Mom’s Question: Can I Give My Baby Almond Milk?
Almond milk: they look so fancy and tastes so yummy. You can easily gulp down a carton yourself. But is almond milk safe and healthy for babies? This article will try to look into all the hype around almond milk. Are these companies nuts (pardon the pun) for advocating almond milk for babies?
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is just basically water with fine ground almonds. The opaque color and taste are due to the add-on chemicals, sugar and other substances that you can barely pronounce embossed on the product carton.
Some parents typically give almond milk if the child has milk allergies or lactose intolerance and cannot tolerate cow’s milk. Almond milk has mostly sugar and water and isn’t as nutritious as cow’s milk. That being said, almond milk for babies is a bad idea. Almond milk has less nutritional content as say, a handful of almonds.
When Should I Give My Baby Almond Milk?
Almond milk isn’t for babies. It does not have the right stuff to support your baby’s growth. As a general rule, wait until your child is over a year old before you give any milk other than formula.
Since the almond milk contains the least amount of nutrients, you’ve had to wait longer before you give it to your baby. Almond milk for babies is only advisable beginning on your child’s second birthday. Stay with breastmilk or formula milk earlier than that.
Almond Milk And Nut Allergies
Some babies are just allergic to nuts. Giving almond milk to babies can trigger that nut allergy. Allergic reactions range from itchy skin, rashes, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, coughing, wheezing to the downright dangerous obstruction of breathing. Nut allergies may even trigger anaphylaxis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition unless you act fast.
Lactose-free Vegan Milk Alternatives
Ranking baby food, breast milk is hands down the best for infants and even for toddlers. Breast milk is liquid gold; no fancy formula can compare to it ever. Formula milk comes as second just in case breast milk is not available. After these two liquid foods, nothing else comes in third or fourth. As you can see, “milk” alternatives derived from plant-based foods doesn’t count.
If you got no formula milk for your toddler, coconut milk leads the pack. Coconut milk contains too many fats and calories though, so I would think twice before I give a glass to my child. Soy milk and almond milk comes in the tie. Both of these “milk” tastes good, but they are not meant for consumption by babies.
Toddlers may consume a serving of almond milk once a week, no more. Why am I against almond milk? That’s because almond milk contains lots of sugar and nothing else. Almond milk has just half the calories of cow’s milk. It has no cholesterol and contains some traces of sodium, Vitamin E, manganese, fiber, zinc, calcium, and potassium.
It has less calcium and protein, two building blocks of our child’s growth. A cup of almond milk has around 1 gram of protein which is a far shot from the usual 8 grams of protein from a cup of cow’s milk. All these minute nutrients and good stuff don't count, because they are just in minuscule amounts.
The Nutty Conclusion
I won’t argue that almond milk is good stuff. It tastes delicious and is ideal for adults who want to lose a bit of weight, but it isn’t for babies. Our children need all the nutrients that they can get. Almond milk can just satiate their hunger, but it won’t help to them to grow from the inside out.