Raising a toddler is an arduous task whether it be worrying about feeding or taking care of their teething problems. This task only gets more difficult if you decide to raise a vegan baby as it becomes extremely difficult to subsequently meet your toddler’s nutritional intake.
The great thing is that breast milk is a sufficient alternative that is vegan for the first few years. However, breastfeeding may not always be a viable option and that is when one should consider milk alternatives for toddlers if they choose to be vegan.
To help with this, we’ve reviewed the best milk alternatives for toddlers that you should definitely try, to help your toddler get the nutrition he desperately needs. Ultimately, every parent wants to make sure their child gets all the nutrition they need, and we’re here to understand if that’s possible, the vegan way.
Best Milk Alternatives for Toddlers
1. Soy milk
Made from soybeans, soy milk is an alternative to cow’s milk for babies, which is more or less similar to milk in nutritional composition..
Good soy milk contains vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B12 so that your baby gets the necessary nutrients for growth and development.
However, While picking specific soy milks, make sure the type you choose is an fortified and organic version. To ensure that your child is protected from genetically modified ingredients, as well as an unsweetened and fat-free one, to avoid unnecessary sugar and fat.
2. Almond Milk
Almond milk is a low-calorie alternative to cow’s milk for babies, which is a viable option for vegans to opt for. It tastes great and is a delicious alternative to milk that can be used in cooking.
The taste is definitely a plus with toddlers, and the vegan nature is a plus for you as a vegan parent. The downside, however, is that its protein content is somewhat low – and so it shouldn’t be ideally used as a supplement to cow’s milk.
Nevertheless, for an occasional boost in calcium, almond milk is definitely the way to go.
3. Pea milk
Pea milk is another alternative for those who avoid milk completely. Pea milk is rich in natural proteins, which are hard to find as a vegan and therefore a major plus in a toddler’s diet. It also contains potassium, iron and calcium which is great for a plant based alternative and is also creamy and delicious.
However, it is lacking in calories, and so you need to make sure your toddler gets his calorie needs elsewhere.
4. Oat milk
Another milk alternative that is popular today is oat milk. The fortified and full-fat oat milk versions are rich in nutrients such as protein, iodine, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Best of all, oat milk is extremely rich in protein while also providing the natural health benefits of oats. It is packed with fiber and
For those looking to eliminate soy from their child’s diet, oats help encourage a healthy digestive system. Always make sure you buy an unsweetened variety and opt for a tasteless variety, especially if you opt for daily consumption.
5. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a tasty alternative to milk with a thick consistency and smooth texture. Fatter than the other alternatives mentioned above, coconut milk is low in calories and low in protein.
The fortified versions add some much-needed nutrients, but it remains low even in terms of zinc and iron.
While it’s not a great alternative to replace milk with on a daily basis, coconut milk can be a great way to switch things up every now and then while you’re vegan.
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Are vegan milk alternatives comparable to dairy?
Vegan milk alternatives, while great in taste and texture, usually lack important nutrients. While you can get a good amount of nutritional value from them, none of them can be a complete substitute for cow’s milk, especially for toddlers. They are unable to provide the complete nutrition that cow’s milk provides and each has its own challenges that must be incorporated into your baby’s diet.
Soy milk, oat milk and almond milk – while great milk alternatives for babies, for a change of pace every now and then, they can’t be used to provide the nutritionally packed result that whole milk would provide. These milk alternatives for toddlers do not contain the necessary calcium or vitamin D that cow’s milk ideally provides and so if one opts for these alternatives, one has to find other nutritional ingredients to complement the nutritional needs.
Milk Alternatives vs. Vegan Baby Food
Finding a good alternative to cow’s milk for babies, especially in the months after breastfeeding, is difficult.
The type of plant-based milk you choose becomes crucial so that you can ensure that your child is getting the nutritional needs he or she needs. Always look out to check whether the milk is fortified or natural, also pay attention to nutrients such as iron, protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12 to help your little one grow and develop.
If you decide to opt for plant-based baby food, there are few vegan alternatives that provide a good amount of nutrients. Until six months, there is no recommended vegan baby food, as breast milk is the ideal option.
However, if that is not the route, it is best to switch to cow’s milk to prevent your child from becoming deficient or underweight. After the first six months, one can opt for a vegan baby food that contains vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, protein, sinc, omega-3 and iron!
Judgment | Are milk alternatives suitable for toddlers?
enumerating, the best source for a vegan toddler is definitely breast milk, and nothing can replace it. Especially during the first six months, it’s nearly impossible to find a moon alternative that can provide a child with the nutrients that breast milk does — while remaining vegan.
Moreover, although soy, almond and coconut milk alternatives are available in the market – they are not usually recommended for children under six, because the need for nutrients is so high that it becomes difficult to cope in their absence. Therefore, unfortunately you may have to breastfeed your child or give your child cow’s milk until your baby has reached an age where he or she is nutritionally insured.