Guest post written by Dr. Annie Salsberg, ND.
So, gay dads, you've survived your first year of parenthood and given your babies thousands of ounces of formula. You've done the formula research and know what's worked best for your little one's tummy. But now, you're in the toddler years and it's time to make a switch.
The truth is, there's no single milk that is ideal as your baby transitions from infant formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing whole cow's milk at 12 months, but this may not be right for your toddler.
Read on to learn about cow's milk alternatives and goat's milk formula, which is naturally easy to digest and nutritious.
Cow's milk is a common first choice
Cow's milk is readily available, nutrient dense, and widely enjoyed by young children. But if a dad makes a connection between cow's milk and symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, congestion, or eczema in their little one - or if cow's milk is avoided as a matter of personal preference - they may be searching for an alternative for their child.
Digestive ease and nutritional suitability are the two main criteria to consider when it comes to finding the best cow's milk alternative for your family. The good news: goat's milk-based formula excels in both.
Children under the age of two need nutrient-dense foods to support their rapid growth and development. A cow's milk alternative that is nutritionally suitable will support their daily needs; it may also decrease the risk of more common toddler nutrient deficiencies, such as iron, vitamin D, and omega 3-fatty acids.
Common non-dairy, cow's milk alternatives (like rice, almond, cashew, and soymilk) may be a solution for children with symptoms related to cow's milk consumption. While these are suitable for older children and adults, they may not, however, provide the important nutrition toddlers need.
Nut milks, for example, lack adequate vitamin K, B vitamins, folic acid, and a number of critical minerals, including iron; they are also low in protein, typically offering 1g (or less) per cup.
Goat's milk as an alternative
Goat's milk protein forms a smaller and softer curd in the tummy compared to cow's milk protein. And, it's broken down faster than cow's milk protein. Goat's milk is naturally easy to digest and may be a solution for some children with symptoms related to cow's milk consumption*.
Like many cow's milk alternatives, goat's milk also lacks important toddler nutrients, including folate, B12, iron, and vitamins D, B12, and C, as well as omega-3 fatty acids (DHA). A goat's milk-based formula, one that is suitably and safely fortified, may be an excellent choice for families interested in goat's milk, to best meet toddlers' daily nutrition needs.
The toddler years are demanding! And, finding the best cow's milk alternative for your toddler can be tricky. By gaining a deeper understanding of important nutrient requirements and the available milk options, families can confidently select the best choice for their little one.
*Not suitable for cow's milk protein allergy
About Your Author
Dr. Annie Salsberg, ND, is the Senior Manager Medical Engagement & Education at KABRITA USA. Dr. Salsberg previously worked as faculty at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and held research positions at several hospitals. Dr. Salsberg has been published in print and online publications, and she has been featured on radio and television programs as an expert on child nutrition.
About Kabrita USA
Kabrita USA's delivers nourishment and comfort to children and their parents through our naturally easy to digest Goat Milk Formula. We empower parents with a new choice in formula-feeding, one that marries the ideal of all-natural with the rigor and safety of science.
We strive to add value to our community through our commitment to education, transparency, inclusivity and supportive communication.