Many babies and toddlers develop sensitivities to dairy. The truth is that dairy is not natural to human beings, meaning that our bodies don’t always recognize the ingredients and break them down properly in order to be digested well and entirely. Although dairy may have benefits, it can be very irritating to our digestive system.
The good news is that there are alternatives to dairy that you can feel good about giving your children that may make their tummies a little bit happier!
Instead of cow’s milk – try nut milks. Homemade is best (easier than you think!), however, store-bought is an alternative as well.
Some yummy examples: cashew, almond, rice, coconut and hemp. I personally suggest avoiding soy unless you know where the soy is sourced and trust it. Soy can interfere with healthy hormone balance.
Homemade Cashew Milk Recipe
Creamy, delicious and full of nutrients such as zinc and magnesium!
- 1 cup organic cashews
- 6 cups filtered water
- 1/2 tsp high mineral sea salt
- Dash of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp natural maple syrup
- Storing container (glass jug, quart mason jar)
Put cashews and water into your container. Let soak overnight or for up to 6 hours. Place into a blender and combine along with the sea salt. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Add sweetener (maple syrup and cinnamon). Blend on high for another 30-60 seconds. Pour back into your container and refrigerate. Cashew milk is ready to enjoy right away, and will last in the fridge for approximately 3-4 days. You can also freeze some in ice cube trays for your little ones.
Instead of milk based yogurt, try coconut yogurt! Other delicious alternatives are overnight oats, avocado banana pudding with cocoa powder, or chia seed pudding with almond or cashew milk.
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
- 6 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 cups cashew or almond milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- Top with blueberries
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. This recipe will yield 2 cups of delicious, tapioca-like chia seed pudding and will keep for 5 days.
Some foods that have a soft, “cheese-like” texture are tofu, nutritional yeast or soaked cashews. These foods can replace cheeses such as ricotta, feta and parmesan cheese. You can also search for several vegan cheese recipes online that will satisfy a cheese craving without upsetting your little one’s tummy.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of a dinner recipe as a parmesan replacement. It’s yummy and also has antiviral and antibacterial properties to help your little one’s immune system.
Hopefully these alternatives help you when it comes to finding alternatives to dairy products. If you’re worried your child isn’t getting enough calcium or other nutrients because they cannot consume milk, don’t worry! Dairy is not crucial for good health. Increase your child’s protein, healthy fats, and vegetable intake wherever possible, and be kind to yourself in knowing you’re doing the best you can.
Jenna Standish is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Reiki level one practitioner and RMT student. She gets excited about all things nutrition, fitness and personal development but her biggest passion of all is being a Mom to her sweet baby girl, Lennon. Since becoming a mother in 2017, Jenna’s dream has changed to guide and empower women to become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves. She loves to motivate women to take control of their body, mind and spirit health so that they can show up as their best selves every day, especially for their families. Follow her on Instagram to receive tips, tricks, free recipes, health and wellness advice.
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