Milk Decisions

by tinysneakers

How you choose to feed & nourish your child is a completely personal {and sometimes difficult} choice.

baby led weaning

From the very beginning decisions can be tough and often criticized.

Formula or breastmilk?

Purees or baby led weaning?

Weaning at 1 or extended nursing?

Cow’s milk or not?’

almond milk for baby

It’s hard to find the right answer. But the thing is, there is no one right answer. You’d think the food part would be easy for me given I’m a dietitian, but feeding a child –especially YOUR child- is one of the biggest responsibilities we have as parents and it is not easy.

This is absolutely most definitely not me telling you what to do or suggesting your choices are better or worse if they’re different than mine- I hope they’re different than mine since we’re raising different kids! Instead, this is what we’re doing right now. And it’s an ongoing process full of constant wondering and questioning. What we’re doing today may change tomorrow. But here’s where we’re at:

Breast milk + almond milk + coconut milk + hemp milk.

Yup, that’s lots-o-milks.

Whether you nursed or formula feed your baby, the 1-year mark is a typical time to transition to milk. But what kind?!

Most people choose whole cow’s milk. I’m not into cow’s milk. Plus, KB is allergic to milk and soy, so it’s not an option regardless of my opinion. Next people turn to almond milk. Maybe rice. Maybe hemp. Each one has it’s downfall. So why choose just one?!

I like almond milk for the flavor.

Hemp milk for the protein.

Coconut milk for the fat.

feeding toddlers

Luckily, we have it pretty easy right now: Kabes is still breastfeeding, so I don’t have to worry so much about the particulars and nutrients. I’m only giving him milk now so it’s not a big transition when he’s ready to wean. Plus, I wanted to take my time introducing each of these new foods because of his allergies. {We started with coconut, then almond, then hemp. Luckily he doesn’t seem to be allergic to nuts- phew!}

He likes the taste of all the milks just fine, but he prefers not to drink them out of sippy cups or straws- we’re having trouble transitioning off the bottle. Ironically, most of the time he will slurp it down through a straw if there’s some blended banana in the mix. He’ll also drink water out of a sippy cup, but he’s usually not very thirsty.

I choose to make the alternative milks KB drinks. I don’t care to give him the additives that are in most store-bought milks, especially carrageenan. When I don’t have a homemade batch on hand, I turn to Whole Foods Unsweetened Almond Milk {carrageenan free}. I frequently use canned coconut {despite potential BPA contamination} because it’s just easier, and I skip the hemp milk if it’s not homemade. Again, I don’t have to worry about these homemade plant-milks not being fortified because he’s still nursing {and he eats solids like a champ}.

Next up we’ll try cashew milk!

For more reading, check out Nutrition for the Breastfeeding Toddler

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 28, 2013 at 8:08 am

The milk debate starts with the breast and continues on! Everyone is different and has different needs. I like that cow’s milk isn’t the only option anymore.

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MIZ February 28, 2013 at 8:13 am

AMEN ANGELA.
and we are still debating hard here.

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Laura @ Mommy Run Fast February 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

This was a stressful decision for me when L turned one, but you’re right- there doesn’t have to be one right answer. I’ve been wanting to try homemade hemp milk…

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Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's February 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm

When raising kids, I have found, everyone wants to shove their opinion (which is obviously the way things should be done) down your throat. I was unable to breastfeed and not for lack of trying, and people made me feel like shit about it.

As long as our kids are healthy, happy and nourished it is up to us on how to do that! 🙂

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie February 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm

It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job! All the decisions make me happy I’m not looking to start having a family for a few years, it must be so overwhelming at first!!

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