Milk Questions from a New Veganish - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 02-14-2011, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, my husband and I are sort of slowly transitioning into vegans.  We've been omnivores for a long time, so it's a sort of slow adjustment. So I have a few questions:

 

 

1.  My two small kids drink about a 1/2 gallon of milk per day.  I want to to get them off of this, but don't know how.  I drink rice milk, but they don't seem to like it. 

 

Should I just keep trying to substitute their milk with rice milk until they finally just accept it (I think this would work eventually, but would be rough in the meantime)?

Should I just push other drinks like juice and water (I'd love for them to drink more water, but they just won't)?

 

 

 

2.  Also, today my 19 month old is sick. I never give sick kids milk because it can curdle on the stomach and make you throw up.  Is this true for rice milk too?  Or is rice milk okay for a sick baby?

 

 

3.  And on a sort of related note, can you make cheese from rice milk?  I'd be interested in making my own cheese if it were possible, since that is the hardest thing for me to give up.


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#2 of 12 Old 02-14-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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I would be very careful substituting rice milk for cow milk, especially for the 19 month old. Rice milk is, IMO, pretty much junk food. It is very high in sugar and has little to no nutritional value. The better non dairy alternatives are hemp, coconut and almond. My kids drink hemp milk, but they both came off the breast and onto hemp- so they did not know any different. To help them transition, try doing 1/2 milk and 1/2 of whichever alternative milk you switch. Then lower the amount of milk over a week or two. Good luck! 

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#3 of 12 Old 02-15-2011, 05:00 AM
 
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We do both almond and rice milk (both unsweetened so there isn't any sugar in either) but no one drinks any kind of milk straight. The almond milk tastes better and has a better mouthfeel but it isn't fortified. If we're going to taste it, that's what we use. In cooking or where taste/mouthfeel doesn't matter, we use rice milk because it's fortified. 

 

Can you just have no milk in the house for two or three weeks (well hide some somewhere to use in cooking)? That should be long enough to get them drinking water instead. I wouldn't encourage juice personally but that's just a preference. Or can you rename the milk to something else that doesn't have milk in the name? Then there plainly isn't any milk in the house and they have to get used to drinking something different.

 

As for cheese, there are uncheeses but they really have little in common with animal milk cheeses. We make and like a variety of "cheesy" type things (cashew-based spreads, cashew yogurt, nacho cheesy sauce, Daiya on pizza) but it is really different than what is traditionally known as cheese and it doesn't seem very good when you're first switching. If you find you don't like them at first, try again in a few months' time.

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#4 of 12 Old 02-15-2011, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, guys! I guess this sounds terrible, but I hadn't really throught about the lack of nutrition in rice milk.  That makes sense.  I want them to drink more water anyway, so maybe we'll just push that.  They cartons that the rice/almond milk come in look different enough from the milk so it's easy to say we don't have any milk.  I use unsweetened rice and coconut in cooking, I'm just not crazy about the taste of almond.  But maybe I should work on that.

 

I ordered nutritional yeast some time ago, and it still hasn't come in the mail. From what I hear, it's the best tasting cheese substitute. I'm eager to give it a try.  


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#5 of 12 Old 02-15-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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I know soy is a four-letter word these days, but, comparing to the other non-dairy "milks" I can get and afford where I live, I just don't really see any nutritional value in anything else. Soy does have protein and some fat. Almond has a bit of fat, but neither rice nor almond has significant protein. Pretty much all the nutrients they have are added. Might be different if you make your own? I know whole almonds are quite high in calcium, I don't understand why almond milk doesn't have any.

 

Cheese is kind of hard. I've never tried making it at home, would be interested in hearing about your experience if you do it. The best substitutes on the market I've found are Daiya and Follow Your Heart, which we like for pizzas and sandwiches, but they would not fool a person who likes high quality cheese. The complexity of flavor has yet to be achieved, to my knowledge. Also, there seems to be a sacrifice of nutritional quality for flavor and texture. Not much protein or anything else in those brands. I make sauces, fondues, and other substitutes from scratch, such as from Uncheese Cookbook, which uses a lot of whole foods such as potato, tofu, oatmeal, ground cashews. I like these, but again, it doesn't really approach a really good cheese. A fake Velveeta sauce is easy, though.

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#6 of 12 Old 02-15-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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Here is a good link with options about going dairy-free:

http://vegan.com/dairy-free/

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#7 of 12 Old 02-15-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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i agree that rice milk isn't the best option. we like almond milk & cashew milk.  i make them both at home in a blender - very easy & cheaper than cow's milk.


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#8 of 12 Old 02-16-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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We drink almond milk and  organic, non-GMO soy milk around here. My son loves both.

 

When he gets sick I encourage him to drink more water but don't limit the amount of soy/almond milk he drinks. Drinking cow's milk when your sick can increase mucous production and make you feel worse. Plant milks won't do that.

 

My favorite non-dairy cheese is by the brand Daiya. http://www.daiyafoods.com/

My son also loves Road Ends Organic boxed Mac & Cheese http://www.edwardandsons.com/reo_info.itml

 

Peace!


S~ Peace loving, natural living, FuNkY vegan mama to Keiran bouncy.gif 23/Dec/06:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
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#9 of 12 Old 02-18-2011, 12:11 AM
 
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My kids aren't so wild about "plain" water, but they beg for "lemon water."  This is just water with a good squirt of lemon juice and a tiny, tiny bit of maple syrup.  It also works well with grapefruit or orange instead of the lemon.  This method helps them drink more liquid without relying on the milk alternatives too heavily.


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#10 of 12 Old 02-19-2011, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been pushing through the last few days with no milk in the house.  Right now I'm just trying to get them to drink anything else.  The 3 year old is enjoying cran-apple juice and water, and the 18 month old is fussily only drinking water.  I think it's getting a little easier, and before long they won't think about it.  I love the lemon water idea and will give that a try tomorrow.  After I run to the store next week, I might see how they like almond milk too. 


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#11 of 12 Old 02-19-2011, 10:27 PM
 
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I didn't notice in your posts if you are still nursing the kids.  If you are, then there is no other milk necessary.  If you are not, this is definately one area that I agree with the AAP on--- children need a full fat milk until at least two.  If you are vegan, the easiest solution is to provide human milk, but if you can not or will not do that, another full-fat milk is necessary.  Most children just do not/can not get enough fat in a normal diet for optimal brain development at that age.  Since humans are biologically designed to wean between 2.5-7 years of age, it becomes increasingly easy to simply give up milk altogether at that point.  There is no nutritional need, for example, for adults to have a milk source.

 

Good luck!


 

 

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#12 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I nursed both of my girls to 16 months (the oldest is 3.5 and the youngest is 19 months).  I tried almond milk with no luck, but I will say I noticed that Silk's almond milk taste a million times better than Almond Dream - although the girls still didn't like it.  After pushing through for a few days, both girls started drinking more water, which is great; but we eventually decided to go back to cow's milk for now.  We're making a slow transition and that's fine by me, no need to push them yet.  They're doing great giving up meat, eating tons of veggies and that's awesome. 


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