NUT MILKS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE BABY FORMULA!!!
Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on August 12, 2013
Over the years posting nut information on this blog, I’ve noticed the items that receive the most response are those that discuss nut allergies and some of the allergic reactions people have experienced from consuming nuts.
I usually address these by replying to comments people post on the blog. However, I recently received an email from a concerned Mom of a 13-month-old boy. This caring mom was breast-feeding her son for 9 months until she became pregnant and lost her milk supply.
Apparently, she turned to a cow’s milk formula and became concerned when her son developed a nasty diaper rash that would never clear up. She suspected the child may have an intolerance and sensitivity to dairy and began preparing various nut milks for him, one day making almond milk, another hazelnut, or macadamia milk using 1 to 2 cups of nuts to 4 cups of water.
She read my blog post on Brazil nuts and the many many comments people wrote in discussing their unpleasant reactions caused by the nuts and decided Brazil nuts were not a good idea for nut milk. I totally agree with that decision.
Wanting to be sure her son was getting enough of the proper fats and nutrition in his diet, she began to question whether nut milks in general were an appropriate substitute for baby formula. She was adamant she did not want to return to cow’s milk formula and asked me if I had any resources she could research for proper baby/toddler diets.
Because this issue is so important to the healthy growth of her young child, I knew I was not qualified to address this with the wisdom it needed. I turned to my friend Vesanto Melina, MS, RD who kindly answered my call for help.
“This family should definitely be using fortified nondairy milks–not nut milks for their little boy.
Fortified soymilk or infant formula are the only cow’s milk alternatives recommended before age 2
as these have enough calcium and vitamin D (and other nutrients) which nut milks made from nuts do not.
She should not be afraid of soy; the anti-soy hype comes from the dairy industry-related folks and is unfounded.
If she is concerned and does not want to use soy or dairy I could do a consultation with her
and figure out some options that work and are entirely nutritionally adequate for her son.”
If you or anyone you know might be struggling with a similar issue, registered dietician Vesanto Melina would be happy to consult and can be reached at her website Nutrispeak.
Some parents of infants may have read articles about soy that suggest it is an unhealthful food. Addressing this topic, Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, writes in her book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, “The media have propagated concerns about soy’s effect on hormones. You may have heard how soy consumption decreases fertility or gives a male ‘man-boobs.’ But no solid evidence supports these assertions.
“Similarly, fears circulated that soy-based infant formulas led to problems with sexual development, brain function, immunity, and future reproduction. No conclusive evidence supports these claims, either. Most experts are confident in recommending soy-based formulas.”
Because of its purity, several vegan moms recommend Baby’s Own Organic soy formula made for babies 1 year or older. This formula contains no GMOs and is the only formula that does not contain corn syrup, also called glucose syrup. It also does not contain ingredients like organic palm olein oil or hexane processed DHA.
Nutritional Comparison Chart -Soy Pediatric Formula is an excellent chart comparing the nutritional profile of several soy formulas with human breast milk and cow’s milk.
In their book Becoming Vegan, authors Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, both registered dieticians write, “The rationale for using formula in the 12-24 month period is that commercial formulas are modeled after breast milk and thus include most of the nutrients provided by breast milk (with the exception of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) in amounts that are especially suited to the growth and development needs of infants.”
Most parents are aware that for feeding infants, there is no true replacement for the many benefits of breast milk. John McDougall, MD, extolls the virtues of breastfeeding in his Dr. McDougall’s Moments video, calling it the best and safest food for babies. In his video, he tells his audience that breast milk is always the perfect temperature, it’s clean, comforting, and is always free.