Posts Tagged ‘calcium’

Milk Options After Weaning

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Milk Options After WeaningNursing a baby for any amount of time is a labor of love. A woman’s body was made to nourish her baby, but it is not always an easy journey. In my first experience, I nursed my daughter for 13 months. While it was an amazing journey of bonding and growing together, it was not easy. When my daughter’s first birthday approached, I began to consider milk options to use after weaning.

Weaning is not always an easy process. It was an emotional choice for me: I knew my past health concerns, and we were ready for another baby to love on. Weaning should be a gradual process to ensure that baby transitions well and mom can handle the changes.

Cow’s Milk: Cow’s milk is the choice many mom’s go to after weaning. With my daughter, we introduced cow’s milk around 1 year of age. Cow’s milk is important for baby’s brain growth. Cow’s milk is full of calcium and vitamin D, which are great for baby’s growth and development. It’s important to limit the amount of milk your child is getting so that they are still eating nutritious meals and getting the nutrients they need. Cow’s milk is not as easy for baby to digest. My daughter has had some digestive issues since we introduced cow’s milk, so I recommend starting it with caution.

Almond Milk:  Another option for baby is coconut milk. If baby is lactose intolerant this is a good choice. Just be careful and choose an unsweetened milk, so that baby doesn’t get too much sugar in their diet. Almond milk contains as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. It is also full of other vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Almond milk is lower in calories than regular cow’s milk.

Soy Milk: Soy milk is a choice some parents make for children who have a harder time digesting regular cow’s milk. It is important to choose a soy milk that is calcium fortified, because soybeans contain phytates which can lower calcium absorption in your little one. It’s important to get your pediatrician’s advice before offering soy milk as an alternative. It is lower in calories, fats, and proteins when compared to regular cow’s milk. If you choose soy milk, make sure your child is still getting plenty of calcium from other sources like yogurt or cheese.

Children ages 1-3 need 500 mg of calcium per day, so make sure you choose the milk that is right for your toddler. There are several choices, so do your research and make an educated decision. Whatever you choose, you are still nourishing your little one and doing what’s best for them. Offer milk to your little one in a fun cup and let the new milk adventure begin!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana.  She loves breastfeeding and thinks you should nurse as long as possible, but she knows her little ones eventually will grow up.