Soy Milk 411 - Columbus,OH

Updated on December 21, 2009
K.P. asks from Columbus, OH
21 answers

My son got a bad rash while drinking cow's milk, just before his first birthday. the doc suggested i try soy milk, but i've heard some negative info about soy milk...estrogen and not having the vitamins he needs...does anyone know of any helpful info about soy milk and whether it's ok to give my 1 year old son? also, he loved the yobaby yogurt--didn't seem to have much problem with eating that, but the doc said to stay away from all milk products until he's 18 months. does anyone know of other good "milk-free" stuff out there that i can offer to a 1 year old?
thanks, K. :)

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M.F.

answers from Dayton on

Hi!
I have a 26month old with a milk-protein allergy. At first, we dried a pediatric soy drink that you can get at the grocery store - in the same aisle with the formula. it is expensive, but it is chock full of vitamins and minerals - better than just plain soy milk.

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K.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

My son is allergic to casein, so any dairy products are out of the question for him. He is three years old and He drinks either Neocate formula (we obtain it from WIC), or Enriched Vanilla Rice Milk.

I'd try to find Neocate if possible. It's expensive, but it's very nutritionally sound.

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R.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Ok, I know I'm probably going to be the only on here saying this... but he doesn't really NEED the milk.

The only vitamins he really gets from milk are calcium and vitamin D. The other thing milk offers is fat. All of these are available from other sources.

Vitamin D can be purchased at any drug store in liquid form. I give it to my daughter daily in the fall and winter months because there just isn't enough exposure to sunlight for our bodies to produce the needed amounts of vitamin D. I take it as well.

To get the calcium, there are many sources. Papaya, broccoli, kale, various beans, etc... You can find sources that are easily fed to a 1 year old, plus you'll be introducing lots of new foods and expanding his food choices.

Fat: Cod Liver Oil. Nordic Naturals is one of the best brands of Cod Liver Oil. This has all the essential fats kids need for their growing brains and bodies. Nordic Naturals even has some that also has the addition of Vitamin D. :-) It comes in different flavors... like peach, strawberry, lemon, citrus. I've been giving my daughter a daily dose since she was 13 months old. She loves it.

With a little thought and ingenuity, you can avoid milk products until your son can tolerate them. Then, you can add things like yogurt and cheese. Milk just isn't necessary.

In my opinion, pediatricians push this because most parents aren't willing to look at the alternative options to provide their kids with the things milk provides. They want a 'one stop shop'. In reality, the milk we drink today is NOT the milk our grandparents drank which did have many health benefits. Today, the pasteurization process and homogenization process strip our milk of all the good nutrients it used to have... which is why milk is called 'fortified'. They have to add some of the nutrients back into the milk. Anyway, I'll get off my soap box.

I hope I offered some alternatives that can work for you and your son. :-)

1 mom found this helpful
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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

First, processed and aged milk can affect children much differently. So, if he doesn't have issues (stomach pain, rash, loose poo, etc...) you can probably keep giving him yogurt and cheese.
I keep going back and forth on the soy milk issue. Really, the best thing for him would be goat's or buffalo's milk. They are VERY close to human milk and tend to be well-tolerated. But they aren't cheap and can be hard to find. Soy milk is pretty cheap, but almond milk is probably better for him. It's really high in calcium and has good fats. You can find it non-refrigerated with soy milk, rice milk, etc...
Most kids grow out of cow-milk intolerance, so if you use soy, you can assume it won't be forever.

Use this for recipes:
http://allrecipes.com/Search/Ingredients.aspx

Type in a few ingredients you have to use and put milk in the "don't include" list and it will give you LOTS of things you can cook milk-free.

This is another good site:
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/recipes.html

Good Luck:)

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J.R.

answers from Toledo on

I'm in the middle of a research product on proposed health benefits of soy for my dietetics internship. The evidence supports soy's ability to lower total cholesterol and LDL, and that's it is an appropriate substitute for animal protein sources; however, the other health claims such as the estrogen stuff and other things are not supported by scientific evidence. there is a ton of soy research going on about soy right now, but the jury is still out on most of soy's proposed benefits. Regarding kids, it seems to be safe, but again, research isn't 100% conclusive yet.
I don't know a lot about the other non dairy products for babies, though.
Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

our daughter was lactose intolerant until about age 3. We used Lactaid or Dairy Ease when she had milk, used soy formula for her "milk" and when our family had ice cream, she got a bowl of non-dairy cool whip. She loved it. :)

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B.W.

answers from Dayton on

my children love almond milk.

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A.H.

answers from Columbus on

My son has a dairy sensitivity also. My pediatrician recommended Hemp Milk, and he has done great on it. My Kroger's carries it and you can also get it at Whole Foods.
I still give my son yogurt and cheese in moderation, and he does fine.
For more information check out this website:
http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ExecMacro/l...

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D.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

Lactose intolerance is genetic. If he has it, he won't grow out of it. In fact, only one small mediterranean population has the gene to be lactose tolerant.

If you're really concerned, contact the Dietician at your local hospital and ask. They should be more than willing to answer a question like that for free. Or, speak with a pharmacist, they can look at the different ingredients and see if there's anything that might be aggravating to your son.

How does soy milk have estrogen in it? It would make more sense from an animal based milk, but not a plant-based milk.
There is also rice milk. My niece had to drink it for a while when they were trying to figure out a rash (ended-up being stress at 18 months from a day care class she didn't like). You can get rice milk in many different flavors.

But, my recommendation would be to first, verify the source of the information (negative info - if it's on a forum like this, it could be speculation. if it's on a forum of licensed dieticians, American Academy of Pediatrics, etc. it's much more valid). Second, contact someone, a health care provider of some sort, who can medically answer the question.

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M.L.

answers from Columbus on

I've been drinking soy milk for years-Silk-Plain-Light is my favorite. 1st Continent-same flavor is good, too. My sister's son started on breast milk and then she went to soy milk and then almond milk for him. He's a healthy 2 1/2 year old. Soy milk should have the same vitamins as regular milk, with less sugar. You just aren't suppose to have too much soy in your diet-edamame, kashi products, yobaby, etc. have soy as do many other products. If you do a lot of those items, then I'd try the almond milk. Otherwise a yobaby and a reasonable amount of milk each day should be fine.

N.V.

answers from Columbus on

I agree w/ Renee H. below that, we do not NEED the milk that is pushed on us -- it has been stripped, and also, some studies show that the calcium isn't even the type that our bodies need or can readily absorb.
However, when it comes to soy, we need to remember MODERATION -- it seems like every time an American sees the media that we 'need Vit D or omega-3's or whatever' in our diet, they rush out and try to take a bunch of whatever is reported. The truth is, we need certain amounts of every nutrient, but it needs to be in moderation, and in balance with our body. That's where vegan diets and heavy soy users get into trouble and make a bad name for soy to everyone.
The way soy is processed is also important. There are good and bad ways to process soy.
Below are some links of articles & studies that speak on behalf of soy.
I know
I have much more information than this if you're interested:

18-Jun-2009
Isoflavones are safe and effective, say academics
Emerging human studies in isoflavones demonstrating the “modest but valuable benefit for menopause relief” presented at a symposium of almost 20 isoflavone experts in Italy should dismiss animal studies that have questioned the safety of the antioxidants, according to the US Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Isoflavones-...

01-Jun-2009
Teen soy intake linked to lower breast cancer risk
High intakes of soy during adolescence may reduce the risk of breast cancer before the menopause by about 40 per cent, according to new data
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Teen-soy-int...

21-Apr-2009
Soy and breast cancer – isoflavones don’t affect breast density, says trial
Soy isoflavones do not increase or decrease the density of breasts, say results of a new clinical trial from the US that support the safety of the supplements
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Soy-and-brea...

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S.P.

answers from Cleveland on

my daughter drinks organic unsweetened soymilk either silk or whole foods brand (from the dairy case) and loves it, she also loves soybeans. we give her yogurt and cheese in moderation...she gets a rash if she has too much. just make sure soy products are organic. good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Cleveland on

All three of my children drink Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk and love it (they are all allergic to dairy). I also drank the Soy Milk when I was nursing the second two children (we didn't discover the milk allergy for the oldest until she was about 10 months old). It was recommeded by my pediatrician too. And I agree with the mom that said, kids do not necessarily need cows milk or cows milk products - there are many other sources of calcium. I have also heard some statements about soy milk having too much "estrogen", but it didn't effect me and I drank it (and still do sometimes) for a year when nursing my son (and six months when nursing my daughter (the middle child).

I think soy milk is more palatable than rice milk, but if you can get your child to drink rice milk, it is a good alternative. And you should check with the pediatrician about the lactaid, because it may not be a lactose intoleranc,(my childen's dairy allergy is to milk protein not lactose) so if it's not lactose intolerance, lactaid probably wouldn't help (it does contain some dairy).

Hope this helps. If you are trying to go totally dairy free for him, then you should check out godairyfree.com - very helpful website.

Good luck.

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J.G.

answers from Columbus on

I vote for rice milk or almond milk. My son loved it and it lasts a long time in the fridge. Rice milk comes in many flavors, and even organic. It provides the calcium he needs, just not as much protein as milk, but sounds like he can get that from yogurt...or beans, meat, etc.

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L.T.

answers from Dayton on

I would NOT do soy! I would do rice milk.

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A.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Hi K.!
I get so frustrated with reading some of these responses defending soy. People need to do their research. The ONLY soy that is safe is the fermented variety which includes soy sauce, miso and the like. NOT SOYMILK, soy cheese, soy sour cream, veggies burgers, etc.

Soy is an endocrine disruptor. It does cause high estrogen levels in the body. Soy is attributed to excessive weight gain, breast cancer, thyroid disease (high instances in boys), early puberty, and inhibited brain developement.

Soy was never intended to be consumed the way we do today. Even in ancient Asia, soy was carefully fermented to remove the toxins before eating.

I did alot of research on soy after I started having migraines, extreme periods, unexplained lumps under my arms and in my breasts and THEN gained 11 pounds in 8 days while on a soy protein shake. I cut soy out of my diet and soon after all my symptoms disappeared. I still have thyroid problems stemming from my vegan days and eating small amounts of soy products every day.

My daughter had the same problems as your son while drinking cow's milk. We switched to goat's milk and the difference was astounding!
You can also try hemp milk or hazelnut milk. I personally, can't stand milk and get my healthy fats and calcium from other sources.

Renee H had great advice! Also, organic soy milk is still not fermented and still over processed.

Good luck in your decision!

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R.C.

answers from Lafayette on

My 15 mo. old son is intolerant to the protein in cow's milk and has been since birth. I had the same concerns about soy milk and what to start him on at 12 mo. His pediatrician said that there are no real findings that soy milk is bad for boys and he recommended that is what we try. So we did and my son absolutely loves it. He is not picky about food/drink, so I guess I wasn't surprised that he drinks it with no problem. We have also tried rice milk, which he took just fine. I personally thought it tasted bad and it didn't have the protein that soy milk has, so we have stayed with soy. It's also cheaper then rice milk. Silk makes other things such as yogurt that is pretty good but you can't find it regular grocery stores. Check with health food stores for soy and other alternatives. Good luck!

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P.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

I would not give soy milk to my son at any age!

I would use goat milk (and did, supplementing my low breast milk supply since he was 4 months old), which you should be able to find in any grocery store (quart size) including Walmart grocery stores. The protein in the goat milk is smaller and easier for babies to digest.

Now at 3, he drinks cow milk daily. He probably started drinking it in small amounts from about 18 months. Now he drinks it at will, but only likes the way it tastes on cereal or as chocolate milk.

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J.N.

answers from Dayton on

I would DEFINATELY NOT use soy milk. It has hormonal properties that you would not want to expose your son to. I would use goat's milk preferably. I have also used fortified rice milk, but goats milk is better. It is available at Kroger in the natural foods section.

The health food stores also have rice cheese and rice yogurt. I would completely eliminate all milk products to see what happens and then SLOWLY add them back in when your dr recommends. My son had what was thought to be a milk allergy (and he may have) so we eliminated everything, waited, then added back in slowly . . . one thing per week or two before going to regular cow's milk. For example, we'd add back things made with milk, like pancakes, etc. then cheese then yogurt then milk.

Our son has outgrown his allergy, so hopefully yours will too!!

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M.B.

answers from Columbus on

Hi K.,
My youngest son is almost two and has the same problem. He also got other symptoms such as upset stomach and crankiness so we switched to soy. Soy and milk both have similar protiens and the soy upset him as well so we now do only rice milk. He is used to it and even though it tastes very different to me he has only known that as his milk and drinks it happily. he also had no problem with yogurt and still has a little every now and then with no problems...still not sure why that is. He can also do small amounts of icecream and cheese with little problem it's just the straight milk that is the problem.
As far as the negative comments about soy I have read up on them as well. It seems the general problem stems from genetically engineered soy so using it in moderation when it is organic or marked non-gmo soy is supposedly okay. Trader joes has the cheapest rice and soy products around along with other non-gmo products if you live near one! Good luck!
M.

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