Dairy and soy free families... what do you use as a milk alternative when your baby turns 1? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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My daughter has a milk and soy protein intolerance (possible allergy, we opted not to actually test since we can clearly see the reaction it has in her) and is on a crazy expensive hydrolized protein formula that we can't continue to buy indefinitely. I know that traditionally babies go from formula to whole milk at 1 and I think it has something to do with the high fat content necessary for brain development.


I am wondering what non breastfed babies who cannot have dairy or soy do when they turn 1? Breastfeeding is not an option for us, and my daughter still enjoys her bottles several times per day. She eats solids but not tons and i want to make sure she is nutritionally getting all she needs.

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#2 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 06:28 AM
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We use SoDelicious coconut milk and there is also hemp milk which DS did not like. There are also nut milks but I haven't tried those as DS is allergic to nuts. Now that my DS is 2.5, "milk" is not really  essential because he gets good fats from his food but he still drinks it at daycare and in the morning. We also use it as a substitute for cow milk in recipes (the unflavored kind, not the sweetened).

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#3 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 04:58 PM
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Have you tried goat's milk? I wonder if she'd tolerate that?

We didn't use a milk alternative but DS was (is) still breastfeeding. Theoretically you wouldn't need any 'milk' but if she isn't yet eating a lot then maybe you could do a multivitamin plus rotate various non-dairy milks (almond, hemp, coconut, sunflower seed, etc.). I suggest rotating them rather than relying on just one, since none of them would provide a complete balance of nutrients on its own.

You can also make your own nut/seed milks -- it's very easy, I do it often but more as a treat than for sustenance. So if you were going to go that route, you'd probably want to pair it with vitamins since it wouldn't be enriched like store-bought dairy alternatives. You can enrich them yourself with various oils etc.

There are some recipes here for homemade formulas: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula#lbf Some have dairy but others do not (or use it just as a minor ingredient that you could leave out/replace).

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#4 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 05:23 PM
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We use Silk True Almond milk.

We used to use SoDelicious Coconut milk. But I didnt like the sugar content or the amount of calcium etc in it.

The Silk true almond has a great texture and taste, and has a good amount of calcium with little sugar in it.


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#5 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 06:41 PM
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#6 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 07:11 PM
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We alternate between unsweetened almond milk, organic when I can get it, and vanilla flavored (but unsweetened) organic hemp milk. I picked those for their protein & calcium contents.  Also goat's milk sometimes. 

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#7 of 12 Old 01-06-2012, 07:34 PM
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If she's not eating a significant amount of solids yet, I'd plan on continuing the formula for at least a few more months.  I make that same recommendation whether she's dairy allergic or not.  Without a significant amount of solids, no milk is going to be providing her with what she needs in a day.  If that's truly not feasible for you, then I'd look at the WAPF formula the pp linked and check out the one made with chicken stock (think it's called Liver Formula).  Since she's already 1, you can make a few changes to it (based on what else she may be eating/drinking through the day), and a single batch could be stretched out over a few days (a single batch makes 1 days worth for an EFF infant), but nutritionally it's going to be a better choice until her solids intake increases than any of the "milk" products would be on their own. 


I really do understand that formula is expensive, particular amino acid formulas, but I don't believe in nutritionally compromising the child because of a date on a calendar.  My little guy was not eating enough solids until he was almost 2 for me to be comfortable cutting out his formula (he wouldn't drink any milk or replacements until a few weeks ago, or we would have started phasing it out a lot sooner).  He's still getting formula twice a day, but it's highly watered, and we're working on getting rid of it completely.  It will hopefully be totally gone by the time he is 2.5 (another 10 weeks).  I look forward to the day I no longer have to buy it. 


I also want to point out that it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  If you can't afford FT formula, but can still afford to give her 1 or 2 bottles/day, that might be a compromise that works for you - she's getting some of the nutrition she needs from the formula, you're pushing solids and milk replacements the rest of the day, and hopefully you can get her needs met that way. 



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#8 of 12 Old 01-08-2012, 10:36 AM
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If you are looking for the fat content, you can do things like avocados, which I'm a big fan of. If you need all around nutrition until she's more fully on solids, I'd keep her on the formula as milk substitutes do not possess the nutritional content she needs. If you just want something nice for her bottle, I'd go with one of the pps suggestions. I never switched my kids to cow milk at age 1.

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#9 of 12 Old 01-09-2012, 07:01 AM
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My son has a milk protein allergy and we did the alimentum formula until he was almost 2 years old.  He did not tolerate goats milk.  I never tried soy as I was uncomfortable with the phyto-estrogens in soy.  However, I did end up trying raw cows milk and he has transitioned to that beautifully and it is actually a much healthier alternative to regular milk.  He is now a little over 2 and we have had no issues.  The raw milk that we buy is organic and from all grass fed cows.  The reason I think that he can tolerate the raw milk is because the enzymes that help your body breakdown the proteins is still in the raw version of cows milk, these enzymes get destroyed during the pasteurization process.  Anyways, might be worth a try if you would still like to transition to milk. 


If they can tolerate some dairy, yogurt/cheese etc.  You can always forgo drinking milk and just up their daily dairy intake.



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#10 of 12 Old 01-09-2012, 02:26 PM
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My girl has a milk protein allergy as well, and the pediatrician explain that most of this baby's have soy allergy too, she drank nutramigen for two years but she has a big appetite so by one year old she was having solid full all the time and she had only like two or three bib's a day (I was unable to breastfeed, we only did it for one month and i had to complement from day one). She was tested twice for allergies and she always tested negative for any allergy but then again the ped. explain that the test is very especific for some substance and that clinical diagnosis was most important, to us it was clear her allergy, in fact she was diagnosed a three weeks, the allergist agrees with our pediatrician and gastro doctor, in our case the allergy was linked to a severe reflux. So we started using rice milk because it felt the lightest, many people use almond milk but I find it rather rich, even for me, so I thought it might be too heavy on her system. I stopped the nutramigen when she was two years old and she was given some calcium that honestly I never gave her so I tried to make sure she had calcium rich foods like sesame and parsley.


But as Cristeen says it dosen't have to be all or nothing, maybe just one bib of the expensive milk, but if your baby is not a good eater you must do everything you can to keep giving the formula, the other thing is to try giving her things like yogourth to see how she reacts, this allergy is outgrown by the mayority, my girl just outgrew it  at two, and she has yogourt a few times a week, bechamel sauce and if the dish has some cheese she will eat it, I have never tried giving her cows milk and honestly y don't think I ever will.  But think that you have done the longest specially those month around 5 months when they eat alot and only milk, I remember spending almos a 600 dollar a month on milk (where I live this milk is very expensive), so just try to keep up for a good few months!


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#11 of 12 Old 01-10-2012, 01:25 PM
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My son has a milk allergy, which we discovered at 14 months when we gave him milk for the first time and he violently threw up for 2 hours. We just closely watch what he eats each day to make sure hes getting enough fat, protein, and calcium. He drinks about 2 cups of almond milk each day, and eats very well (though he recently started not eating avocados... which were a major source of fat for him).  Kids don't need milk, or a milk replacement if they are eating a varied balanced diet. 

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#12 of 12 Old 01-16-2012, 06:27 PM
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I never used a formula/milk alternative. Once they stopped formula they were pretty much on a regular diet with only water and the occasional fruit juice to drink. They were all good eaters, so I didn't have to worry about it. I did have an allergist tell me that it was perfectly fine not to give them milk, in fact, he advocated against milk. People don't need milk. If I was concerned I could give them Vitamin D drops in the winter when they didn't get to go outside as much and they would pull all the nutrients they needed from their food. I never did. They are healthy.

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