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RICE MILK - does your dc drink it, and should i be worrying that it's "low fat"?

(7 Posts)
theSuburbanDryad Thu 09-Oct-08 14:55:06

Ds has slowly started to self-wean off the breast so i have been giving him cow's milk to drink instead, which he is fine with.

But i've noticed his eczema seems to be a lot worse since he's been drinking it and thought i'd try rice milk instead. Ds is a skinny toddler anyway - should i worry about the calorific value of rice milk instead of cow's milk? Is there another alternative?

TIA

whomovedmychocolate Thu 09-Oct-08 14:57:44

It's low fat but not low calorie AFAIK so I wouldn't worry.

theSuburbanDryad Thu 09-Oct-08 15:00:01

Will he still be able to gain weight and adequate nutrition from it? He does eat a very good diet alongside milk, obviously, but i think a lot of his calories come from milk!!

He's 21 months btw!

themildmannneredjanitor Thu 09-Oct-08 15:04:25

rice milk isot a suitable drink for tinies i don't think. let me search.

have just fopund this-which was a reply to someones question about rice milk;

Rice milk may be a fine choice for your boy's diet if they are getting other important foods that contain the nutrients they are no longer getting because they have given up milk. Rice milk is not a nutrient for nutrient substitute for cow milk. Therefore, if in your son's diet you were depending on whole cow milk to supply them with calcium, vitamin D and protein, and you switched to rice milk without making any other adjustments in their diet, then they are most likely not getting some of the nutrition that they need.

There are some significant nutritional differences between cow and rice milk. Fortified rice milk may make up for some of those differences. You did not mention which type of Rice Dream you are serving your boys, but it should be the brand with fat (not the lite variety) and it should be calcium, vitamin A and D fortified. Compare the following nutritional content for one cup of milk vs. non fortified Rice Dream:

Cow Milk Rice Dream
calories 150 120
protein (grams) 8 1
carbohydrate g. 11 30
fat g. 8 2
calcium mg. 291 20

As you can see, Rice Dream is largely a source of carbohydrate, whereas cow milk is a source of protein, fat, and carbohydrate. If you have eliminated cow milk from the diet, than you need to be sure they are getting a good source of complete protein. Rice Dream essentially provides no protein, and the protein it does supply is not of high quality. Eggs, soy products, and beans with grains are good sources. Calcium is another critical nutrient to be sure and find an alternative source for. Cow milk is unique in that the absorption of calcium from it is superior to other sources of calcium.

Calcium food in plant foods is less easily absorbed and so larger quantities must be eaten to get similar amounts. Particularly for your 16 month old, full fat milk is best because of its concentrated source of calories. Low fat diets are not generally recommended until after 2 years of age. Elan, being older, is ready to be on a lower fat diet. At that age kids can eat the quantity of food they need to get the necessary amount of calories. For Oren, you will have to concentrate on getting other high-fat, nutrient dense foods into his diet. Fat is critical for proper brain and nerve development. Rice milk will not provide him with adequate fat, if it is to be is only source of fat.

Milk, per se is not absolutely essential in early brain development, although human milk is superior in that department. What is important is that fat, and essential fatty acids be included in their diet. In sum, Rice Dream can be okay for your sons, just so long as you are sure they are getting in other foods what they are no longer getting from milk.

If it is chemicals and hormones you are worried about, have you considered buying organic milk? That may be the best of both worlds for you.

whomovedmychocolate Thu 09-Oct-08 15:05:30

Should do, lots of kids have no milk at this age and are perfectly healthy, but he needs to get the calcium and vitamin D from other foods. You need to get some advice from the HV or a nutritionist really - I'd start by looking up vegan diets and see what bits they take to replace calcium/vit D. As long as he's eating a good diet he should be fine though.

whomovedmychocolate Thu 09-Oct-08 15:06:27

x posts - what the janitor said

theSuburbanDryad Thu 09-Oct-08 15:10:59

Thanks mmj - I could have done that myself really, couldn't I? blush

He does eat well, it's just that he drinks A LOT of milk and I'd be worried about potential weight loss if that suddenly dropped from his diet IYSWIM.

If rice milk doesn't work out for us (ie he doesn't like the taste or whatever) are there other alternatives I can offer? Obviously breastmilk would be best but he seems reluctant to nurse since I got pg! sad (and it really blardy hurts)

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