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Most of toddler's diet is grassfed raw milk - how much is OK?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

My 2-year-old has recently stopped nursing, and the major part of her diet is milk.  It's great milk, raw and from local grassfed cows.  But she drinks a lot more of that than she eats solid food.  She eats some and what she eats is a wide variety - largely meat (grassfed beef, free range chicken, etc.), free range eggs, a good amount and variety of fruit and veggies.  But such a high percentage - certainly over half - of her diet is milk.  It's really good milk, and I'm not sure if she'd eat more of the good stuff she eats if I took it away.  I'm afraid it would get replaced with filler material, like crackers.  I'd get some whole grain organic crackers, but they'd still be crackers, you know?  She is healthy and a good weight and everything.  I can't help worrying about her diet.  Her sister never had an interest in cow's milk, but then I didn't get raw milk back then and maybe she would have if I'd had access to it.  It's so different from how her sister ate that I am nervous.  Of course her sister ate a lot of stuff like dry cereal and crackers, and I've been trying to keep the little one away from that.

 

So how much milk is too much for a young 2-year-old?  How much do your toddlers drink?

post #2 of 24

I didn't get the impression one way or another whether the weaning was her idea or yours.  To be totally honest, I would STRONGLY discourage weaning until my kids were eating enough solids to not worry.  If that means pumping and giving it to her in a cup in the meantime, so be it.  Raw milk is great, but it's only supposed to be the primary source of nutrition for a calf.

post #3 of 24

To me that is worrisome.  This may sound odd but have you looked into dairy intolerances?  In my experience toddlers with untreated dairy intolerances drink milk like there is no tomorrow.  You can substitute raw milk with a nut milk made from soaked & dehydrated nuts that is then strained (try almonds or cashews).  Also, "filler material" like crackers can be beneficial as well.  Try either homemade crackers with soaked grains or raw crackers. Soaked grain muffins or grain free muffins would be a good toddler friendly healthy substitute as well.   At this point I would say that any nutrition is better than more milk. 

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Wouldn't she have some kind of negative symptoms if she had a dairy intolerence?  Her growth has been great and normal, she's been very very healthy - no real illness at all, normal bowel movements, she's meeting all milestones, early even, her behavior is great.

 

She was down to nursing just once and I stopped that nursing session.  I honestly don't like breastfeeding at all and I feel like I've done good nursing each of my kids over two years since I don't like it.  I'll try to get her to eat other foods more, but I'm not going to start nursing again.  I have negative hormonal reactions to it and I'm done with it.  I feel strongly enough about breastfeeding despite how much I personally dislike it to do it for a minimum of two years, but that's it.

post #5 of 24

If she is getting veggies and meat every day as well as the milk, I would think it's probably fine.  Will she drink water?  My three year old loves milk and would live on it if we let him, but I really try to give him water and herbal teas first so he only has about 2 glasses of milk a day.  For us it's more about the cost though.  He also eats lots of yogurt and cheese.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

She does drink water as well, and she does eat some whole grain things, but she mainly drinks milk and eats meat and fruit and vegetables.  She drinks a pretty good amount of water I guess.

post #7 of 24

What end of 2yo is she on? My 27mo is still getting her calories primarily from breastmilk. Most of my other children were the same way. If you are no longer bf'ing I think it would be natural for her to choose a substitute that is closest to breastmilk.

 

Since she is eating other foods as well and not showing other signs of an allergy I honestly would not be concerned at this point. Expense aside, I don't restrict my children's access to any whole, nutrient-dense foods and raw milk would fit in that category.

post #8 of 24

Do you know how many ounces she drinks of milk a day?  Maybe keep track of that?  Our doctor told us no more than 24oz of cow milk for a one year old - and that seems like a ton of milk to me.  My first was not a milk drinker at all, but my second does like it.  My first was also not a big eater in general though, so it wouldn't have taken much for him to consume more calories in milk than in food. 

post #9 of 24

I am really surprised by some of the answers here.   She sounds healthy. Crackers (even whole grain organic) are not in any way better or equal to local grass-fed milk.  You are giving her high quality nutrition and have not indicated that there is anything going on to think otherwise.  Don't worry.  

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancie View Post

I am really surprised by some of the answers here.   She sounds healthy. Crackers (even whole grain organic) are not in any way better or equal to local grass-fed milk.  You are giving her high quality nutrition and have not indicated that there is anything going on to think otherwise.  Don't worry.  



I agree with this. As long as she is eating other things, she is fine. I know when I drink raw milk, I feel fuller and eat less. My body craves the raw milk, maybe that is happening to her too?

post #11 of 24

I am sort of divided on the issue.  I think the milk is better for her than crackers.  I agree that you weaned too early, and sad for you that you had that response to breastfeeding.  FYI I believe there is a homeopathic for aversion to breastfeeding.  My youngest, who does seem to be the most intolerant to dairy, was also my milk lover.  She didn't show any symptoms of intolerance at 2- her symptom is constipation- it began after the age of 3.  I believe that is probably because as weaning age approaches, the body naturally makes less lactase and she was nursing less so had less of the bifidus factor, which helps in milk digestion.  She is 4.5 now, and still nurses, and we go on and off cow's milk in trials lately.  I am a raw milk activist in my state, where it is only semi-legal, but.... the more I read the more I learn that it is one of the most allergenic proteins and I wonder if we are all better off without A2 casein in our lives. 

post #12 of 24

Well, the Masai do pretty well on a diet very largely comprised of milk, don't they? Granted, theirs is particularly fatty and nutritious, and I think they might consume it in a fermented form; but still, it's an "unbalanced" diet by most standards, and their health is apparently excellent. So given that the milk is from a good source (not hormone-laden, right?) and that she's still getting 40% of her nutrition from other sources... I don't think I'd worry too much. My toddler seemed to live on dairy for a while - cheese in particular. A lot of kids just seem to love it.

 

I certainly wouldn't replace the milk with anything less nutrient-dense (like crackers). If you wanted to, could you expand her repertoire a bit? Add a raw egg yolk/yoghurt/banana/whatever to the milk to make a runny smoothie? But the rest of her diet sounds awesome anyway, so honestly, I think you're fine. And kudos for breastfeeding for two years despite having an aversion to it!! I never really "got" that until I got pregnant. Now DD just feeds once in the morning and once at night, and while I'm not prepared to actually wean her (partly out of laziness, honestly!), I admit I love it when she forgets....

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancie View Post

I am really surprised by some of the answers here.   She sounds healthy. Crackers (even whole grain organic) are not in any way better or equal to local grass-fed milk.  You are giving her high quality nutrition and have not indicated that there is anything going on to think otherwise.  Don't worry.  



I agree with this too.  I don't think it is unusual at all for a weaned 2 yo to drink that much milk, and it's awesome that you are able to give her such high quality milk.  When my dd was about that age, we had just switched to raw, grass-fed milk.  She used bottles at the time (she was not breastfed, she was adopted as a toddler), and I did not keep track of how much she consumed.  I do know though that back then I would order 8 gallons every 2 weeks, and now I only order 3-4.  We are a family of 6 and dd is now 7 and in perfect health.

 

 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancie View Post

I am really surprised by some of the answers here.   She sounds healthy. Crackers (even whole grain organic) are not in any way better or equal to local grass-fed milk.  You are giving her high quality nutrition and have not indicated that there is anything going on to think otherwise.  Don't worry.  



I agree! Don't some people use raw milk to do cleansing diets anyway? Not saying a toddler needs a cleansing diet, but  raw milk seems like one food you shouldn't really have to worry about, if she seems healthy.  My toddler also loves his milk and ezekiel bread. Not sure if this is the best for him, but he is so picky right now that I find it impossible just to get him to eat! Besides, I recall hearing about Weston Price and his findings in a Swiss village and didn't the kids there mostly live off of a dense rye bread and raw milk cheese?

post #15 of 24

I think if she is not showing signs of allergy (digestive, behavioral, rashes, congestion etc) it is probably fine.  My son has always been a milk drinker as well even though he nursed until he was 4+.  We do raw goat because I have a cows milk allergy and I worry that he has inherited the antibodies from me.  I also think it is preferable to do fermented dairy whenever possible and DS loves kefir.

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

She was down to nursing just once and I stopped that nursing session.  I honestly don't like breastfeeding at all and I feel like I've done good nursing each of my kids over two years since I don't like it.  I'll try to get her to eat other foods more, but I'm not going to start nursing again.  I have negative hormonal reactions to it and I'm done with it.  I feel strongly enough about breastfeeding despite how much I personally dislike it to do it for a minimum of two years, but that's it.



I don't have an opinion on your original question, but since you're catching some flak for weaning, I just wanted to say I think you did an amazing job nursing for 2+ years even though you didn't enjoy it. Two years is a long time and represents a huge commitment on your part to do your best for your kiddos. thumb.gif

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhitree View Post





I don't have an opinion on your original question, but since you're catching some flak for weaning, I just wanted to say I think you did an amazing job nursing for 2+ years even though you didn't enjoy it. Two years is a long time and represents a huge commitment on your part to do your best for your kiddos. thumb.gif


I was reading through and thinking the exact same thing.  And it sounds like you are providing plenty of healthy food for your little one to eat.  

 

post #18 of 24

Agreed - awesome committment for nursing for two years!!  Good for you, and for your daughter.  I also second that raw milk is a very healthy food that I wouldn't restrict.

post #19 of 24

I also didn't enjoy nursing my toddlers (I did like nursing them as babies though), and weaned at 27 and 28 months, so I hear you on that front.  I think it's funny that in forums like this or my local AP forum that sounds really early, but in most other places in this country it's almost creepily late for weaning.  =)

 

My reason for posting though was I had an idea for you.  We recently started doing the Eat Fat, Lose Fat diet (to some extent) and in the health recovery plan they have you drinking what they call a raw milk tonic twice a day.  It's 1 cup raw milk, 1 TB molasses, 1 raw egg yolk (and we add a touch of maple syrup).  And it's delicious!  I love it and so does my just-turned-3 year old.  Just a thought for using her love of milk to get some extra nutrients into her. 

 

But on the whole, I agree with the posters who say that raw grass-fed milk is 1000 times better than any cracker.  Just my humble opinion.

 

post #20 of 24

Having read up on the Milk Diet and done it myself and talked to others who have done so as well - I say don't worry! There are many documented cases of adults who lived 20+ years on nothing but raw milk from pastured cows (due to deformities of the mouth, were unable to eat solid foods). These adults were vigorously healthy, conceived and raised bunches of children who were also very healthy. Raw milk from pastured cows contains every nutrient the human body needs to attain and maintain perfect health. The raw milk diet is also famous for healing all kinds of health problems and correcting weight issues (both over- and underweight varieties). My son also used to drink a lot of raw milk when we could afford it, and I was very happy that he was getting such excellent nutrition.

 

If you're concerned about a dairy allergy then by all means, ask your ped to test for it. Otherwise, make other foods available and rest assured that your DD will eat what her body needs :) That's my 2c ;)

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