So if you don't want to give your baby cow, rice or soy milk...what do you give him? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm working on eliminating most dairy from our diets. What do I do about the baby? I was not able to bf despite several heartbroken attempts. Right now he get a bottle of whole organic non-homogonized milk twice a day, full fat yoghurt and hard raw cheeses.

I am so confused about this dairy thing. I mean I read that it's important but it should be non-homogonized (raw if possible) and organic. Then I read that milk is BAD and you should not drink it at all. Both have evidence to support their theories...who's right? Is raw milk ok, even though most say no milk? I have no problem buying raw organic cheese and the family loves it, is this a good compromise?

I also don't want to rely on soy products. They are too high in sugar. Rice milk is also too high in sugar. The products that have little or no sugar taste terrible and I would never get any of the kids to drink it.

Green leafy veggies. How do you get a baby to eat green leafy veggies? I added some to his mixed veggies that I made him, but I don't think there is enough in there to give him a good amount of calcium. Fat is no problem. He loves avocado and I give a tsp of flax seed oil in his apple sauce everyday.
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#2 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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Find a local goat dairy...organic if possible and make friends. Goat milk is close to perfect for most humans and it will keep you healthy.

Kiya- Mama to 3 growing Son's. Waldorf joy.gifDoula  hug.gif  Making Recycled Woolens and Trainers every spare moment.
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#3 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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I'm in the same situation. Raw cheese I'm ok with. Kefir and yogurt, both pasteurized, I'm so-so about. I'm gearing up to make my own with raw milk but I'm not there yet. Rice milk has no more sugar than regular milk, if you look on the nutritional side panels of both you'll see they contain about 11 grams each. But rice milk has safflower oil in it, which I don't want ds eating so we switched to almond milk. No oil, half the sugar of rice or cow milk and lots of naturally ocurring vitamin E. Still they've added calcium to it and part of me wonders about the effects of that on the liver. Goat cheese is something we use occasionally. Ds is still nursing so I'm not overly concerned but I'll be watching this thread for ideas.
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#4 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 07:57 PM
 
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I am confused about a couple of things in your post.

1. Why is milk bad? Did I miss a memo or something? I thought it was one of those foods that is good for some people and bad for others. You know, a lot of people are allergic and then later in life can't digest lactose, but that cow's milk also has a lot of nutrients that are valuable to young children.

In my family, we adults can't do a lot of lactose. We give cheese though. My son nurses though so I am not so helpful as an example there.

2. If you didn't get to nurse (I'm sorry about that ) didn't you give formula until, like, last month? Because I thought you aren't supposed to give plain old cow or goat milk until the baby was at least a year.

3. Leafy greens are not too tough--my ds will eat broccoli, spinach and bok choy. He used to be more into them when he was closer to your son's age. I would mix them into his pasta and he would pick out the spinach and eat it first. The best way is if you don't hide or disguise it, but present it nicely with a little fat (sesame oil is good!) and maybe sesame seeds on top.

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#5 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 08:01 PM
 
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A few suggestions regarding milks:
1) You can buy sugar-free soy milk (Silk makes an organic, sugar free version)
2) Almonds have naturally-occuring calcium, so almond milk might be a good choice for you (almond butter, too)

And calcium:
3) Tofu processed with calcium sulfate has significantly more absorbable calcium that soy milk
4) As far as leafy greens--the highest in calcium are collard and turnip green, followed by kale; you can chop them very finely or food process them and mix into tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, mashed avocado, etc. Or blend them into a smoothie.
5) Blackstrap molasses is also high in calcium; some kids will eat it stirred into oatmeal, or you can make molasses cookies/muffins/breads.
6) Calcium-fortified OJ
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#6 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Why is milk bad?
I have read that animal protein intake increases urinary excretion of calcium. So drinking cows milk does not provide your body with the calcium it needs because the protein in cows milk shields your body from absorbing it. However, plant protein does not affect the absorbtion of calcium. Eating to much animal protein can cause your body to loose calcium because it leaches out of your own supply due to the stress the animal protein in causing on the liver. [I think I have it straight]

I have heard this and read this a lot.

There are also studies that show that the dairy is the leading cause of many cancers and diseases. So, in an effort to keep my family healthy and my husband and myself alive and disease free for years to come...I am seeking other alternatives. The way I see it is that there really is nothing in dairy that I can't get somewhere else, it's just finding the right sources.

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If you didn't get to nurse (I'm sorry about that ) didn't you give formula until, like, last month?
Yes I did use formula, but hated it. I was happy when he turned one and I could take him off of it. He had major problems with it and reflux, but I wasn't comfortable putting him on soy.

I can put the mollassas in his oatmeal, but I don't give him oatmeal everyday...that's a good idea though, I forgot about that one. He's not good with juice, even really really watered down. It's hard on his tummy.

The almond milk is a good idea. It's not the sugar grams, but the kind of sugar that's in the rice and soy milk...organic cane juice (how do I know it's a healthy kind and not a refined cane juice?). I don't think the supplimental calcium in almond milk or OJ is hard on the liver...my understanding is that it's the animal protein that's hard on the liver and cause the body to leach calcium.

Why is goat milk better for humans? Wouldn't the protein in the goat milk have the same effects on the liver as the protein in cows milk, causing a calcium problem?

I am concerned with this because I recently went to a Naturopath and she said I needed calcium suppliments because I was lacking it. However, I am a dairy holic. I eat lots of yoghurt, kefir, cheese every day. I gets lots of calcium and it's not making a difference. I am changing my diet to a more green diet and eliminating animal protein. I want to steer my family in the same direction without causing them any health problems.
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#7 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I would also love opinions and anyone able to provide links to support the good and the bad with dairy. Lets not be rude and discusting, just helpful.
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#8 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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It's kind of weird that you're low in calcium...could it be that you're actually not getting enough magnesium or Vitamin D and you're just not absorbing it properly? I know those two go hand in hand with calcium absorption.
I am a milk drinker; I love the stuff. I have heard negative things about it too - but I haven't found a replacement that is really great either.
I'm no expert but I know they say goat milk is closer to human milk than cow's, but why I don't know. I guess the proteins are different.
I'm a little freaked out that you're giving your baby raw milk - I have heard of some bad experiences with raw milk and young children. I have known some farm families where kids drank it from birth (this was years ago) and were fine with it, but moms I know that have given kids raw milk before they're 2 or 3 have had some big problems. It's fine for adults, but the microorganisms in there can give small children some serious issues. Actually even many adults that start drinking raw milk have diarrhea for the first little while, from what I know. However, pasteurizing milk will take some of the nutrients out of it, I guess. Organic is great, especially if you're American.

I'm curious about the dairy-as-carcinogen thing...do you have any links to this info? I have never heard that before.
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#9 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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I dont have a problem with dairy at all. That said children under a year shouldnt have cows milk, cheese is fine. Cows milk can set the child up for diabetes as proteins in the cows milk can trigger the destruction of insulin producing cells of the pancreas.

IMO goats milk is second best for a baby.
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#10 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a little freaked out that you're giving your baby raw milk
Not raw milk, raw milk cheese...like cheddar. I am not brave enough to venture into the raw milk world. The cheese however is really good and it's a popular brand so I'm confident there is no risk involved.

I have no links. I am reading "eat to live" by Dr. Fuhrman. He has some interesting theories about dairy fat and the biggest is it's link to cancer. He claims it's full of dioxin which is the prominent cause of many types of cancers. He says cheese induces acid load (not sure what that means) which increases calcium loss further. That dioxin is concentrated in the fat and that cheese and butter are bad this way. He also sites some studies that report an increase in ovarian cancer in women who consume one or more servings of dairy a day. He also says that milk is designed for a rapidly growing calf, and foods that promote rapid growth promote cancer. He says if you choose to eat dairy, eat only fat free products and only once in a while.

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It's kind of weird that you're low in calcium...could it be that you're actually not getting enough magnesium or Vitamin D and you're just not absorbing it properly?
This is my point really. I take a suppliment that has magnesium in it and vitamin D is in the dairy. I keep reading that calcium from animal sources do not get absorbed by the body properly.
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#11 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 11:00 PM
 
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Raw almonds are a better source of calcium than blanched. Perhaps, though, you should have them though instead of your babe because I think 1 is still pretty young for nuts, isn't it? I think you could contact the soy or rice milk companies and ask them what kind of sugars they use. We get the unsweetened silk (as well as some of the sweetened versions), and sometimes we put a bit of vanilla or raspberry syrup in for ds as a treat.

I think in the veggie thread a couple of monthes back, another poster brought up that you could get minerals out of Kombu by cooking it with beans, and then pulling it out with out eating it. Many of the sea veggies are super high in calcium. You could put the kombu into soups or stews, and pull it out before serving. Agar Agar "jello" is a source, and you can make with juice of your choice. Arame has the most, but dulse, hiziki, kelp, silk sea palm, and wakame are also excellent sources.

We make a point of cooking with green leafy foods. It blends well into soups, stirfries, curries, etc. The calcium in Tropicana is supposed to be more digestable than some of the other fortified juices.

Finally, to absorb calcium, you have to exercise.
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#12 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 11:21 PM
 
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Ahhhhh....raw milk cheese. Much better. Sorry I'm so dim
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#13 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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Another reason why people consider milk "bad" (and, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm vegan...so a little biased ), is that, in the US anyway, non-organic milk contains high levels of:
*hormones (BGH; thought to be a factor in dramatically lowering the average age of puberty--a couple of decades ago, average age for girls was 10-13; now it's 8-11)
*antibiotics (leading to increased antibiotic resistance, which makes treating disease more difficult and facilitates the breeding of bacterial "superstrains")
*pesticides: pesticide levels in milk and meat products are up to 14 times what they are in produce, but, unlike with produce, you can't wash it off (this is because food animals eat massive quantities of corn--most of it GMO "Round-up Ready" corn that's been modified to be resistant to pesticides and can then be sprayed with massive doses of the stuff; it isn't washed thoroughly--or at all--before being used in animal feed, so it builds up in the animals' bodies).

Here's an article on milk:
http://www.vegsource.com/articles/kradjian_milk.htm

I also highly recommend the chapter on milk in John Robbins's "The Food Revolution".

By the way, I don't mean to offend milk drinkers in any way. I make my own choices--you make yours. But I do think that people should be able to make informed choices--if I did drink milk, I would definitely buy organic only.
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#14 of 35 Old 03-14-2005, 11:44 PM
 
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Some more info: http://www.notmilk.com/

Disclaimer: No offense to milk drinkers/cooks. Changing this one thing has been beneficial in my life personally.
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#15 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I think in the veggie thread a couple of months back, another poster brought up that you could get minerals out of Kombu by cooking it with beans, and then pulling it out with out eating it. Many of the sea veggies are super high in calcium. You could put the kombu into soups or stews, and pull it out before serving. Agar Agar "jello" is a source, and you can make with juice of your choice. Arame has the most, but dulse, hiziki, kelp, silk sea palm, and wakame are also excellent sources.
Great suggestions. I will for sure look into them. I do excercise, at least 3 times at the gym and 3-20min walks to the bus stop every day. I was wondering about the nut thing too. I have given ds tastes of almond butter, but that's about it. He has a sensitivity to wheat so I don't want to risk other food allergies. I'm not totally against rice milk or soy, but I don't want to rely on them.

Another thing that we have noticed with ds since switching to whole milk, he's snotty. I mean he had a cold and that was about the same time we started the milk, but his nose won't stop with the mucus. It's clear and I can't suck it out, but it just runs. I don't know if this is related, but I think I will experiment over the next couple of days and not give him any milk to see what happens.
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#16 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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By the way, I don't mean to offend milk drinkers in any way. I make my own choices--you make yours. But I do think that people should be able to make informed choices--if I did drink milk, I would definitely buy organic only.
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Disclaimer: No offense to milk drinkers/cooks. Changing this one thing has been beneficial in my life personally.
Please don't be afraid to share your thoughts. I think we are mature enough to hand a little food for thought. I am very interested in both sides of the milk story and would hate that someone felt they couldn't share because it's of a different opinion.
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#17 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
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NYCVeg - that was a great link. Thank you so much. I hate to read about something and not be able to read the same thing somewhere else. That says everything that this book is saying. It makes sense too. I have to let dh read it so he does not ask me a million times why we are not drinking milk like we did.
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#18 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 02:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cjr
. The way I see it is that there really is nothing in dairy that I can't get somewhere else, it's just finding the right sources.
Well, of course I agree with this because we don't drink milk and until ds, we didn't have any dairy products in the house. My dh is really opposed to dairy, but is okay with the organic cheese I have been buying, because organics are supposed to be free of the pesticides and the hormones people have mentioned.

It seems like a lot of good sources of nutrients have been contaminated, either by pollution or by our agricultural techniques. Fish, for example, should be a great source for a lot of good things, but a lot of the species we like to eat are either high in mercury or are endangered! Even some wild-harvested seaweeds--one brand of arame in our area was contaminated and WF pulled it off the shelf. It could really bum you out!

I googled and found a list of foods with calcium content:

http://www.ibismedical.com/calcium_.html

I think now is the time to introduce leafy greens and seaweeds and stuff to your son's diet, because he should be below the age when toddlers get really cautious. My son is still willing to eat greens if I give him a piece while I am preparing them. That's a good way to get him into them (and them into him ) Dinosaur kale is usually not bitter, so that's a good one to try. I pull the spine out of each leaf and tear the leaves for stir-fries.

My son has also eaten pumpkin seeds with gusto.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#19 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Great list. So perhaps if I give him 1 cup of rice or soy milk a day and then feed him a variety of high calcium rich foods, he should be OK? I needed a good list like that, thanks.

He does well with whatever I am eating. Tonight I had kidney beans with cumin, pepper and onion. A little spicy, but he devoured them and kept reaching for more. He ate some asperagus last night, total shock...but again it was off my plate. He's been stuffy and not eating well for the last few weeks. I'm curious to see what eliminating dairy does to him. He had such a good appetite before he turned one. He's also teething and cut two large front teeth. I though cutting dairy would be hard for me, but today was day 1 and it was no problem at all.
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#20 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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asparagus wasn't on the list in the page I sent the link for, above, but it is on this page:

http://carrotcafe.com/f/calevel.html

The site is actually to give information about how to feed your...rabbit! hah! :LOL

Anyway, it turns out that asparagus is a pretty decent source of calcium. so there you go!

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#21 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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The way I see it is that there really is nothing in dairy that I can't get somewhere else, it's just finding the right sources.
That's pretty much how I feel as well. Clearly humans do not need the milk of another species. Now quite honestly when I'm pg I do crave milk and I drink it but it is not commonly in our house otherwise though we do eat cheese and yogurt. DD rarely if ever drinks cow's milk. It's not so much that I am opposed to dairy as I just don't see it as a necessity.

You did mention your DS having increased mucous and I know this is a common issue with dairy and I want to say is actually a sign of a mild intolerance to dairy. I could be wrong though I just think I have read that.
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#22 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
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You did mention your DS having increased mucous and I know this is a common issue with dairy and I want to say is actually a sign of a mild intolerance to dairy. I could be wrong though I just think I have read that.
I have read that too. I will post with results on this after he has been off dairy for a few days. I am really surprised at how much calcium is in plant foods. I just talked to my best friend who is and MD, she thinks I'm crazy. I rattled off calcium amounts in other foods and she was surprised. I also gave her the links.
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#23 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 05:17 AM
 
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Hi there!

My son doesn't drink milk at all. He does eat cheese and yoghurt (apparently the enzymes and cultures help it to be easier on the system). Our doctor says it's not a problem and most of what I read says the same. Since he eats a whole yoghurt every morning and typically cheese of some variety during the day... he said not to bother with the milk at all since it gives him a very red bum. He is very healthy and eats a *very* varied diet so, we don't worry about it. He drinks water or very diluted juice.

Olivia

ETA: He does tolerate Goat's milk. We buy it organic from our local grocer. He gets it a couple times a week.
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#24 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cjr
Please don't be afraid to share your thoughts. I think we are mature enough to hand a little food for thought. I am very interested in both sides of the milk story and would hate that someone felt they couldn't share because it's of a different opinion.
This totally made me smile! I can't speak for Margaret, but, as a vegan, I get SO MUCH flack for my diet ("But where do you get your protein?" "But what on earth do you eat?" "Don't you feel deprived?"), so I tend to be pre-emptively defensive. Thank you for reminding me that there are plenty of people out there who don't think that different = wrong/weird/scary.
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#25 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 01:47 PM
 
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You have all covered just about everything but I thought I'd just add a couple of easy ways to get extra calcium into a toddler's diet:

- Grind sesame seeds, sunflower, pumkin seeds in coffee grinder or blender and stir into cereal or rice, or add to baked goods. When you are ready to start nuts (between 1 and 2 years if no history of allergies), serve almonds - very high in calcium.
- Tofu is a great source of calcium and iron. My daughers always loved plain diced tofu but I have an excellent instant tofu banana pudding recipe if you want it that non-tofu lovers love.
- Beans and legumes are great sources of calcium - black beans are a favorite of my kids. Hummus is a really high calcium snack because of the garbanzos and the tahini.
- Put tahini or almond butter on bread or crackers
- Blackstrap molasses is a great source of minerals - add to oatmeal or use to sweeten baked goods
- Kale, broccoli, boy choy etc. - make blended soups (I have recipes if you want), mince veggies in food processor and cook with rice, add to soups, scrambled eggs, spagetti sauce, meatloaf or burgers (if you're not veggie - or to bean or tofu burgers if you are). Add kale to smoothies.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#26 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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hmm did anyone suggest oat milk? I like oat milk, they have a fortified version. I really like the texture and the oaty flavor. good stuff...
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#27 of 35 Old 03-15-2005, 02:01 PM
 
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Oh - I got so distracted by posting calcium ideas that I forgot what the original question was - personally, I don't think kids need to drink any kind of milk. All we drink is water (and occasional smoothies).

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#28 of 35 Old 03-16-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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cjr, I just posted to you in the healthy eating book rec thread to check out the Garden of Eating diet. http://www.thegardenofeatingdiet.com

Dairy is not essential for humans. There are plenty of traditional people (like the Okinawans) that were disease-free without consuming any dairy at all. That being said, I do think that for some people who are not intolerant to it, then raw milk from properly fed animals is a great source of nutrients. Most of the studies out there that "prove" that dairy is detrimental to health are based on that crappy supermarket variety of milk, pasteurized, homogenized, grain-fed, etc. If milk were such the evil substance, then there would not have been so many people who traditionally thrived on it.

Dairy-free healthy people relied on plant sources, plus bone broths for their mineral needs. Also, their plant sources were higher in minerals than our modern counterparts, which due to breeding and depleted soils are much less mineral-rich than they used to be.

Here is an interesting discussion with Sally Fallon and Robert Cohen, the Not Milk man: http://www.consumerhealth.org/articl...20010801000231
Also, check out this great article about the differences between "true" milk and the factory farmed stuff from the store. http://www.jacktips.com/milkdairy.htm

On high protein causing calcium excretion, just like everything else, there are many factors to consider. Check out http://www.beyondveg.com/cordain-l/p...-loss-1a.shtml for more info.

There are also other things besides factory-farmed milk in our environment that can contribute to early puberty, like hormones in factory farmed meats and also xenoestrogens from various sources.

If you are having problems with calcium assimilation, then I would have your ND check your thyroid and vitamin D levels, plus taking a multi (including trace)-mineral supplement to replace what's been lost in our modern vegetables, as well as eating as many veggies as you can for their alkalizing benefits.

Good luck!
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#29 of 35 Old 03-16-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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Well we can always rely on Toraji for well researched posts and informative links. I always appreciate your input, mama . Cjr, the rice milk I used to give ds was not sweetened. The sugars occurred naturally, as I said about 11 grams per serving. A pp mentionned oat milk but the 2 brands available to us contained about 25 grams of sugar per serving.

I've found some of the links sobering. I have always wondered about the dioxins in the high animal fatted products like cheese and butter despite the fact that they're organic. Now I'm feeling conflicted about this. We use whole milk in our tea, it's organic but pasteurized. I've recently started using cultured butter and raw cheese a few times a week as well as pasteurized kefir and yogurt, all organic. But some of the info in this thread is affirming some of my gut feelings about dairy in general. Oy, there is so much information out there and one can come up with an argument for or against almost anything depending on who funded the study and the stance of the author. So now I'm really feeling on the whole thing.

Sorry cjr didn't mean to hijack your thread. Thanks for posting this question you've gotten some great responses. I'll be : Hope your little guy finds his appetite soon.
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#30 of 35 Old 03-16-2005, 10:05 PM
 
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It's all been covered, basically, I just wanted to add my voice for almond milk, almond butter, and something many don't know about...pumpkinseed butter! It's so yummy and full of great omega fats and lots of protein and calcium!

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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