Soy Protein Bad for Kids?

Updated on August 23, 2008
S.R. asks from Canton, MI
13 answers

I asked a question this morning about fast breakfast foods. A lot of people recommend foods that are high in soy protein. Lately I've heard that its not good for kids, but good for adults and women in particular. Any one know any more??? Its nearly impossible to avoid in meal bars.

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So What Happened?

Well! Its seems pretty clear there are no definitive answers, and a lot of opinions about soy! Which is what I was getting from my Googling. Thanks everyone for taking time to answer. I feel pretty safe with organic soy in moderation for my whole family.

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answers from Detroit on

Peanut butter balls!!! My kids love them. you can make a big batch and keed them in the fridge/freezer and they are ready to go!!

Peanut Butter Balls

3 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups honey
6 cups oatmeal
3 cups dry milk
1/3 cup flax seed

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then together. Form into balls. Store in freezer either the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 50 golf ball size balls.

You can also add raisins, cranberries, coconut, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts, really anything that you like. You can also roll the balls in cinnamon and sugar, or baking chocolate!


1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Kalamazoo on

I was raised as a vegetarian and ate LOTS of soy and gluten protein growing up. It didn't seem to have any negative affects on me or my siblings. We still eat it today and feed it to our 18 month old who is growing tall and strong. I would not worry about it. Soy is a wonderful protein and as long as there are no allergies I would continue to use it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I am adding information to my first post of this morning. I CANNOT stress enough that soy is NOT bad for anyone. Please go and put 'soy' in the search box. Here is a brief sample of what you can read: New Study: Soy Improves Prostate Cancer Outlook; Soy Foods Lower the Risk for Ovarian Cancer; Soy and breast cancer: Researchers believe that certain chemicals in soybeans called isoflavones are responsible for the reduced risk for breast cancer among Asian women.16 Isoflavones are phytoestrogens (phyto means "plant"). They keep estrogen levels under control, as they can act like a weak estrogen when body estrogen levels are low and can inhibit estrogen’s effects when body estrogen levels are high.17

The question of whether soy consumption may contribute to an increased cancer risk due to estrogenic effects has been raised.18,19 However, there is evidence that consuming soy at a young age reduces cancer risk later in life.20 Other studies have found no effect or a favorable effect on breast tissue density in women consuming soy.21.

Lastly, another source, respected pediatrician, Dr. William Sears, author of 30+ book and contributor to Parents and Baby Talk magazines has a huge section on soy. Go to to learn more. I don't want to be negative about any other group, but I must say something when that group puts out potentially incorrect information. If you have any questions about the Weston Price Foundation, I can give you background information which raises questions about their advice on soy. A good place to start is to read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.

Hi S.---Soy is a wonderful health food. But you must be sure that it is organic as it is one of the foods, along with corn, that is genetically modified.

Good quality soy is for everyone. Contact me and I will share my files with you. That being said, too much of anything is probably not good for any person. But as for the phyto estrogens, yes, soy, along with flax and chickpeas, all contain phytoestrogens. But, from a quality, organic source, it is helpful in the body because it is a much weaker estrogen and fills the estrogen receptors in the breast so that the stronger, more harmful estrogens do not go there. A breast cancer radiologist, Dr. Delia Garcia in St. Louis, a founding memeber of the Susan G. Komen foundation, recommends a soy based protein drink to her patients. Do the people who warn of soy also say to stay away from flax and chickpeas? I don't think so.

Please contact me for more information. It is really hard to make an informed decision as there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. Good luck and I hope to talk to you soon. In health, D. ###-###-####

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on


I remember reading your question yesterday and never got around to responding. I did, however, notice how a lot (not all) of the advice centered on 'processed' foods. Most of the soy that is/has been hyped as a 'health food' is, in fact a processed food as well. Like another responder explained, it comes from soy crops that are genetically modified to mass produce the ingredient cheaply. It has become the new filler corn became 20+ years ago...only today's savvy marketers have proclaimed it to be 'healthy' through huge amounts of advertising. And if there is still doubt about it beng not-so-good-for-you, it is also full of phytoestrogens that could possibly screw up any woman's/girl's/man's/boy's/baby's hormonal balance and development. You are smart to be suspect. As they say,"when in doubt, don't". And my theory about food is I will eat it only if I can identify all the ingredients as things that are natural/I could get my hands on and make myself in my own kitchen (ie. expeller pressed oils, butter, flour, eggs, nuts, grains, etc.).

As a follow up to your original question yesterday, I would take your son to Trader Joes with you and have him help you pick out items he shows an interest in. You will be hard pressed to find anything with high fructose corn syrup in it (not to mention anything hydrogenated). Many of their items include a lot of whole grains/nuts/etc. Look out, however, for that soy protein that is found in most "high protein" cereals. Whole Foods also has great choices but Trader Joes is ridiculously affordable!
A couple ideas too...If he likes hard-boiled eggs, they are great to have on hand and the organic ones offer added omega-3 (impotant for focus/concentration)and are a super-cheap form of protein. I like to make a huge triple batch of multigrain pancakes on the weekend (adding chocolate chips to some, leaving some plain, and fruit to others) that I then freeze in bags of two or three/separated by wax paper. We pull them out and eat them cold/room temp once thawed with no syrup needed. We do the same with waffles. I also like to make huge batches of oatmeal cookies studded with crushed almonds/ranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, etc., and/or peanut-butter cookies made from a recipe calling for natural peanut butter. If he likes dairy, make a batch of rice pudding (seriously so easy) with raisins in idividual little ramekins. And yogurt or smoothies are a good ghoice too (the brands at Trader Joes/Whole Foods have active probiotics for his immune system and are void of any high fructose corn syrup). These are all ideas that would be way healthier than a box/bag of anything made by Carnation, Keloggs, etc. They will sustain him longer and are eay to grab quickly as he's running out the door. Just be sure to mix it up during the week or he will grow to hate even the yummiest things...making you have to figure everything out all over again.
Good luck and hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Well, soy like anything can be contraversial. It's like coffee one week it's good and another week is bad. Who knows what the truth is?????
But I do know that soy is a protein and just as we don't give our babies milk until age one because they are not able to break down the proteins yet, it is the same with soy.
It's not that it is bad it's just that they have to be able to break it down and process it.
I think your kids are old enough now that you don't need to worry but like everything else use in moderation.
I think you kids will be fine.



answers from Detroit on

I am actually reading that soy milk can cause allergies for infants. As for the rest: I highly recommend that if you are trying to keep your kids in a nutritious diet (and be timely about it) then see a Nutritionist in your area as they will be up-to-date on the most current AND correct information.

As a therapist, I subscribe to some health magazines and get many email updates that doctors get - the email updates I had coming before I became a therapist as I took the nastiest drugs, and wanted to be 'on-top' of the medical world and some I knew of before my doctor, strangely enough! LOL~ (came in on the beloved palm pilots we both have!)

Or, just stick with raw fruit for breakfast and add in the raw veggies for a snack - just as nature intends and all will be just fine (lots of proteins are found in a vegans diet!)

Best of luck



answers from Detroit on

You are wise to question the wide spread use of soy protein - not only in breakfast bars, but in so many other foods. What you are starting ti hear about the risks of soy apply to everyone- not just children. Soy is one of the two most genetically-engineered foods from the food industry, the next being corn.
What benefits that can be derived from soy are from organic fermented soy products, like miso, and in very, very small amounts -like a condiment.
For more info. on soy that is not funded by the soy or food industry please check out, WWW.WESTONAPRICE.ORG
Also, for a fast breakfast food, eggs are the best!



answers from Benton Harbor on

I love soy and do not shy away from it for my family. I think that common sense has to come in to the equation. Even things that are good for you, and essential for life, can be harmful or fatal in extreme doses. It seems to me like the common denomonator in all the media hype is 'in moderation'. I try to teach that to my children as well. Of course, I am not going to give them things that are proven harmful, but try to steer clear of the 'one day it's great, the next it's deadly' mindset!




answers from Saginaw on

Hello S., Soy beans are a lugume, which are in the same family as peas and peanuts. Their protien is very simulare, so if you develope an allergy to one, the others will cause problems also. With the rise in peanut allergies in children, I firmly believe that the soy formulas in infancy are a direct cause to the problem. When my son was an infant he was severly allergic to soy formula, guess what, he could not have peas either. I stayed away from peanuts all together. Just so you know it is the protien in something that the ammune system attacks, causing an allergy. Good luck.



answers from Detroit on

Hi S.!
Yes soy is bad in my opinion. I've read many articles that soy is not good for anyone. What I have learned is that fermented so is okay, like Miso, Natto, Tempeh. I've only tried Miso. If we buy something with soy in it, it has to be organic and/or non-gmo soy. I'm sure if you do some "Googling" you could find something. I will look through my info too to let you informed.
I don't think soy is good for kids, boys or girls because of the phytoestrogens.



answers from Detroit on

I have heard the same, that soy should be avoided because of the phytoestrogens.

The studies on these types of things are very confusing, and I honestly don't think the 'average' person can figure out what you should or should not eat. I'm sure others will reply that it's great for kids. Personally, as an 'average' person, I rely on my sister who is a physician to decipher the studies for me and filter out the media (who often simplify the facts and make things worse). I think soy is to be avoided...



answers from Jackson on

Hi S.! Wow you asked a good and provocative question!

I have a couple of great CDs about 'are all soys created equal'. Would you like me to send those to you? How soy is prepared is crucial and these CDs talk about that.




answers from Cincinnati on

Too much soy is not good for anyone, adult or child. First, it has the highest rate of genetically engineered seeds. Most of the soy you get will be from genetically engineered seeds. Just an FYI on GEI's ... the FDA does not regulate them like other food additives. GEI's (genetically engineered ingredients) are considered 'substantially equivalent' to the real natural thing. So, there is VERY LITTLE regulation, and very little testing. If you start looking up affects of GEI's, you will start to find some rather disturbing things. There are mysterious diseases that are cropping up, no one can figure out what they are, and they are not fun.

Also, there is more research to suggest that too much soy for women in particular is not good. The phytoestrogens do not react well in our bodies and have been causing all sorts of nasties. Sort of like many of the side affects of hormone replacement therapy. Too much of a good thing, ya know.

We try to avoid soy as much as possible. It IS hard to do, as it is in everything! Kind of like corn syrup, (which by the way is has the second highest rate of GEI, corn).

There are plenty of things you can make for your LO's without going store bought. Scrambled egg, eggy fingers (french toast cut into strips), warm fruit and oatmeal, you can easily make some breakfast bars. I know it sounds like a lot.... but things like breakfast bars or muffins you can make on the weekend, or in the evenings and then store them for the week. Really, stuff like that take minimal time. Particularly muffins. You can have a batch of those made up in about 45 minutes, start to finish.

Good luck!

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