Last week the babes and I packed up for a weekend of fun and "baby coaching" with a friend. By "baby coaching," I mean a friend & I sharing what has worked and what has not worked for our kiddos. As we settled in Friday afternoon I made the statement that I could not wait to give Scarlet cow's milk. She immediately said, "why would you give her cow's milk?" I thought for a second and my first answer was that it is cheaper, then because it is just what you do. They turn a year old and you give em' milk. Right? Yeah I thought so. After a brief discussion/speech of her telling me about the origin of the western culture giving cow's milk to babies, and why it was unnecessary, I decided I would do my own research.
Did you know that we (the western culture) are the only people that give their children (another mammals) milk after weaning them? Me neither.
DO you not find it weird that we would wean our babies from OUR OWN milk and give them another mammals milk? I do.
I was under the impression that our children NEEDED cow's milk for calcium as well as other nutrients. I looked into Almond milk and here are some neat facts.
The Nutritional Value of Almond Milk
Almond milk is one of the most nutritionally valuable milk substitutes available today. It is high in a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, iron, fiber, zinc and calcium. Almond milk is low in calories, at only 40 calories per eight ounce serving, and low in fat. It contains only three grams of fat per eight ounce serving. Almond milk is lactose, gluten, casein and cholesterol free; it's also free of saturated fats. (source)
I also really like this info -Compared to cow's milk, almond milk is the much healthier choice. Almond milk contains a wide variety of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. Almond milk also contains high levels of antioxidants, so it can help prevent many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging. Almond milk is also great for those who can't drink cow's milk due to lactose intolerance, or a casein or gluten allergy; however, those with tree nut allergies should avoid almond milk because it could elicit a dangerous allergic reaction.
Whole cow's milk contains a lot more calories and fat than almond milk, making almond milk the better choice for those on a diet. Cow's milk also contains saturated fat and cholesterol; almond milk is free of both saturated fat and cholesterol, making it a healthier choice, especially for those with heart problems.
While cow's milk contains high levels of calcium, and is fortified with vitamins A and D to help you meet your daily requirements of these vitamins, almond milk contains high levels of a wide range of necessary vitamins and therefore has a higher nutritional value than cow's milk. The only thing that cow's milk has more of than almond milk is protein; cow's milk has eight grams of protein per serving while almond milk has only one gram per serving. (source)
Here are a few interesting tidbits for those of you that say our calcium comes from cow's milk.
Did you know that 1 cup of cooked broccoli has the same amount of calcium as an 8oz. glass of milk? I didn't
Did you know that these food are very calcium rich?
1 cup tofu
1 cup cooked collard greens (mmmmmm)
1 1/2 cups calcium-fortified oatmeal
1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice
10 medium figs (I love figs!)
1 cup cooked spinach (& spinach)
1 cup cooked white beans (& beans :) )
I didn't know that either.
(See, I wanna make her healthier than I am)
Now, at the end of the day I am not doing this because I want my kid to be Vegan, Gluten free, sugar free, or anything "free." I just want to choose the healthy option for her while I can. Not to say that I wouldn't hand my child a Kraft single while driving from Birmingham to Orange Beach and tell her to have fun. In the long run, I feel creeped out by the whole "milk" thing, by the fact that we (at some point) took our kids off the breast to basically put them on another animals breast and that, I find WEIRD. What are your thoughts on this, and have you EVER heard such a thing? I am glad I have read up and made a decision for our family but what do you do for yours?