What kind of milk should I give my baby?

This is a question I am often asked. Although I don’t specialize in baby or toddler nutrition (half the time I question how much to feed my own child!), I still know what nutrients are needed at any age. So, what kind of milk should you give baby?

Types of milk

Let’s do a run down of the different types, and look at the pros, cons, and nutrient breakdown of each.

Cow’s milk

Pros:
Has necessary fats

Cons:
Unless organic, likely has antibiotics, hormones, and other icky substances
Typically not digested well by humans
Nutrients broken down by pasteurization and homogenization (unless raw)
Often fortified

Goat’s milk

Pros:
High in vitamins A, E, and B6
Closely resembles breastmilk
Has necessary fats

Cons:
Can still be hard to digest
Some babies/toddlers are not a fan of the taste

Almond milk

Pros:
Plant based, so no worry about animal byproducts
High in vitamins and minerals

Cons:
Not a lot of fats
Can be allergenic
Many have added ingredients (sugar) and synthetic vitamins/minerals

Coconut milk

Pros:
Plant based, so no animal byproducts
Has necessary fats
Typically not allergenic

Cons:
Cans may contain BPA
May have added ingredients (sugar) and synthetic vitamins/minerals

Cashew milk

Pros:
Plant based, so no animal byproducts
Rich, creamy taste similar to cow’s milk

Cons:
May have added ingredients (sugar) and synthetic vitamins/minerals

Hemp milk

Pros:
Plant based, so no animal byproducts
Typically not allergenic
High in omega 3 fats
Good amount of protein
Very easy to make at home

Cons:
Expensive if store bought
May have added ingredients (sugar) and synthetic vitamins/minerals

 

Rice milk

Pros:
Plant based, so no animal byproducts
Typically not allergenic
Can be a good source of B vitamins

Cons:
Not a good source of fats
Risk of arsenic

 

Soy milk

Pros:
Plant based, so no animal byproducts
Good source of protein

Cons:
Heavily processed
May have added ingredients (sugar) and synthetic vitamins/minerals
Contains phytoestrogens

 

Ok so…which milk is best for my baby?

So what’s right for your baby? Well, that’s up to you to decide. This is not an exhaustive list of research by any means. There is a TON more out there, this is just meant to be a simple look at each milk on the market.

First off, if your little one is over the age of 1, milk isn’t even necessary! Seriously. Food and water are all they need. But, some babies (like mine) enjoy some milk during the day. I know many of you are asking- what do you use then?? I personally think hemp milk is the best for my family. I don’t believe we need milk from any animal other than our own mothers, so I lean toward plant-based milk. The nutrient breakdown of hemp milk is most desirable to me, and I wasn’t worried about my little man having an allergic reaction.

I don’t purchase store bought hemp milk, but instead make it at home as it is really quite simple. It takes me under 5 minutes (recipes here) and baby loves it…as do I!  If you have any questions about milks, feel free to post below in the comments or send me a message. Always happy to answer 🙂

And, if you are needing extra support, my Facebook group is a great place for asking questions for all things related to nutrition and wellness. You can request to join HERE.

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