Soy Milk for baby? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-05-2008, 01:31 PM
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I'm very new to the vegan lifestyle. My son is 16 months old and still needs milk in his diet. I didn't see a vegan milk @ the local organic/vegan store (we live in a small town, so I'm not sure if there's an option or if they don't carry it - I didn't ask bc I didn't want to seem silly, I know, I know) is soy milk the option to go with? Thanks!
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#2 Old 07-06-2008, 11:58 AM
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Not sure if you're looking for a vegan cow's milk, but it doesn't exist. Cow's milk isn't vegan, no matter how the animals used to produce them were raised, because animal products aren't vegan. They are ovo-lacto vegetarian, but not vegan. Plant-based beverages, like soy milk, usually are vegan, though. Check the ingredient label to be sure.

At 16 months old, he should be able to have full-fat soy milk. Just make sure to get one that is fortified with calcium, vitamin D2 (vitamin D3 isn't vegan), and vitamin B12. Silk, Soy Dream, 8th Continent, Vitasoy, Edensoy, and Westsoy are some of the brands that you may find (there are others and many grocery store chains have their own in house brands of soy milk, too). They sell soy milk in cartons in the refrigerated section near the regular milk, they sell it in aseptic packages on the shelf, and they sell soy milk powder.

Steer clear from the low-fat or fat-free soy milk until he's 2 or 3 at least, though. Young children need the extra fat in their diet for eye and brain development and to help keep growing as they're so active at that age!

Soy is a common allergen though, so be sure to be careful when first giving it to him. Don't introduce any other new foods to him for probably the first week when you give it to him (so you can more easily rule out if he's allergic to soy or not). Offer small quantities at first and go from there. Don't go overboard with soy products, though. It's too easy to become dependent on them. For example, don't give him 3+ bottles/sip cups of soy milk in a day, some tofu with his lunch, edamame for a snack, and then a soy-based veggie burger at dinner. Like with anything, moderation is a good thing.
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#3 Old 07-06-2008, 12:11 PM
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My 12 month old son drinks unsweetened full fat organic soy milk on occasion. It isn't an every day thing, but once in awhile I don't make enough breast milk, and he absolutely will not drink any kind of formula.

My son has never demonstrated an allergy to any food though, and, as far as I know, food allergies do not run in his family (his father is adopted). In any case, he likes it well enough to drink it, and it hasn't hurt him any.
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#4 Old 07-07-2008, 10:42 AM
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I don't believe 8th Continent is vegan. It contains lanolin (sheep wool) last time I checked. I could be wrong though.

They have soy milk that is specially fortified for children. It is made by Silk. They have a Very, Very Vanilla flavor and then a plain flavor that is fortified with vitamins and all that good stuff.
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#5 Old 07-09-2008, 08:52 AM
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thank you, these replies were very helpful. I especially didn't know that vitamin B3 was not vegan so we will have to stay away from that! I think we will go with the Silk, I think I saw it in chocolate flavor which he loves.
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#6 Old 07-09-2008, 06:17 PM
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I have recently read some pretty scary stuff about children and high soy diets including soy milk. Something about the high levels of plant estrogens that soy contains screwing with their hormones. I don't know much about it, but it is worth looking in to...I saw the article in UTNE magazine. At any rate, children don't necessarily need dairy milk or soy milk to thrive, they just need the fat content, which can be found in other vegan foods besides soy milk such as avacados, flax seed, and nut butters (may need to be watered down to avoid choking-think dips, toddlers love to dip.) which kids usually love anyway. Hummus also has good fats in it when made with sesame tahini, which toddlers could dip crackers in. If you do eat soy don't over do it and always always always go organic. Hope this was helpful rather than confusing.
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