My son is 19 months old and has been drinking soy milk for several months as his dermatologist recommended due to his eczema. His eczema seems to improve. Recently he has been sick a lot and I took him to see his Pediatrician. However, his Pediatrician is longer practiced with the group; therefore, he was seen by other doctor who is in the same group. One of my questions I asked was does soy milk has the same amount of nutritional values as whole milk. She replied that I should avoid whole milk and soy milk completely. When a baby is one year or older, he doesn't not need whole milk any more. Instead of getting calcium and vitamins from milk, he can get those from orange juice, Tums, Multi-Vitamins and Vitamin C. Any advice?
Your doctor's advice sounds a bit biased. Many people are quick to finger dairy products as increasing mucous production in the body and triggering allergies, but this is not the case with everyone and there have been no definitive studies demonstrating this cause and effect. Orange juice fortified with calcium seems a reasonable option, but Tums and/or supplements for a 19-month old ? Why bring up a child to swallow tablets for sustenance ? How about some "real food" calcium-rich alternatives like yogurt or cheese (cow or goat milk varieties), tofu, fish such as sardines, mackerel or salmon, or green veggies like collard greens, spinach or broccoli ? Another important consideration is that whole milk provides a regular source of dietary fat to under-twos which is critical for brain development.
We have had allergy concerns with our 2.5 year old (her father is asthmatic and has many many allergies), so from the age of one she drank 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 soy milk (make sure you buy it fortified w/ calcium, vitamins A & D), and since she turned two we switched her to a low-fat milk/soy milk blend. From the above list, our daughter loves salmon, sardines and string cheese, tolerates tofu and the green veggies, and burned out on yogurt after eating a lot of it. Time will tell whether she will develop allergies, and if certain dairy products may be a problem for her, but so far she's been remarkably healthy. Good luck !
According to Sally Fallon in NOURISHING TRADITIONS, the only animal milk fit for human consumption, if tolerated, is unhomogenized, unpasteurized organic milk (see earlier comments on this topic as to why). This 1995 classic is now available at Wild Oats Market on University.
As to the "enriched soy milk" suggestion: Ms. Fallon writes: Artifical vitamin D [has been] shown to be toxic to the arteries and kidneys...it has been linked to hyperactivity and other allergic reactions." This may be a clue for the mom who mentioned her son's eczema. She also needs to know that serum tests are notoriously inconclusive. The only real method to diagnose a food allergy is total removal for 3-6 weeks and adding back the suspected food by itself to monitor the response (an elimination and provocation diet). Often the food that is craved is the allergen. I would like to know more about the food allergies web site she mentioned.
Yes, there can be particular reasons for not going to soy- allergies are common (but so are milk product allergies), much soy is produced with lots of pesticides (so buy organic, thank you) and it can be just plain indigestible for the very young (both our kids were kind of colicy if they got any soy before age 1 or so). That's important to know- no food is perfect (except mother's milk). But it's not the devil's food source, and I would be suspect of an organization that's simply anti-soy, not devoted to balanced information about diet.
Finally, I would note that the source http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/) is from a HEAVILY meat-invested country- New Zealand exports lots of lamb and other sheep products. Who is 'SOS' and what are their backers? I would welcome links to a truly balanced website, that cited ALL the research, not just that which supports a particular position.
(I hope my post does not sound intemperate. I just am skeptical of the advice on that program, and from that website, and hope that I expressed that in a tolerant and non-confrontational way.) Thanks, Nils
(continued from the discussion "What to use for mixing cereal for breastfed baby?"
I have some direct experience with the Soy vs cow's milk formula dilemma. When my daughter was about 5 months old, for various reasons I began experiencing a drop in my milk supply. None of the remedies (oceans of water, fenugreek, etc) were working. I was forced to begin supplementing in order to maintain her health and my sanity. Since we are an allergic family (though not specifically to cow's milk), I thought I'd start with Soy based formula instead of cow's-milk formula, just to be on the safe side. This turned out to be a mistake for us. My daughter threw the formula up after a couple of hours the first time, a couple of minutes the second, and during the feeding the third time. This pattern looked like an allergy to me, so I quit feeding her the soy formula immediately. I tried raw goat milk with similar results. When I took her to the pediatrician, they recommended a cow's-milk based formula. She tolerated that just fine as a supplement till she was more than a year old (when I introduced regular cow's milk). Evidently the proteins in the formula are so far broken down already that it only very rarely triggers an allergy--certainly it's nowhere near as dangerous as feeding your baby straight cow's milk in the first year. Later on, I took her to my allergist and actually had her tested for allergies to several things. She turned up with only one allergy--to Soy. The allergist says that it's fairly common for babies to develop an allergy to soy if it is introduced in the first year. In fact, if your child is prone to allergies, whichever one (cow's milk or soy) is introduced first will be the one they will develop the allergy to! The good news is that many children outgrow the soy allergy by about 4 years of age, according to my allergist.
So the moral of the story as I finally saw it was: don't stress about it in advance. Try a "standard" formula first, unless you have a strong family history of cow's milk intolerance. Just be prepared to try several different formulas till you find one that works for your baby. Be flexible, and everything should work out just fine.
"There used to be a time when the routine advice to was to give soy formula if there was *any* chance of allergies and some doctors still give that advice even though it turns out that there are a lot of problems with soy formula. One problem is that a lot of people are allergic to soy so it didn't turn out to prevent allergies after all. In fact, anywhere from 30 to 50% of babies who have an allergic reaction to cow's milk based formula end up having a reaction to soy formula too. Secondly, soy contains hormone-like compounds called phytoestrogens. These compounds are currently under debate and researchers are trying to determine what effect, if any, they may have on a baby. One of the effects that people speculate they may have is that they may stimulate fat cell growth.
If you are breastfeeding and supplementing with formula, you should use a Low Iron version, at least for the first 4-6 months, if not forever. That is because the iron in iron fortified formula will interfere with the absorption of the iron in your breast milk which increases the risk of anemia. Also, the iron will interfere with the antibacterial properties in breast milk.
IMO Lactose free formula is deficient in nutrients -- a baby NEEDS lactose -- and should only be given in special circumstances as recommended by a doctor -- most of whom won't because they know that babies aren't lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a condition that arises around 2-3 years of age usually. Also, human milk contains lactase which helps digest lactose.
Sometimes parents have been scared off from using cow's milk based formula. After reading about how deficient formula is compared to breast milk, people internalize the message that "cow's milk formula is bad". But it's all relative. Cow's milk based formula is still the best thing for a baby who can't have breast milk and is too young for solids."
This person is someone who I find to be both knowledgeable (she is well read, and well versed in many of the issues that come up around breastfeeding and nutrition for babies) and she is very sensible, so I trust her research and her advice. I am sure you will hear many different opinions, I hope that you find this information useful in your decision making process.
Someone wrote to this group about their concerns about soy as a phytoestrogen. There has been a lot about this in medical literature for the lay person and I'll summarize the points I've read that seem most salient:
1. Soy has been eaten in great quantities by many people for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. It has not been shown to be harmful, even in high doses.
2. Phytoestrogens are very weak. Our environment is full of chemically produced estrogens that are even stronger than those produced by the human body. Because of the way estrogens lock into estrogen receptors in the body, current thought is that it is better for these receptors to be locked up with mild plant estrogens than with strong chemical estrogens.
(end of summary)
I hadn't heard that estrogen might produce fat cell creation, although it's obvious that *some* female hormone influences at least how fat is distributed. It is true that estrogen receptors are found mostly in the fat cells, and more fat cells means the body uses (absorbs?) more estrogen.
Our pediatrician recommended that any supplementing of breast milk be done with soy formula because of its lower chance of producing an allergic reaction than cows milk. Some days my son took up to half his milk in soy milk. He never had any indigestion or gas problems. When he was in the finger-food stage (probably 6 months on), a lactation consultant suggested tofu as a finger food. He still likes tofu--it's a nutritious, easy to fix snack or, when eaten with rice, protein serving at dinner. He was introduced to nori at an early age, and his current favorite dinner is "sushi": rice and tofu pieces rolled up in nori and sliced. I have always bought organic tofu, and recently I realized that I could increase our calcium intake by buying tofu that is thickened with calcium chloride instead of magnesium chloride.
After much experimenting, I think my almost 2 year old boy is alergic to dairy. So I've started buying soy milk from health food stores. However, in reading the labels, I noticed that although they have one's with fortified A, D, Clacium, etc., they're always NONFAT or LOWFAT. Since he's not even 2 and a little under-weight, I think the fat would do him good. Is there a brand out there that does have more fat in it? do him good. Is there a brand out there that does have more fat in it? If not, then how could I get a little more fat into his diet since I'd rather not give him the ANIMAL fat but prefer the good, healthy fat. Diane
Depending where you live, you might find it worthwhile to go get the real thing (soy milk) from Chinatown. It tastes (in my opinion) one hundred percent better than the stuff you get from Westsoy, etc. I am certain they would not bother taking out any fat. Get the kind that comes refrigerated; it's fresher. Joyce
My 14 month old drinks soy milk because he is allergic to dairy. My question is this....how long can soy milk be kept out of the refrigerator? I know unopened it does not have to be refrigerated but once opened & poured into a sippy cup...how long is it safe to serve?? THANKS!! Ruth
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