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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My kids are 2 1/2 and 16 months.
They both drink coconut milk, about 3 cups a day. (and yes!! my son is finally drinking it!)

I am confused about which is better- soy or coconut milk for them. The soymilk available at the store I shop at has 100 cal, 1g sat fat, 6g protein, fortified with vitamin a and d and calcium.
The coconut milk has 80 cal, 5g saturated fat, 1g protein, and is fortified with A and D, calcium, and B12.

I initially chose the coconut milk because of the B12 and higher saturated fat, but it lacks in protein. It has lower calories too.

Which is better for my growing kids? Is either one just fine?

and lol @ my pediatricians response to my question- I won't even go there!
 

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Both.
 

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I would say the coconut milk just because of the carious things I've read about soy. If they're young you should avoid it for a little while. Since theyre more predisposed to allergies at least thats what I've read.
 

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I don't know if this is different for children, but at least in adults, saturated fat is not what you want, its the unsaturated. I would choose the soy milk, or maybe even look at your other choices like almond milk. My son drinks both, he gets a glass of whatever is closer to me in the fridge
 

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The store brand organic soy milk I buy is fortified with B12 as well, so you might look for one that has that.
 

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I would either go with soy milk or look for rice or almond milk. 5g of saturated fat isn't really a good thing. While fat in a necessary component in our diet, saturated fats should be your last choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are a ton of resources out there that say that very young babies need essential fatty acids for brain development. the medium chain fatty acid found in coconut milk is similar in structure to the one found in mothers breast milk or formula.

Thats where I am confused. I weaned both of them off of breast milk and formula, but are they too young to go without these essential fatty acids? Is protein more important than those at a certain point?

In the vegan toddler food pyramid, it says soymilk or other 'milk'- 3 cups a day.

edit: there are also a lot of sources that say coconut milk is not okay in a toddlers diet - that whole cows milk is preferred - so its tough to not get a bias out there from people who support dairy consumption. I am having trouble finding solidarity in vegan resources on the matter.
 

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All the mainstream American experts on pediatric nutrition say vegan toddlers should drink soymilk. The rationale is that it has more protein (and it's a "complete protein") than the alternatives.
Link: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060

We give our son soy milk. We choose unsweetened organic full fat soy milk that has been fortified with B12 and other nutrients like vitamin D. His growth has been exactly on target since day 1. So it's working for us


If you're worried about them getting enough omega 3s and you're not giving them ground flax seeds or a supplement, then I think soymilk that has been fortified with omega 3s are a good idea. A lot of people really like that version of Silk that you found.
 

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From what I have read the fat in coconut is not a bad thing unless it's been hydrogenated. There are actually a lot of health benefits to coconut oil in particular. But since you mentioned getting enough protein was an issue with your son, I'd go with soy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I got the DHA soymilk and my daughter loves it! My son is getting used to it, I am phasing it out slowly, but he is sipping it. I am satisfied with this decision, it makes planing out protein requirements so much easier throughout the day.
 

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When my daughter was a toddler she drank soy milk fortified with flax oil(due to slow weight gain). I wasn't worried about allergies to soy she had soy formula supplements to breastmilk/nursing and was fine. So far no adverse issues after having soy(such as early puberty or anything).
I've tried to get her to try coconut and almond milks but she didn't care for them. Has drank some Silk almond milk in the dark chocolate flavor but still prefers her soy. After 7 years I can imagine why.
I had gotten accustomed to soy when she started drinking it and now prefer almond milk. I didn't care for coconut milk that much either.
 
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