Coconut milk instead of cow's milk? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if anyone thinks it's okay to substitute fortified, all-natural coconut milk for cow's milk in a toddler's daily diet. It has Vitamins A and D in it, as well as added calcium, and is unsweetened. DS is almost 21 months and weaned himself recently because I'm 29 weeks pregnant and my supply is completely gone ( ).

I already give him yogurt twice a day, and cheese when I can get him to eat it (mostly I have to melt it into things like eggs and sandwiches) so he's used to dairy. But for some reason I'm hesitant to give him pasteurized grocery store milk. If I could find a raw dairy farm around here I'd do that, but in the meantime, do you think coconut milk is okay? He has no food allergies that we're aware of.

Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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totally fine in my opinion

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#3 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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My DS drinks coconut milk (unsweetened SoDelicious brand) instead of cow's milk because of his allergy to dairy. My naturopath said it is a good substitute.

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#4 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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There's no reason a child who is almost 2 needs milk. If he's eating a balanced diet, coconut milk can be part of that. Many parents don't given any "milk" at all, just water.

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#5 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's the brand I've been drinking, Momo.

PikkuMyy, every toddler nutrition resource I've read suggests that once they wean, they need milk. So far DS only gets water and I'd be happy to keep it that way, but I've been concerned about his calcium and Vitamin A intake. We already supplement with D3 drops.

Thanks for the answers, ladies! It looks like this will be a good substitute then. That's really lucky, because I loooooove coconut milk and now have an excuse to buy it more often.

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#6 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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we do coconut milk and almond milk for my 18 month old son. he is sensitive to dairy, but things like cheese, yogurt, kefir, etc are okay. just straight-up milk gives him a tummyache.

i think coconut milk is a much better option for a kid who can't have cow's milk than say, soy milk.

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#7 of 30 Old 08-04-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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The only issue is that coconut milk has far more fat and calories. We used coconut milk with my DS2 as advised by our ped because DS2 is/was FTT. I found this handy chart that compares milk & milk substitutes: http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2009...k-substitutes/

One 8 oz serving of coconut milk has 552 calories, 57 grams of fat with 51 grams of sat fat. It is a good choice, but should be used in moderation because of high fat & calories.

My DS1 has sensitivity to cow's milk and he gets vanilla flavored almond milk (almond breeze). We've used vanilla rice milk in the past (rice dream) with success too.

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#8 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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We use Coconut milk and yougart, the ice cream sandwhisches are really good!!!
We have been using it since she was 12 months old with dinner. She likes Hemp milk too. We have tired all flavors and the plain and vainlla is the preferd. But she loves the plain hemp milk.
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#9 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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My DS has been drinking Coconut milk since my milk dried up from pregnancy around 19/20 months old. He had a dairy sensitivity so that is what we used. He can now eat yogurt, though, as of a couple weeks ago. I think as long as your DS is getting the cheese and yogurt and eating a healthy diet you don't need to add milk, but if you want to Coconut milk is great! We also get the SoDelicious brand.

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#10 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
PikkuMyy, every toddler nutrition resource I've read suggests that once they wean, they need milk. So far DS only gets water and I'd be happy to keep it that way, but I've been concerned about his calcium and Vitamin A intake. We already supplement with D3 drops.
My son is now 6yo (I'm in here for my dd) and has seen every specialist in the book for various problems--all of them mainstream--and not a single one ever noted a need for dairy in his diet. He was slightly preemie and had a broad range of issues so we saw neurologists, gastros, pulmonologists, cardiologists, every therapist type under the sun. You name it, this kid saw it. He was dairy-free from 5mo onward and every one of them knew it and every one of them said it was totally fine. We didn't supplement with calcium and he had some feeding delays (among other things). He was bfed until 5yo and didn't eat solids till after he was 1yo.

There is a lot of controversy about the "need" for milk in a child's diet. Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions" talks about how this country "came" to that belief. I should note that now, at 6yo, my son is completely on target for his age if not ahead (he reads at a 4th grade level as of last year). So clearly, not a requirement.

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#11 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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I was under the impression that you don't NEED cow's milk at all, but you do need calcium and you can get that other ways. I see no issue with that swap! We don't drink cow's milk at our house either....we travel all the time and its actually hard to find fresh drinkable cows milk since the USA seems to be the biggest group of drinkers of it.

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#12 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Where, in the grocery store, is coconut milk usually found? I have been wanting to try it with my oldest DS and when DH went to the store he could not find it. Is it kept cold or not?
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#13 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momo123 View Post
My DS drinks coconut milk (unsweetened SoDelicious brand) instead of cow's milk because of his allergy to dairy..
Ditto. All three of my kids do coconut milk instead of cow's milk for the same reason.

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#14 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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Where, in the grocery store, is coconut milk usually found? I have been wanting to try it with my oldest DS and when DH went to the store he could not find it. Is it kept cold or not?
We find it right with the milk. Usually nearer to the creamers, but with soy and nut milks if the store sells them.

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#15 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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We find it right with the milk. Usually nearer to the creamers, but with soy and nut milks if the store sells them.
Thank you! Our local store must not carry it. DH said he looked in the entire milk case. Will have to check at Whole Foods I guess.
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#16 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He was bfed until 5yo and didn't eat solids till after he was 1yo.
But if he was breastfed until five, wasn't he getting milk in his diet? I'm not just talking about cow's milk.

I had to wean my son at 20 months and he's not getting milk of any kind at all. So I'm a little nervous about his calcium and vitamin intake. Good to know that it's not strictly necessary though.

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#17 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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The only issue is that coconut milk has far more fat and calories. We used coconut milk with my DS2 as advised by our ped because DS2 is/was FTT. I found this handy chart that compares milk & milk substitutes: http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2009...k-substitutes/

One 8 oz serving of coconut milk has 552 calories, 57 grams of fat with 51 grams of sat fat. It is a good choice, but should be used in moderation because of high fat & calories.

.
I am a bit wary of the cocomilk numbers. i have the 14 oz can of full fat cocomilk (thai) and it only has 150 calories total.
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#18 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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People are talking about two different kinds of coconut milk on this thread, btw. Some folks are talking about "coconut milk beverage" for instance SoDelcious brand (which really is so delicious) and others are talking about cans of coconut milk, like Thai Kitchen coconut milk.

The "beverage" is more for drinking, while the stuff in a can is more of an ingredient, although you could drink it or add it to drinks etc (I love it in coffee)

SoDelicious coconut milk beverage unsweetened 8oz serving has 50 calories and 5g of fat

Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk 2oz serving has 120 calories and 8 oz of fat
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#19 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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I never encouraged my kids to drink milk but they did nurse until well after 3. I used a combination of milks for recipes and drinking. I think hemp, coconut and organic cow's milk is sufficient if you can't find great grass fed raw cow or goat milk.

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#20 of 30 Old 08-06-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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From what I understand, coconut milk is good in moderation, but probably shouldn't be a major part of a toddler's diet. I understand your hang up on pasteurized dairy, but anything you buy on a shelf in a grocery store is going to have also gone through it's fair share of processing in order to be shelf-stable.

I also didn't want to start my DD on cow's milk - we're still nursing a few times a day and she has a bit of a sensitivity. But I know that toddlers between the age of one and three need a diet where fat accounts for 30 to 40% of their total calories, so, we opted for goat's milk. You can find it in most major grocery stores. DD really loves it and I don't have to worry that her picky-toddler eating days are going to have too negative an affect on her.

Good luck!

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#21 of 30 Old 08-07-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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We get our high fat coconut milk in a can from the ethnic foods section

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#22 of 30 Old 08-07-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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But if he was breastfed until five, wasn't he getting milk in his diet? I'm not just talking about cow's milk.

I had to wean my son at 20 months and he's not getting milk of any kind at all. So I'm a little nervous about his calcium and vitamin intake. Good to know that it's not strictly necessary though.
Breastmilk DOES have casein in it (milk protein) as I understand, but I was completely casein-free in my own food intake and still am. I remember there being some kind of difference with breastmilk but I can't recall. I know that goat's milk protein was different, too--such that some kids couldn't tolerate cow's milk but could tolerate goat's milk...? I've never heard of a child that couldn't tolerate breastmilk due to protein allergy so there must be some kind of variation like that. It was a really long time ago so I don't remember

But there was no casein in my diet to pass through the breastmilk. I was deadly vigilant with it. You can't imagine where they use the stuff.

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#23 of 30 Old 08-31-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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The only issue is that coconut milk has far more fat and calories. We used coconut milk with my DS2 as advised by our ped because DS2 is/was FTT. I found this handy chart that compares milk & milk substitutes: http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2009...k-substitutes/

One 8 oz serving of coconut milk has 552 calories, 57 grams of fat with 51 grams of sat fat. It is a good choice, but should be used in moderation because of high fat & calories.

My DS1 has sensitivity to cow's milk and he gets vanilla flavored almond milk (almond breeze). We've used vanilla rice milk in the past (rice dream) with success too.
That chart is way off on coconut milk. There are 5 grams of fat and 80 calories in a serving of So Delicious coconut milk. The AAP recommends fat for toddlers because it promotes normal growth and brain development. My son is drinking coconut milk because of his dairy allergy as well and my doctor made it a point to supplement good fat for the lack of fat in coconut milk compared to cow's milk as well as calcium and protein.
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#24 of 30 Old 08-31-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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We don't drink cow milk, but when my guy weans I plan to do what we do now, a rotation of almond, coconut and occasional organic soy milk, Hemp milk, and rice milk from a source that monitors arsenic (although rice milk is our least fav). And the occasional cow milk from a local, organic farm (that is not raw, but really good and really organic, not usda organic )

I think a variety is key.

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#25 of 30 Old 08-31-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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That chart is way off on coconut milk. There are 5 grams of fat and 80 calories in a serving of So Delicious coconut milk. The AAP recommends fat for toddlers because it promotes normal growth and brain development. My son is drinking coconut milk because of his dairy allergy as well and my doctor made it a point to supplement good fat for the lack of fat in coconut milk compared to cow's milk as well as calcium and protein.
yes! toddlers still require additional fat. I think at almost 2 the peds would recomend 2 per cent (not full fat) ...

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#26 of 30 Old 08-31-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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I love milk alternatives! My daughter did goat's milk from 4 month to a year (instead of formula). She still occasionally has it at her Nana's house. Then she was on Hemp milk for several months but that became way too expensive for our budget. I loved that stuff though! She's done rice and almond milk occasionally. But mostly now she does soy milk because we get it for free with WIC. I'd prefer her to be on hemp, but sadly that's not an option and we have to go with what we can afford. We've never tried coconut milk, but it looks like it would be a fun alternative. Now that she's two I don't really worry about making sure she has "milk" to drink.

No one in my family drinks regular cow's milk. I use to love it, but my taste bud changed when I took dairy out of my diet for about 3 months... I found alternatives for all my favorite foods...except plain greek yogurt and cheese. So I added those back into my diet, but cow's milk makes me want to vomit! So gross! One day I'll go fully dairy free but I'm taking it very slow. I really really don't know if I can ever give up cheese.

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#27 of 30 Old 09-01-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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My DS drinks coconut milk (unsweetened SoDelicious brand) instead of cow's milk because of his allergy to dairy. My naturopath said it is a good substitute.
Exactly this. DS2 can't have any dairy and it's been a great substitute.

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#28 of 30 Old 09-01-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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One 8 oz serving of coconut milk has 552 calories, 57 grams of fat with 51 grams of sat fat. It is a good choice, but should be used in moderation because of high fat & calories.
This is the coconut milk that you buy in a can that is really not milk...it is almost as thick as yogurt (we made this mistake too!).

The kind you'd buy for your kids to drink is refridgerated and in a container that milk and juice come in. I think it has something like 5 grams of fat/cup. My son has done great on this and his doctors suggested it over Rice Milk and soy milk. Kids don't "need" cow's milk. At all. It happens to have fat which they do need and calcium, but you can get those other ways.
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#29 of 30 Old 07-17-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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Making coconut milk is not difficult.  All you need is a blender, a cloth (old pillow cut into 18-inch squares is perfect), a large mixing bowl, and a concrete sidewalk or other concrete slab.  First, take out the coconut water by poking the soft "eye".  There's always one eye that is soft, and it can be opened with a pointy knife and then the hole enlarged with a bamboo chopstick.  Shake some of the water into a glass, then rest the coconut on top of the glass until all the water has dripped out.  This water is excellent and nutritious, and you can use it as part of the water in a later step of the recipe.

 

Second step: shell-busting - this is fun and kids will enjoy it:  put the coconut in a plastic bag (ziplock or grocery), close the bag, and take it to your concrete slab.  Throw the coconut up, about 8 feet, so it will land on the slab.  It will break and the pieces will stay inside the bag.  Repeat until all the pieces are manageable, 4 to 6 times usually does it.  A lot of the meat will even detach itself from the shell.  Return to your kitchen and finish removing the meat from the shell. Taste the meat, because some coconuts aren't fresh any more (when in doubt, throw it out). 

 

Third step: blending.  Rinse the meat and transfer to a blender.  You should have about a cup of meat.  Add 3 cups room-temperature water (less if you want coconut cream).  Blend on high (I do it in a Vitamix, for 1 minute). 

 

Fourth step:  "milking the coconut".  Line the bowl with the cloth, pour the milk in.  Wash your hands thoroughly and rinse them well.  This is a hands-on step, and again, kids love to do this.  You'll get coconut milk on your hands, which is a wonderful moisturizer.  Pick up the cloth by the corners and hold the four corners in one hand, then pick up the new corners that have formed in the middle of the square sides, so that you hold the cloth at 8 points. Twist the cloth to wring out the milk into the bowl.  Voila!


I get about 4 cups coconut milk per coconut, which is a lot cheaper than store-bought, and tastes incredibly fresh and wonderful.  I use the remaining meat to make coconut flour pancakes and other baked goods for the SCD/GAPS diet.

 

I don't know what the nutrition composition is for the home-made milk, but if you look up coconut nutrition facts you'll get a pretty good idea.  Some of the components will remain in the flour, so it's not exactly that.  I do know it's delicious, cheap, easy, and *no additives*!  I suspect that a good portion of the minerals gets transferred to the milk, and note that it's a source of manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, Vitamin C, Folate , Thiamin, Pantothenic Acid. And some of the best protein available from any source, animal or vegetable.

It seems long as written above, but with the concrete-slab shell-busting method, it really is quite fast and easy. 

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#30 of 30 Old 07-17-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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Do you need to sterilize (bring it to a boil or something) the coconut milk before drinking it?


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