Seeking Advice on Alternative to Whole Milk

Updated on January 21, 2011
A.B. asks from Danbury, CT
19 answers

My daughter has trouble digesting whole milk. She's 13 months old and becomes very constipated after drinking whole milk. Her pedi said to switch her to soy milk, I have and it help a little but I'm worried she's not getting everything she needs for healthy growth and development from the soy. Currently I'm giving her a 50/50 mixture of formula and soy milk. I've read some info on Goat's milk and Lactose free milk...
any advice or a good resource would be appreciated!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great advice so far. I really want to try the goats you usually buy it pasteurized?? I spoke to a local farm today who does not pasteurizer it, the woman told me it's fairly easy to pasteurize myself but I'm not taking any chances. Can you buy goats milk at a grocery store?

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answers from Boston on

Cows milk and soy are very hard on the infant digestive tract. Hemp and almond milk(unsweetened) are much better. Give them a try! Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

You absolutely must try ALMOND MILK!! Yummmmmmyy!!! I like vanilla and chocolate. There is also coconut milk, but I haven't tried it yet.

There are also formulas made for older toddlers. Here's a couple for 9-24 months: , and one for 12 to 36 months:

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answers from Tampa on

As a family... we actually rarely drink or use milk in our household - and I buy organic 1%. For dairy - try goat's milk or soy yogurts and cheeses, or special lactose free. You truly do not need a lot of dairy in your lifestyle, most humans are lactose intolerant to a degree. Calciumis in SO many different foods... if that is your main desire for dairy...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

In response to Rachel,

Don't use the toddler formulas. They are all sugar and expensive.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Are they supposed to drink whole milk at that age? I don't remember, Its been so long! We always drank 2 % in my house. Of course at the age of 2, my youngest stopped drinking milk completely...oh well.



answers from New York on

Love, love, absolutely love ALMOND MILK. Unsweetened plain or unsweetened vanilla. Extremely low in sugar. Delicious. So good for you. Yummm



answers from Bellingham on

I'd also recommend goats milk. It is great for my little guy!



answers from Columbus on

My toddlers drink Goat's milk because it's easier to digest than cow's milk.


answers from Spokane on

Go goats milk. Barring that, try rice milks, nut milks, etc. You really shouldn't be giving her so much soy. I know soy is everywhere in our society now, and people say it's such a great thing, but it really isn't, especially in the amounts we as a society use it. I thought it was great too, but my naturopath said it was bad so I started looking at all of the research.

Goats milk does have a strong taste at first but it works well. As for the rice & nut milks, my daughter was on them for some time since she could have no dairy. She really enjoyed them and I still often buy them although we have gone back to dairy. Just buy the vanilla for her instead of plain. You could also make your own at home as well. Also, have you tried probiotics? It's one of the best natural reliefs for constipation. You can find them at your local natural foods store. They have it strengths for children. The one I have is just a powder form that I mix in the kids food everyday and they don't even notice it



answers from Portland on

I would go goat's milk, preferably from a local farm. It's naturally homogenized and is closest to human breast milk. I have issues with regular milk too, but I drink about 1 gallon of goat milk a week and credit it for correcting many of my digestive issues since introducing it to my diet 2 years ago.

I know soy has really permeated the marketplace as a protein rich alternative. I believe it is highly inflammatory and many of the diet and nutrition sources I've read over the years state that the only form it should be consumed in is fermented, such as soy sauce, miso and tempeh. Unless it states the soy is organic, you must assume that it is GMO. GMO soy has been linked to pancreatic and liver failure.


answers from Biloxi on

My son had a cow's milk intolerance when he first switched off formula. I did goat's milk first, then switched to Lactaid. He outgrew the intolerance by the time he was 2 so has been drinking cow's milk for the past 12 years now. But, I have to say that I gave up cow's milk years ago and drink Soy milk exclusively does have protein, and vitamins and all that good stuff.

There is also Almond Milk and Rice Milk on the market now.

Read the labels and compare to cow's milk, try a few and see which one your daughter prefers.



answers from Los Angeles on

Have you given her yogurt? Most people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate yogurt and cheese. There are some who don't consider milk essential to a child's diet, so that's an alternative. Also, lactose intolerant people can drink raw milk (an expensive alternative!). The pasteurization process destroy the enzymes that help you break down milk. There are people who don't think soy is a good alternative, google "The Ploy of Soy".



answers from Kansas City on

I have always used 2% with mt girls. I tried whole milk when my oldest turned 1, but it tore her stomach apart. I switched to 2% and never had anymore problems.



answers from Boston on

It seems like everyone I know is having this issue. My daughter was diagnosed with milk protein allergy when she was only 2 weeks old. Since I wanted to continue breastfeeding, I cut all dairy out of my diet and successfully breastfed exclusively until 8 months (still breastfeeding now). I hope these two articles will help you, the first is on why soy is no good and the second lists some solutions.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have been giving my son Goat's milk since he was a year and he loves it and has no constipation problems or any problems at all. Goat Milk is easier on their stomach's.
I am a huge fan and they also make goat's yogurt.
Good luck!!



answers from Detroit on

Hi Annie---Cows milk is really not for humans. It is made of carefully selected nutrients made to make a baby cow grow very quickly into a big cow that can take care of itself. It is one of the most highly allergenic substances for humans, being a leading risk factor for type 1 diabetes and prostate cancer. Please go to and put dairy in the search box.

Soy is a good alternative as it is fortified and contains lots of great nutrients. Be sure that any soy consumed is organic as soy tends to be a heavily genetically modified food. Other plant based milks are also good, such as almond, rice, hemp and coconut milks, but they all contain different levels of nutrients and calories. Frankly, I would recommend that you simply drink water, as we really don't drink enough of that anyway. We use the plant milks for cereal, smoothies and to cook with. Plain soy is best for cooking, especially when I make mashed potatoes or cream sauces. Soy is perfectly fine as PART of an otherwise healthy diet. Too much of anything is not good under any circumstance. I am referring to negative comments that you are likely to get about soy and the phytoestrogens it contains. These estrogens are the weakest version of what is in the human body and actually helps to prevent disease. Check it out here:

Goats milk is more similar in composition to human milk than cows milk, but it still is animal protein and too much animal protein can lead to degenerative disease ( Lactose free milk is still cows milk and should be avoided as well.

I am working with and taking a series of classes taught by a Naturopath who has her PhD in Nutrition. Dr. Pam's advice is based on long-term research. I have lots of info that I would be glad to share so feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions, particularly on what constitutes an optimal diet and how to get adequate amounts of calcium in the diet. I have lists of the nutrient content of different plant milks as well as foods that contain lots of calcium. Hope this helps. Be well. D.



answers from Washington DC on

Have you asked your doctor and mentioned your concerns? My daughter was on soy-based formula and that was her exclusive food until we added solids etc. If formulas are based on soy, I would think that it's sufficient, especially if she is eating a variety of foods by her age. Your doctor might have insights on soy versus goats milk versus others, and might have specific reasons for suggesting soy as opposed to goats milk, almond milk, etc., so ask.

If you do use goats milk please be sure to check that it's pasteurized!!



answers from Boston on

Please use Goats milk! It is the milk proteins in cows milk that are hard for all humans to digest. Goats milk does not have that same protein, and it's natural! I supplemented my breast milk @ 10 months with goats milk and my son never had a problem and has no allergies to ANYTHING now at 3.5yrs; food or otherwise. He never gets sick, goes to preschool and doesn't pick up what the other kids have and eats like a horse! Please go to goats milk. You can buy it powdered or from a local farm. You can even freeze it in smaller containers if you won't use it fast enough before spoiling. I live in Milford, NH and there is a wonderful woman in Mt Vernon, NH who has a goat farm and can provide you with whatever you need with a couple days notice, give her a week's notice and she'll even have some already frozen so you can stock up for the month. I don't know where you are, but if this is convenient for you you, please contact her. Her name is Mary and her number is ###-###-####. Powdered goats milk has a bit of a "taste" but fresh tastes 99% like cows milk and a friend of mine converted completely when she was nursing her lactose intolerant baby because the lactose in the cows milk she would eat (even in baked goods) went into her breast milk and effected her son. I know people who drive from over an hour away once a month to get milk from Mary. Best of luck!


answers from Dallas on

It's a myth that they need cow milk or any milk for that matter. My son cannot tolerate lactose so I did some research and was happy to find that out.
There is a great liquid product that can be added to milk or any other liquid milk product if she is lactose intolerant. I've made home made ice cream with it.
If you simply want to make sure that she gets the calcium she needs you can give her a calcium chew daily or a tums but most foods contain enough to cover the amount needed.
Water and watered down juice is fine.
Hope this helps,

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