As my son was approaching his 1st year, I could hardly believe how quickly time had past. My little chubby cherub was no longer a baby. He was approaching Toddlerhood. He could eat the big kids snacks. He could get fitted for his first shoes and of course he no longer needed breastmilk or formula. I was so excited to start this new journey. However when our health visitor strongly advised that we continue to give him 2 of bottles of full fat cows milk a day. My stomach turned. I didn’t want to give him cow’s milk and here is why
I am usually one to follow the advice of a health professional but this advice did not sit well with me. I hate cow’s milk. No scrap that. I absolutely love it, I could drink glass after glass when I was younger. Don’t even mention the word cheese to me. Having lived in France for 8 years cheese had become a part of my existence. No I love the taste of cows milk and all things made from cows milk, but its affects on the body, I hate.
Strong bones…or not
More and more health professionals are now advising against cow’s milk but why? With more research being conducted on the subject, new information about the real benefits of dairy have come to light. Previously praised for its bone enhancing abilities. Scientists now claim that it actually does the opposite. Countries with the lowest dairy consumption are those with the lowest rates of osteoporosis. How can this be? If dairy is full of bone fortifying calcium and minerals then how is it that the countries that consume the biggest amount of dairy and milk products have the highest rate of osteoporosis and lactose intolerance?
A study done on women in Sweden found that those who consumed more than 3 glasses of milk a day doubled their mortality rate. The thing is that cows milk does contain a lot of calcium and vitamins. However our fragile little human digestive systems are just not able to process it like calves can. And that is where the problem lies. Cows milk is made for calves who have four digestive compartments in their stomachs. When humans drink it, it puts a massive strain on our digestive system. Causing inflammation which can lead to asthma, allergies and digestive issues such as IBS and even autoimmune diseases.
Better For Your Gut Without It
So why am I against dairy? As much as I love cheese, cream and yogurt, I have experienced a change in my health and digestion when I decided to cut it out. Once I stopped dairy my usually slow digestive system improved and general state of health felt a lot better because of it. My brothers who have suffered from severe eczema their whole lives have experienced significant improvements since cutting dairy. With them now being able to reduce their use of steroid creams and treatments.
So what do I do?
Considering all of the above, the idea of feeding my son 2 bottles of cows milk a day leaves a pit in my stomach. Could I be opening him up to digestive issues and allergies by giving him cows milk? If he no longer needs breastmilk, and I don’t want to feed him cows milk then what do I give him?
There are a lot of milk replacements out there, but which one is better for my son? In my household, we are nut milk drinkers. I drink almond milk and my partner drinks hazelnut. Though these are better than cows milk in my opinion, store bought nut milks are not as nutritious as homemade nut milk. Some brands only have 2% of nuts in their ingredients! Along with another array of ingredients I cannot pronounce. So do we ditch milk all together? Or do i start squeezing almonds to get the purest form of milk possible for my tot?
Got Goat’s Milk
With a bit of research i quickly discovered that Goat’s milk is a healthier alternative to Cow’s. Goats milk is easier to digest. It has less curd and contains less lactose. With fewer allergic proteins in the milk it does not cause as much inflammation in the gut like cows milk does and is full of minerals and vitamins. It also contains a higher amount of probiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut thus promoting a healthy digestive system.
My son loves it and while he is still young and growing. I will continue to use goats milk for his digestive system.
What are your thoughts?