When I was pregnant with my first child, I was so full of hope and optimism for the future. I dreamt of making the very best life for my child. I wanted him or her to have access to happiness, love, and nutritious food. During my pregnancy, I started reading all about child nutrition. That was when I first came across the idea of almond milk for children.
It was during those pregnancy researching hours that I started reading articles about cow’s milk for children. I quickly realized there was a huge controversy surrounding cow’s milk and whether or not it was healthy for our children. This worried me because I wanted to make the right decision for my little one. I couldn’t find a clear answer about cow’s milk, and this frightened me.
Being a new mom is hard. I was constantly trying to do what was right and best for my little girl. But with all the information available on the internet, I found it really difficult to know what the right decision was. Should my little girl drink cow’s milk, or would it make her sick? Should she drink almond milk, or would that leave her malnourished?
As the months went by, and my little girl stopped drinking breastmilk, I became more and more concerned about her dairy intake. Obviously, she loved milk, but was it healthy for her? During her naptimes, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I spent a few days reading about the issue, trying to get to the bottom of the debate between cow’s milk and almond milk for children.
Let me share with you what I learned on my journey, and hopefully, you can feel more confident about what you give your little one, and let them try almond milk with confidence.
Health Benefits of Almond Milk for Children
Contrary to what traditional knowledge would have you believe, your child does not need to drink milk every day to be healthy. As long as child is eating a well-balanced, wide variety of nutritious foods, they won’t be missing out on the nutrients that cow’s milk can provide.
However, if your child wants to drink milk, but you’d like them to try something new, almond milk is a good option for picky children. Almond milk provides a wide range of nutrients that kids need and can help fight against the obesity epidemic in children.
Almond Milk for Digestion
When kids eat a diet that is heavy on processed foods, they can sometimes have problems with their digestion. If your little one often gets stopped up and has trouble going to the potty, try giving them a glass of almond milk with their breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
One serving of most store brand almond milk has one gram of dietary fiber. Fiber is basically part of a plant that our body cannot digest. Even though we can’t digest it, fiber is still an essential part of our diets. When we get enough fiber, we have an easier time digestion all our foods, extracting nutrients, and using the bathroom without problems. To help your little one digest all their food happily, try having them drink almond milk.
Almond Milk for Strong Bones
Most parents know about the vital importance of the mineral calcium in our diets, and the diets of our children. Kids need lots of calcium to grow strong bones and healthy teeth. But what most parents believe is that kids need to get this calcium from dairy. Guess what? That isn’t necessarily true!
Cow’s milk is not the only dietary source of calcium, and nor is it the best. Fortified Almond milk has plenty of calcium for your little one. In fact, some almond milk brands have even more calcium per serving than full-fat cow’s milk.
Fortified Almond milk is also a good source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is another vitamin that is essential for growing strong, healthy bones. Most kids can get vitamin D from the sun, but if your toddler wears sunscreen when they go out in the sun, consider adding almond to their diet to help supplement their vitamin D intake.
Almond Milk for Healthy Skin and Hair
Another vitamin that is essential for the healthy development of your little one is vitamin E. Vitamin E plays a role in the healthy development of skin and hair. If you are the parent of an adventurous child, who is always running into bumps and scrapes, getting enough vitamin E will help them to heal faster and reduce scarring.
Almond milk has a generous helping of vitamin E in each serving. Additionally, the vitamin E in almond milk has good bioavailability, so your child’s body will be able to absorb the vitamin E and use it quickly. Consider adding almond milk to your child’s diet to improve their skin and their hair.
A Word of Caution
As you make the decision to including almond milk in your child’s diet instead of dairy milk, keep in mind a few important facts. First of all, almond milk has considerably less fat than dairy milk. If you are worried about childhood obesity, this is a good thing. But for most normal children, dietary fat is very important. If your child is drinking almond milk, make sure they increase their fat intake in another part of their diet, such as through avocados or coconut.
Second, almond milk has less protein than traditional dairy milk. Protein is another essential nutrient for the healthy development of your child. If you are giving your child mostly almond milk to drink, make sure they are eating plenty of other sources of dietary protein, such as soy products, nuts, and seeds.
Almond Milk Is Safe and Healthy for Your Child
All in all, almond milk is a wonderful drink to include in the diet of your growing toddler or small child. However, almond milk is not a replacement for breastmilk, and should not be given to babies. But if your child is normally drinking dairy milk, and you’d like to switch to almond milk, go right ahead! Almond milk provides plenty of essential nutrients, and it will promote beautiful health and wellbeing for you little one. Plus, it tastes delicious!
My name is Laura Staron, food lover and nutrition enthusiast. I’ve made it my mission to share my knowledge and passion for the vegan, plant based diet. All natural, wholesome foods have brought so much goodness into my life, and I’m hoping to do the same for you. Learn more by checking out my blog, at https://veggiesecret.com