On cartons of rice milk, there is a warning that says not to give to to children under age five. At first, we suspected it was because it didn’t have enough fat to be a milk substitute. That is easily remedied though by giving a toddler fat from other very healthy sources like raw coconut oil, avocados, or olive oil.
But that’s not why there’s the disclaimer on the carton.
So, then I noticed there’s vitamin A added to it in supplemental form. I thought maybe serving size would end up going over the RDA.
But that’s not why the disclaimer is on the carton either.
This is why the disclaimer is on the box. Apparently there may be trace levels of inorganic arsenic in the rice milk. *sigh*
Apparently, if you choose an organic version, you’re safe giving it to younger children, but let’s face it, depending on where you live a carton of rice milk is already expensive enough.
You could switch to soy, but that would have to be organic as well because non-organic almost inherently means genetically modified, and GMO soy is one of the uber-danger-foods out there leading to all sorts of potential health issues.
Almond milk does exist but given all of the food allergies that exist now, I’m not sure how relevant this would be to anyone.
So then, what?
Coconut milk is one of the healthiest things a young child can drink. Few allergies are associated with it and the benefits are amazing. If you can’t breastfeed well into your child’s toddler years, I would think deductive reasoning would prove this to be the best milk-substitute. If you opt for coconut milk, start off with unflavored and unsweetened coconut milk right off the bat so you’re not adding unneeded sugars into your child’s diet.
Goat’s milk would be another way to go, but I would want to be careful about the source or else you might be looking at additional antibiotics. If you go this route, again, organic would be the optimal choice.
The more that comes up about milk substitutes the more conclusively beneficial breast milk seems to be well into toddler years. I’m certainly not judging you if you can’t, because I couldn’t… but if you can nurse but are considering weaning at a year or so, it might just be easier to wean when your child is around three when children stop needing its substitute.