Saturday, December 15, 2012

Benefits of Soy Milk

My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a cow's milk allergy. We had to look at other beverage options that would be comparable to the calories, nutrients and vitamins found in milk.

At first, it felt as though Madison was the only one in the world with this allergy. I quickly learned that there is a growing number of children with allergies and food intolerance's that require special dietary consideration. I decided to try her on soy milk. For children, soy milk, particularly brands fortified with calcium, offers most of the nutrients found in milk, as well as a number of others found only in soy milk.

The benefits of soy milk are:
1. Low in fat and cholesterol
In a cup-for-cup comparison of enriched soy milk with whole and 2 percent reduced-fat milk, soy milk has 100 calories, compared with 146 for whole milk and 130 for reduced-fat milk. Soy milk manufacturers fortify their enriched soy milk product with calcium, folate and vitamins A, B and D. I was advised by our pediatrician to give only whole soy milk, not the low-fat, nonfat or flavoured versions because fat is important for brain development in children under 2 and additional sugars are not needed for children.

2. Invigorates immune system
Studies show a phytochemical in soy milk that increases immune system activity to help fight off disease.

3. More widely tolerated
Children who are either lactose intolerant or allergic to cow's milk can get comparable, if not superior, levels of nutrients from enriched soy milk. Researchers reported a sharp decrease in symptoms of asthma, chronic nasal discharge, eczema, irritability and stomach disorders among the infants being studied. Since transitioning to soy milk, my little ones eczema has improved but I am not sure if it is a direct correlation to soy milk or that she is drooling less.

I would love to hear of anyone else who has a child with an intolerance to cows milk. There is so much literature on the topic and sometimes hearing real life stories makes your own decision making easier.

To read more about this topic click here.


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