The Deal on Dairy

May 21, 2009 at 10:24 am Leave a comment


This lassi is a great alternative to milk, the recipe is below!

This lassi is a great alternative to milk, the easy recipe is below!

So here’s the deal on Dairy… Dairy, milk especially, can be pretty controversial; I mean we are the only species that drinks dairy from another species throughout life.  So is it good for us?  Before I get started on the dairy dilemma, here is the introduction schedule for dairy for your baby

10 months – yogurt, hard cheese, kefir (cow and goat)

1 year – cow’s milk, goat’s milk

Cow’s milk contains a dense protein that is very large and very difficult to digest.  For babies, introducing milk too early can cause lifelong problems with dairy as an allergy or intolerance can develop.  By the time a child is a year old, the stomach lining is less porous and the milk protein is digested (somewhat) and there is a lower chance of an allergy developing.  This is why it is very important to NOT introduce cow’s milk before a year.  Goat’s milk is slightly more digestible, but still it is safest to wait a year before introducing goat’s milk to your child.

Yogurt, kefir and hard cheese are introduced at 10 months because they are partially digested.  The probiotics in yogurt and kefir partially digest the milk sugars and proteins for better digestion.  The aging process in hard cheese also helps break down the sugars and proteins in the cheese.  Also the minerals (Calcium, Magnesium) are better absorbed by the body thanks to the probiotics and the aging process. By the way, I am sure you realize that I am not talking about cheese slices; they should never be a part of anyone’s diet (!)

Always choose a high-fat dairy product for your child.  The brain is mostly fat and the saturated fat in organic dairy products are well assimilated by the body.  Also, the body better absorbs calcium with the presence of fat (!!), so eating a higher fat dairy product is overall the best choice, for you and your baby.  Now don’t panic here mothers, drinking or eating a high fat milk product like yogurt or cheese is not going to cause you to gain weight.  The 3% fat in the yogurt is not what clings to your thighs, it’s the french fry/potato chip/cookies fat (!)

Always choose an organic dairy product for your child. These days cattle are injected with extra estrogen to help them produce more milk.  Choosing an organic dairy product ensures that your child does not get an over exposure to estrogen which can cause an early onset of puberty, disruption of the hormone cycle and other ailments.

Although I have stated above that you can introduce milk at one year, I would like you to reconsider.

It is a cultural norm to give kids milk, but I honestly wonder why we do so.   “The calcium absorption from milk is (only) 32%, while the calcium absorption from broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, mustard greens and turnip greens ranges from 40 to 64%” (Dr. Letitia G. Rao).  Milk blocks iron absorption. For growing children it is important that if you are giving them milk that it is limited to once a day to prevent anemia.  The incidence of osteoporosis is lower in eastern countries where milk is not a staple of the diet, compared to the rates of osteoporosis in North America and Europe. Milk is mucus-forming and has been linked to upper-respiratory infections and glue ear an ailment that affects young children.

I suggest that when it comes to dairy you follow these guidelines

  • Introduce your child to organic plain high fat yogurt or kefir.   It is a better source of minerals, healthy probiotics and mixed with fresh fruit it is delicious
  • Do not introduce milk until your child is one year old & if you want to give your child milk, give it sparingly.  Do not let it replace a meal or snack.  No more than once a day.
  • Rotate the following milks into your child’s diet: organic soy, almond and rice milks, cow’s milk and goat’s milk.  Rotating helps prevent allergies and also exposes your child to different vitamins and minerals from each different ‘milk’ product.

Here is my version of a lassi.  This is a great drink for your child & if you puree the fruit separately it will work with a sippy cup.

Laurie’s Lassi

1/2 C yogurt

1/2 C water

3 T pureed fruit

Puree the fruit separately until it is very smooth.  Mix together the fruit, water and yogurt.  Blend in a blender or shake in a sealed jar  (I use my Tupperware Quick Shake Container).  Pour into your child’s cup and serve!  Yummy!

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Entry filed under: 1 Year, 10 months, Allergies, Drinks. Tags: , , , .

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