no pun intended!
post #17 of 25
I agree with Sayward. You have to see for yourself, I study science as well and have been a vegetarian for 9 years. You'll get all kinds of mixed messages, but the best test of all is just to try it. I'd suggest consuming soy products in moderation (like anything), and buying it organic/ GMO free. My 3 yo has soy milk in things, but never really drinks a glass of it. She prefers almond milk.
post #18 of 25
The American Dietetic Association actually recommends "At least one quart per day of fortified soy milk in order to obtain adequate vitamin D" for vegan toddlers.
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post
The American Dietetic Association actually recommends "At least one quart per day of fortified soy milk in order to obtain adequate vitamin D" for vegan toddlers.
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060
This would apply equally to all fortified milks, though. They all have the same amount of D so rice or almond or whatever would suffice for that particular criteria. =)
post #20 of 25
A quart a day sounds excessive to me, even for an adult let alone a toddler.
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