almond milk for babies?

almond milk for babies?
in january, a pediatric nutritionist issued a warning in business insider: do *not* feed your baby almond milk! it’s not a good replacement for breastmilk or formula, and could starve and even kill your baby
  • the nutritionist issued the warning after a baby was admitted to her hospital w/ ketoacidosis
  • ketoacidosis happens when the body breaks down fatty acids for energy. it can happen in ppl w/ diabetes, but can also be caused by starvation
  • dairy and non-dairy milks like cow milk or almond milk cannot be used as substitutes for breastmilk or formula, they do not have the right balance of nutrients
  • and stories like this are becoming more common as medical misinfo spreads online
formulasense explains that in the u.s., there are no fully vegan baby formulas -- even the plant-based ones have some animal product in them. if you can’t breastfeed, your newborn cannot and should not be vegan
  • there are some soy-based formulas available in the u.s., but some of the added vitamins are derived from animal products
  • europe has some fully vegan baby formulas, but they’re not approved for sale in the u.s.
  • if you can’t breastfeed, go with dairy formula. making your newborn go vegan is both unnecessary and dangerous
healthline: plant-based milks should *never* be a substitute for breastmilk or formula. they can be ok once your child is old enough, but even then, be careful! plant-based drinks like almond milk often have fewer nutrients than regular milk
  • ideally, no plant- or animal-based milk until your baby is at least 1 year old
  • but compared to cow’s milk, almond milk has less protein, calcium, and calories, meaning it’s not meeting the same nutritional needs
  • but almond milks that have no sugar and are fortified w/ calcium can be a healthy alternative to cow’s milk
but said even once they’re 12+ months, almond milk should be a no go. young, growing kids need all the nutrition they can get! unless they have a milk allergy, in which case, talk to your doctor
  • even fortified almond milk might not be good bc humans just aren’t as good at absorbing plant-based nutrients
  • if your baby has a milk allergy, they’ll prob be recommended a fortified soy milk, which is the only adequate plant-based substitute -- but ofc talk to your doctor
  • just bc something is “healthy” for adults doesn’t mean it’s right for kids! wait until your little one is at least in kindergarten before swapping regular milk for plant milk
wapo: subbing almond milk for breastmilk, formula, or other more nutritious food/drink can have real consequences. in 2016, a baby in spain was diagnosed with scurvy after drinking only almond milk for months
  • scurvy happens bc of vitamin c deficiency, and is super rare in developed countries
  • the lack of nutrition caused a bunch of issues including lethargy, irritability, and bone fractures. thankfully, with vitamin supplements and a better diet, the baby recovered
  • doctors emphasize that the issue isn’t almond milk itself, but that almond milk should be a supplement to their diet, not their main source of nutrition
daily mail said this happens bc more and more people are raising their kids vegan. but that can be really risky with babies, and the nhs says not to give babies plant-based milk until they’re at least 12 months. and while it’s possible to feed babies and toddlers a vegan diet, it takes a lot of careful planning
  • online, many ppl tout the benefits of a vegan diet for their babies and toddlers, but it comes w/ risks
  • one study found that children raised vegan were an avg of 3 centimeters shorter than their non-vegan peers, suggesting that they might grow more slowly
  • it’s possible for young kids to be vegan and healthy, but it takes a lot of work, careful planning, and supplements