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Soya milk vs Rice Dream

(22 Posts)
anto Thu 07-Oct-04 19:40:44

Saw a paediatric gastroenterologist yesterday who confirmed that my 18-month-old is dairy intolerant. Now have to be referred to a dietician. The doctor said I should stop giving cow's milk formula (currently SMA follow-on milk) as soon as possible, but he didn't advise how, just said the dietician was the expert on all that. (He actually said don't bother with a bottle any more but she loves it so much that I don't want to stop the evening bottle just yet).

While I wait for the referral letter & appointment, I'd like to slowly start weaning dd2 off formula, by starting off with 6oz formula and 2oz milk substitute, and then slowly upping the quantities of the milk substitute. But I'm not sure whether to go for soya or rice dream. I've heard lots of dodgy stuff about soya milk being v. sweet and having too many phyto-oestrogens etc, but I also read on another thread on MN that Rice Dream doesn't have enough protein for a growing toddler.

Any advice????

Arabica Thu 07-Oct-04 20:05:03

No science here--but I can tell you that DS has never liked cows' milk (and anyway I preferred him not to have it as we have a lot of allergies on my side of family) and he has never had anything but rice dream in his milk bottle ever since he stopped breast-feeding at 15 months. And he's healthy and strapping (although he does still have allergies).

yurtgirl Thu 07-Oct-04 20:08:21

Message withdrawn

Portree Thu 07-Oct-04 22:11:35

My ds, 11 months, is under the care of a dietician as he is dairy intolerant. He is predominantly b/f but has a hydrolysed (broken-down/part-digested) cow's milk formula in his cereal etc (Nutramigen). So your options aren't just either rice or soya milk. Having said that the big issue with these extensively hydrolysed formulas is that older children can have issues with palatability - they are a bit whiffy compared to the usual ones. My ds is OK with Nutramigen as he's been having it in his diet since 5 months.

Soya formulas have had some bad publicity but my understanding is that the real concern is where the soya is the sole source of nutrition, ie before the introduction of solid food. Would it be worthwhile trying to ring the dietician? Reason I say this is that mine will take telephone calls even if you don't have a referral.

IMO, I think you would be better to use the rice milk until you have seen the dietician. Just because soya protein is one of the top 10 allergens and it is not uncommon to be intolerant to soya protein if intolerant to milk protein, can't remember the %, maybe someone else will, 20%?

Hope you get your appointment through quickly.

SamN Thu 07-Oct-04 23:24:02

Would just quickly like to say that my ds is intolerant to cow's milk and developed a reaction to soya as well so I would advise the rice milk instead as well.

Also very impressed that you have seen a paediatric gastroenterologist - I have had to endure useless visits to the GP and a dietitian who knows less about nutrition than I do, plus a paediatrician who refused to even listen to me about how I had worked out it was a cow's milk intolerance. I still can't believe how condescending he was: "If I walk outside and it's windy, I don't think that I've caused the wind." (obviously labelling me as purely an overconcerned mother who knows nothing, despite my scientific background)

sorry, rant over

sleeplessmumof2 Fri 08-Oct-04 12:49:10

Completely echo SAMN myds1 was similar had projectile reflux 4-8/a day all doctors said was that hie would grow out of it. At 1 year i put him on cows milk and from 4-8 times to every single bottle and most meals too!!! ugh within a few weeks (and i dont know why!!! or cant remember as have lost most of my brains in 2nd childbirth!!! i switched to soya milk he stayed happily on soya milk for about 1 year and then found that his skin allergies/ezcma/urticia whatever was getting worse and more constant so switched to rice milk which he stayed on until 4.5 years and would still be on it today if i hadnt weaned him off in order to get him to eat more stuff instead of just filling up on milk!!!

Well done and congrats for all the referalls like yurtgirl i got absolutely zero support from the medical profession!!!!

In so far as weaning from one to another i think we probably offered the sweetened variety first which was lapped up liked a kitten and then over a period of days or so changed the sweeted to the unsweetened by changing the proportions until we had weaned off of the sweetened.

by the way rice dream do organic variety and one with added calcium too!!! you just need to shop around for the right one !!! Good luck and hope this helped a little!!!

OOH also it may be worth keeping yours or trying him on cheeses and yoghurts as my ds was and is still able to tolerate them. I think it is something to do with the way the protein 'Casein' is broken down!!! but there will probably be someone on here who is much more educated and well read and will give you the full facts.

Hope ive offered some bits of help here!!!

sleeplessmumof2 Fri 08-Oct-04 12:50:44

sam n

wow i know how you feel, i so had a similar experience i could also go into a huge huge rant over the pompous ineffectual medical practioners i came and still come across

toddlerbob Sat 09-Oct-04 06:12:24

Some days I feel like tea, some days I feel like orange juice or water. So I presume my ds feels the same and I give him soy milk or rice milk depending on what's open. When he can tell me which he prefers I'll let him choose.

Rotation is good for allergies, so a carton of soy followed by a carton of rice milk may be a sensible option.

I always buy the unsweetened soy milk, I usually give him the chocolate one as he drinks more of that. When you think of all the crap that's in normal chocolate milk marketed at children I'm just grateful there is no sugar. He's 19 months BTW.

tatt Sat 09-Oct-04 07:20:59

This is an example of what can happen with rice milk Soya milk has been linked to higher levels of nut allergy, possibly because soya and peanut are in the same plant family. Also children intolerant of milk are quite often intolerant of soya - but there is always nutramigen. If the problem is dairy intolerance not lactose intolerance its worth trying goats milk and either probiotics or lactase or both. If the problem is lactose intolerance goats milk wont help as it has lactose but lactase may, depends how bad the problem is. "Temporary" lactose intolerance in children is common after stomach upsets. My husband is lactose intolerant at present and I'm praying it won't last as we have enough allergy problems without that!

Milk causes more problems than cheese or yoghurt because processing changes the proteins.

smellymelly Sat 09-Oct-04 08:45:39

My dd has just become dairy intolerant after a stomach upset. And we have tried her on goats milk, rice milk and soya milk. The 1st 2 she loves (she is just 2) but refuses the soya milk....can't say I blame her!

We are doing ok with it, but forgot the other day when we went out for pizza (cheese).

Tatt - do you have any idea how long we will have to be careful for?

One thing I have noticed is that the rice milk has added sea-salt, but I currently have in the fridge some soya milk with no added sugar, but added calcium and vitamins.

zebra Sat 09-Oct-04 09:30:41

What about fats, anto? What are you supposed to do to replace the fats in cow's milk? I thought both soy & rice milk alternatives were very low fat.

tatt Sat 09-Oct-04 10:07:08

smellymelly its "until the gut heals" so how long is that? This website suggests it may be several months (and our doctor thought 6 weeks for dh could still be temporary) but generally they'd suggest trying some cheese or live yoghurt after a couple of weeks. Cheese doesn't have much lactose and the bacteria in live yoghurt digest a lot of the lactase. Can't get my husband to eat either so we have to test him with milk in food.

smellymelly Sat 09-Oct-04 10:12:05

Thanks Tatt - I didn't realise it would be that long. But we will persevere. Luckily dd will eat almost anything, so will love the yoghurt or cheese, when we test it.

yurtgirl Sat 09-Oct-04 19:50:39

Message withdrawn

vivie Tue 12-Oct-04 21:13:29

This is what we were told -

Ds is 21 months and has had his egg and dairy allergies confirmed by skin prick testing.

The dietician said that as he is gaining weight well (roughly following the 50th centile) and eats a wide range of foods ordinary cartons of soya milk are fine for him. She said we should choose a brand that is fortified with calcium and vitamins and that sweetened is fine - cows milk is sweet too. We're using provamel blue but she said sogood was good too. He should have a minimum of 1/2 pint milk every day and she said the soya yogurts are very good as they contain lots of calcium too. She said if ds's diet was restricted or he was very small then the Wysoy formula would be better for him, and that rice milk is too low in protein to be much good for young children.

I asked about the cartons being lower in fat and therefore calories than cows milk or formula and she said that he would probably eat more at meal times to make up the short fall, and I've definitely had to increase his portions since moving off Wysoy! Funny how kids know how much they need isn't it?!

My second baby is due in November and she has recommended that if I can't breastfeed then he should have Nutramigen rather than Wysoy. Apparently new guidelines recommend that soya milk is not given to babies younger than 6 months but is fine for older babies and toddlers (I posted about this on the breast and bottle feeding board).

I'm not sure if there is a difference between dairy intolerance and dairy allergy. My ds comes out in hives if any milk touches his skin, and when I've tried to give him a bit of cheese he screams and tries to turn his mouth inside out to get rid of it (and this is a child who loves food and new tastes, current faves are smoked mackerel and olives!) The dietician told us to try putting a tiny drop of milk on his skin, and when he no longer reacts to this to try getting him to eat a tiny bit in other food, eg with his normal milk in cereal. She said not to try cheese or yogurt because the protein is more concentrated and may cause a bigger allergic reaction.

Lowryn Tue 12-Oct-04 21:56:23

Rice Dream - yum!

anto Thu 14-Oct-04 14:00:39

Thank you so much everyone for your invaluable help and advice. Our computer has been out of action for a week so apologies for the lack of feedback!

I have to admit we went privately to see the gastroenterologist, and I only got his name cos one of my best friends has 2 sons with really severe allergies and they eventually found him after a long and tortuous journey thru the NHS via dozens of patronizing and ill-informed health visitors and GPs.

Anyway, this doctor runs a (apparently very well-known) paediatric gastroenterology clinic at the Royal Free but also sees private patients once a week so I went to see him privately after ringing his secretary and describing my daughter's symptoms (very small with extremely slow growth) and asking for an appt. This doc's speciality is (non-hormonal) growth-related stuff, I think, but he is also a specialist in allergies.

So I actually went to consult him about dd2's size and to ask if I should be worried (she is 18 months old, 9.7kg and 76cm). She also has eczema (comes and goes but is sometimes very bad) and severe cradle cap (so no hair and a scabby head since birth, poor little mite).

He cleared her size and said she was absolutely fine, just naturally small, but during the course of the examination, and after asking me loads of questions, he told me she had an cows' milk protein related allergy that would eventually resolve itself, but that was causing her problems with her skin and also her digestion (terrible smelly loose stools) and might even be holding back her growth. If anyone is interested I can find out his full title and also the full description of her allergy. We have to have tests done but first one is a stool test which I haven't managed to do yet (have to scoop it into little pot and rush to Gt Portland St at top speed!)

After only 10 days without ANY dairy her skin and head is much improved. I am persevering with the rice dream and she's taken to it really well, so I think maybe she just didn't like dairy that much as well as finding it hard to digest. She loves any protein-rich food (complete carnivore) so am sticking with the rice dream till we see the dietician. Am also giving Yofu soya yoghurts, which she seems to much prefer to Petit Filous. Am also wondering if I can use goat's milk butter for cooking/sauces.

The irony is that I've been stuffing her full of dairy for the last 6 months on the recommendation of my health visitor who told me to give her lots of dairy fats in food to increase her calorific intake and therefore her size...

tatt Thu 14-Oct-04 15:50:53

if your daughter isn't having any dairy, anto, the main thing to worry about is probably getting enough calcium. There is a calcium enriched orange juice available, been looking for some for my husband. Presumably both the yoghurt and the rice dream are calcium enriched? Most children will grow out of cows milk allergy eventually so there's hope. Probiotics have helped my husband a bit with his digestive problems - he's Ok now if he avoids milk. With a child who has possibly anaphylactis reactions to soya milk we can't have that in the house and he doesn't like rice milk (sigh).

vivie Thu 14-Oct-04 21:21:49

anto, glad you're making progress and your dd is feeling better. According to some info I got from the National Eczema Society, lots of people who are allergic to dairy are also allergic to goat and sheep milk so I would give these to your dd with caution. I know lots of people who post here are okay with goats milk but not cows though so she may be fine. The NES are a fantastic source of information and support if you haven't already found them. Good luck!

prettycandles Thu 14-Oct-04 21:31:37

Have any of you ever tried Oatly ? I find that it's the best substitute for dairy milk - it has a slight creamyness that soya and rice lack. There is also a calcium-enriched version. Waitrose stock the ordinary version, but I've only ever seen the calcium version in a health food shop. The other brands of oat milk are yeuch, plus they have all sorts of gubbins added to them.

ChicPea Mon 20-Dec-04 23:56:21

Hi Anto. Read your post with interest. How is your DD now after avoiding dairy since October?

Would be interested to know who you saw at the Royal Free as I am trying to find a Consultant who knows about Coeliac Disease in children, etc. I would appreciate it.

SmokedSamN Wed 22-Dec-04 15:38:52

Anto, thanks for the update in Oct and I hope your dd is now growing well. I certainly found that ds1 was far healthier and put on loads of weight after we stopped all the stuff he was sensitive to.

Now we have problems with ds1, and I would also be interested in your private consultant. I know it's not cow's milk this time as I'm breastfeeding and religiously avoiding any dairy, but I do wonder if there's another food sensitivity going on. The GPs at my new surgery seem to be worse than the last one and look at me in a funny way if I dare to mention intolerances.

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