To milk or not to milk? And if you milk which milk? Those are the questions.

Written by amy on February 1st, 2015

nondairy milkWorking in a pediatricians’ office, I find that I am often asked the same questions by different parents, showing that there are pretty common concerns amongst parents. One frequently asked question is which type of milk should I give my child? Living in the state of Vermont (aka Cows-R-Us) and with the strong marketing presence from the New England Dairy Council, dairy remains a strong part of the American diet. However, over the past few years, there have been a growing number of milk alternatives on grocery shelves, offering parents an option other than cow milk.  When choosing a type of milk and when ethics are not a deciding factor, it is important to understand the different nutrients found in each type of milk.  Some children, such as toddlers, require a higher fat content in their diet and benefit from a milk with a higher fat content.  As always, the best foods tends to be the ones with the least amount of added ingredients, particularly added sugars.  Also, supplementing a food with nutrients does not appear to be as beneficial as ones in which the nutrients are naturally found.  Use the chart below to help understand the different nutritional composition from the various “milks” in the food supply.

Milks compared

 

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