Rice Milk Ok for 1 Year Old?

Updated on March 09, 2009
E.N. asks from Oceanside, CA
3 answers

Hello! My daughter drinks water like a camel, which is great!!! However as i am slowly weaning her from breastfeeding (she oly breastfeeeds during the night, not in the day) i am wanting her to drink milk. I have tried to give her Organic Milk, tried for about 2 months, and she is not interested. So i thought i would try something else. I picked up some rice milk to try,i am only intersted in giving it to her once a day, with lunch. However on the label it said to consult a doctor first if the child was under 5. Is there a health risk involved that i am not aware of? Thank you for your input!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.:
I Googled this short article from a nutritionist,about milks. Hope it helps a little.I wish you and your darlins the best.J. M
The Real Deal

Plenty of kids can and do drink "real" milk. For some parents, the challenge is getting them to drink more—especially if they don't like the taste. Adding flavorings and kid-friendly packaging might help. According to a study sponsored by St. Louis–area dairy groups and conducted in 300 local schools, kids were more likely to choose milk when it was offered in chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors and in colored containers, as the new Quaker Milk Chillers are. Another trend: Both organic and raw cows' milk are increasing in popularity. Many parents whose kids can digest dairy are turning to organic brands, like Horizon and Deja Moo, in an effort to block their kids' exposure to the hormone bovine somatotropin (bST), also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH), suspected as an agent of premature development. While some studies indicate that these hormones have no effect on children, Pastore doesn't see it that way. "I've had mothers bring in 6-year-old girls who are already growing pubic hair," he says. Raw cows' milk, because it isn't pasteurized, is also fairly controversial. "I wouldn't want to take the chance of bacterial contamination," says Susan Kraus, a registered dietitian at Hackensack University Medical Center. New Paltz, New York–based naturopath Sam Schikowitz feels otherwise: "The pasteurization process denatures the proteins in milk and eliminates a lot of the friendly bacteria."


Each of these dairy-case darlings—a boon to most lactose-intolerant and allergic kids—has its benefits and drawbacks.

Almond milk

Although it's not particularly stellar on the protein front (two grams per eight ounces, as compared with eight grams in cows' milk), this naturally sweet beverage does contain some beneficial fats and plenty of calcium. Its smooth, creamy consistency also lends itself to cooking. "Almond milk is a great nondairy source of calcium for kids," says Kraus, "as long as they're not allergic to nuts."

Soy milk

While it's high in protein and ultrapopular, soy milk doesn't get a universal thumbs-up. For one thing, despite the number of brands offered, not everyone is a fan of the thin consistency and bland taste. In addition, a dietary excess of soy has been linked to an increased risk of thyroid disease, and some feel that soy's phytoestrogens may attenuate testosterone levels in boys. "Until there's more evidence [to the contrary]," says Pastore, "I'm telling parents to give kids no more than two servings a day."

Oat milk

Like almond milk, this isn't going to win any prizes on the protein front. On the plus side, oat milk is high in fiber and has a subtle, slightly sweet taste and a light consistency. It's also "highly tolerated by most kids," says Ehrlich. "It's great for those with lots of allergies—milk, soy, even rice." But it's not ideal for children with conditions, such as celiac sprue, that make it difficult to digest the protein gluten.

Goat's milk

With only slightly less lactose than cows' milk, this isn't for kids with intolerance. But it does contain a different set of proteins, so it's a good bet for some people with allergies. "It contains lots of whey but only a trace of casein," says Pastore. "And casein is the milk protein people are most allergic to." However, subtle allergic reactions, like a runny nose, can go undetected, says Kraus. Described as both slightly sweet and salty, goat's milk has a fat level, and thus a consistency, similar to those of whole cows' milk.

Rice milk

The least allergenic milk alternative, rice milk is suitable for kids with both conditions. But it is also generally supersweet and thin, as well as low in protein. The low level of protein "is really a problem for very young children," says Kraus. "But if they're a little bit older and getting most of their protein from other sources, it's not as much of an issue."

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on


If you have questions about the safety of something your little girl will consume, make sure you ask her Pedi. Personally, I give my son Horizon Lactose Free Milk. Prior to that we used Soy Milk, and his Pedi was not impressed with the nutritional value of the other alternatives. But, if you can find something she will drink and the doctor says it's safe then, go for it.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My 2 year old went from breast to goats milk and we love it. It's the closest milk you can get to the breast and it's much better for you than cows!

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