Goat's Milk or Cow's Milk?

Updated on June 26, 2010
M.M. asks from Fort Worth, TX
10 answers

My son just turned 1 and we're about to introduce milk. I still breastfeed and he has never had formula and does not take a bottle. He drinks water from a sippy cup. I have been doing a lot of research and it seems like goat's milk might be a better choice for toddlers. The only downside is it is lower in folic acid. I was wondering, does anyone else use goat's milk? If so, what are your reasons? What do you do to make sure your child gets enough folic acid in his/her diet? Thanks!

Wife to my college sweet heart and SAHM.

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answers from Dallas on

Myself, my sisters, and all of my nieces and nephews and children (13 total) have allergies to cow milk. All of the children were breastfed and then transitioned to soy and rice milks with no ill effects. Many alternative milks are fortified with folate as well as Calcium, vit D, and B vitamins. My oldest nieces and nephews are adults now and all have been just fine.

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answers from Dallas on

Goat's milk is a good choice. I used it with my own son. But, that was before Lucky Layla Farms started selling raw cow's milk from grass fed cows. My son now drinks about a gallon a week and is loving it! Commercial milk is practically a non-food with all the high heat and processing it goes through. If given pasteurized and homogenized milk, a baby calf would die! Raw milk is more tested and regulated than commercial milk and has all the beneficial enzymes and bacteria (like yogurt) so humans can digest it without any ill effects. Even those that are lactose intolerant or has respiratory conditions that make drinking milk difficult thrive on raw milk. Some good references for you are at www.realmilk.com and the website for Lucky Layla's is www.luckylayla.com.
email me directly with any further questions!!

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answers from Dallas on

The only thing I can add is that my husband grew up on goats milk..... since I have know him which is since I was 16 and 34 now. He rarely gets sick... I mean he will go a year or more without getting the flu.... this would include things like salmanella etc..... It's too the point that I joke around that if we had a nuclear blast it would be him and the roaches.... with that said, they had a goat they got their milk from... I'm not sure how it all works nor do I know about how safe it is.... my husband is the only I know that grew up on it.



answers from Minneapolis on

I gave my first goats milk as well as he was showing a sensitivity to cow's milk. The only concern I ever had was that goat's milk is higher in estrogen, almost as high as soy, so he only got it at night. It is gentler to digest, but I don't know of the folate levels. Sorry, I know that doesn't help much...



answers from San Diego on

We did goat's milk at first because we aren't the cow's milk fans so much. My son didn't drink it....just stuck to water and nursed....didn't like (and still doesn't like) cow's milk to this day and he's 2 1/2.

We did goat's milk yogurt though and he ate that (I thought it tasted goaty!).

It is easier on their system than cow's milk and I think a nice intro to milk.

I wouldn't worry about the folic acid. It isn't going to be his main source of nutrition is it? If you are still nursing a lot and taking a prenatal or good multivitamin, he will be getting folic acid from you. He will also get it from other things in his diet as you intro food. I never worried about nutrition until my son was a bit older, 18 months or so, and eating more and nursing less.

Remember too...I'd look at nutrition over the course of several days not just each day. There is folic acid in so much, and so many foods that are fortified, that it isn't terribly common to see a folic acid deficiency here in the US. Here's a link, but remember these are amounts for adults, but it gives you an idea of what foods have folic acid.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

I grew up on goat's milk due to a severe allergy to cows milk. I agree with what Wendy had to say about it. But also think about the cost, it can be much more expensive, how easy will it be to get, grocery store or farm close by? Will it always be in stock? What do you do if you go out of town? Are you going to be able to find it? What about when your son goes to school? These are all issues I had to deal with growing up and a ton more I'm sure I just can't think of them all. Goats milk is great, easier on the tummy and a great source of nutrition. But it did cause some problems but that was 30 years ago and I know some of these problems I had are lessened now. It was a life saver to me.


answers from Dallas on

My daughter had to switch to goats milk shortly after her 1 year birthday. Cow's milk was causing to much mucus to drain from her nose to her ears and causing ear infections. She 1 did not like soy milk and with studies coming out saying soy milk isnt that good her doctor and ENT recommended goat's milk. They said next to Coconut it is the best milk. It is expensive if you buy the fresh in the refridgerator section it's almost $4 a quart which is about $16 a gallon. I found a local farm (Keller) that supplies to a lot of health food places too that sells it for $10 a gallon. (Homested Farms) Also they sell it in a can in the baking isle i think that you mix with water.



answers from Dallas on

You got some great responses. I think I am going to have a deeper look into Lucky Lala's raw milk. I have switched my son to Almond Milk, but he is 4 years old. He was producing to much mucus which was causing him to have lots of ear infections.

I would suggest getting a multi-vitamin supplement for him. Yes, it is important for us to get our nutrients through our food and drinks. However, we are not getting all the nutrients we need in our foods. Shaklee has a great multi-vitamin powder for babies and toddlers that you can mix into his juice, water or milk. It also has a unique blend of prebiotic's that help to promote the good bacteria in his intestine. My kids take the chewable version and love it. I also offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not happy with them for any reason.



answers from Dallas on

I reccomend goat milk and goat milk products, weather raw or pasturized, also, a daily multi vitamin from a reputable distributor.



answers from Amarillo on

I supplemented with goat milk while I was breastfeeding from about 6-8 months on. My kids did great on it. I absolutely hate formula so there was NO way I was going to put that in their bodies, but on date nights and stuff if I didn't have enough breastmilk pumped we'd do the goat. We did unpasteurized (sp?) because heating it destroys all the benificial nutrients (kind of like sticking breast milk in the microwave). You are right, it is deficient in folic acid as well as iron, just like breastmilk. But it is the closest thing in nature to human milk. All that being said, I did switch my babies to cow milk at a year old. At that point their digestives systems are able to handle the larger fat molecules (goat milk fat is WAY smaller). So, as long as there are no allergy issues, you should be fine just going to cow. However, goat milk is an excellent option if you have problems with the cow milk. I will warn you, though, the burps STINK! HTH!

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