The so-called plant milks are prepared to drink based on soy, nuts or cereals, usually processed in water, although sometimes in oil, and to which are added different preservatives, sweeteners and / or additives. Actually, these drinks have little to do with milk except, perhaps, color. Can we offer
The so-called plant milks are prepared to drink based on soy, nuts or cereals, usually processed in water, although sometimes in oil, and to which are added different preservatives, sweeteners and / or additives. Actually, these drinks have little to do with milk except, perhaps, color. Can we offer them to children as substitutes for cow's milk?
Alternative types of milk for children
- In particular, milk of almonds, unless it is fortified with protein, barely provides one gram per cup, since, generally, a cup does not include more than 4 almonds, accompanied by sugars or sweeteners. If it is not sugary, it provides fewer calories than cow's milk, and is free of lactose and cholesterol, but to provide calcium and vitamin D these must be added artificially. Obviously, children with allergies to nuts or with a family history of the same, should avoid it until they check their tolerance.
- Rice milk is the richest in carbohydrates of all, even complex carbohydrates. Its main advantage is that it does not usually produce allergies. As main disadvantages, in addition to the amount of carbohydrates, is that calcium and vitamin D have to be added artificially to fortify it. It is also a very low source of proteins of low biological value since it lacks lysine, an essential amino acid. La -
Coconut milk es, is rich in saturated fats, almost in the same amount as cow's milk, although it is still low in protein and carbohydrates, the lowest in carbohydrates of all the options available in the market. This is, by far, the worst alternative to choose, since it presents all the disadvantages of whole cow's milk and none of its benefits. -Soy milk
is the most widely consumed. It provides similar amounts of protein as milk, and its caloric content resembles that of skimmed milk. It does not contain lactose, calcium, or cholesterol, but it does provide vitamins A, B12, D, potassium, and isoflavones. It is usually contraindicated when there are alterations in the thyroid gland, and some studies have shown, however, possible alterations in fertility, especially male, by consuming high amounts of soy in any of its varieties. On the other hand, and because the vast majority of the world soybean crop is of genetically modified varieties, if it is desired to avoid it, it will be necessary to consume only organic products. In general, the vast majority of these drinks contain very high amounts of sugar, well above the lactose content of cow's milk, and much lower amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals. In addition, they usually contain preservatives and artificial additives, usually thickeners, and some of them contain carrageenans (E407), an additive that can cause irritability and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. On the contrary, they are usually healthier in terms of their fat and calories, provided they do not have oils added. Soya, almond and rice drinks are preferred within the vegetable options, always looking for your options without added sugars, free of sodium and fortified with calcium and vitamins D and B12.