Over the last year and a half, I have been bombarded with questions from readers and friends regarding why I choose to give our son goats milk instead of cows. I get it, it is a little strange. Especially when we have grown up in a society that depends so much on cows milk products for calcium and bone health. The thing is that I have seen the benefits of cutting out cows milk first hand on numerous occasions. I wrote a post on why cows milk was not an option which you can read here. So I thought I would write a post on why i chose goats milk over other milks to answer some of your questions.
Easier to Digest
Both my husband and I have digestive issues. I, like most women, suffer from bloating and a sluggish system whereas my husband has a sensitive stomach with family history of inflammatory bowel disease. So it only made sense to me to choose an option for my son that benefited his digestive track but also gave him all the nutrients he needs to grow. Cows milk is notorious for being quite difficult for humans to digest in general. However if you are prone to a sensitive gut it can be even worse.
Trust me you do not want to be standing behind someone who has consumed cows milk dairy AND has a sensitive stomach! A close friend of mine seemed to react every time he consumed cheese or milk products. After years of embarrassing encounters and almost being thrown out of a taxi. He finally decided to eliminate cows milk and the results were incredible. Almost over night his rather gassy stomach was transformed and it was a relief for him, and for everyone else around him!
Goats milk is very similar nutritionally to cows milk however it is a lot easier to digest. That is because it has a lower percentage of lactose and other milk sugars that generally cause irritation in the bowel. Its proteins also form a softer curd making the digestive process less strenuous on the body.
I will never forget our trips up to the local goat farm as a kid to get fresh goats milk for my brother. Both of my brothers unfortunately suffer from severe eczema. To the point where even the act of sitting down on the couch causes their skin to split open and weep. So on the advice of doctors my mother was told to eliminate cows milk and buy fresh goats milk for them to drink instead. Eliminating cows milk as well as gluten has worked wonders for them and to this day both of my brothers avoid cows milk dairy as much as possible.
A lot of people nowadays experience allergic symptoms after consuming cows milk dairy. This is because of the protein casein which is highly inflammatory. I remember as a singer (back in the day) we were told to avoid any dairy before a performance because it was mucus forming in the body and throat making it difficult to sing clearly. Mucus is usually a sign of inflammation.
What about cheese and yogurt?
This is probably the biggest question I get asked and one that is valid. Though I believe we do not need to eat cheese and yogurts. In todays society they are big staple foods and easy options to give to children. So what do we do? We buy dairy free plain coconut yogurt and my son loves it. You can buy flavoured dairy free yogurt however the sugar content for me is too high for a 2 year old. So we buy plain yogurt and add a drizzle of honey or jam for flavour. It is Gabriel’s favourite treat and keeps me at ease knowing he isn’t consuming too much sugar and dairy. There are also goats milk options available though I have found that Gabriel prefers the coconut flavour.
What about Nut Milks?
My husband and I are huge fans of nut milks especially almond and hazelnut. However i did not feel that they gave the essential nutrients a baby or toddler needs to grow and develop. Store bought nut milks are tasty and handy but look at the ingredients and it can get a bit confusing. A lot of them only have 2% almonds in them which baffles me to be honest. Basically the remaining 98% is water and additives which doesn’t give a lot nutritionally. It is ok for me and my husband to use occasionally. However for a growing toddler we prefer the nutritional benefits of goats milk.
I hope this answers all of your questions. Please note that I am not a medical professional. These are my own personal preferences which I feel is best for me and my family. You are entitled to do what you think is best for you. We buy Delamere Goats Milk which is available from Asda at an affordable price.