Almond Milk for Children: Benefits and Disadvantages
Almond milk for children has become a popular fad in the Western world, as it can substitute dairy products. People who suffer from lactose intolerance can drink it. However, it isn’t suitable for everyone.
You already know that milk is a good food that shouldn’t be substituted unless there’s a medical reason to do so. Lactose intolerance has to be correctly diagnosed. Otherwise, the person would just be cutting out a food product capable of providing high-quality proteins and fats for no reason.
From what age can children drink almond milk and why?
You need to remember that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to six months of age and along with complementary foods up to two years of age. It’s important for you to introduce other foods gradually and to remember your pediatrician’s instructions.
From a scientific standpoint, nuts can be introduced from six months of age. However, experts recommend chopping them first to avoid choking. In this regard, almond milk for children is suitable after six months of age.
However, you have to be very careful with the almond milk product you choose. Many of them contain added sugars, which reduces their nutritional value. It’s clear that a regular intake of simple carbohydrates negatively affects children’s health. A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition states this.
To get to know more, you should read: Improve Your Digestion with this Papaya and Almond Milk Smoothie
The benefits of almond milk for children
Below, we’re going to explain the benefits of almond milk consumption for children.
Reduced risk of allergies
Introducing almonds into a baby’s diet early on reduces their risk of developing nut allergies later in life, which is positive. It’s worth mentioning that these foods have high quality fats and proteins. In addition, they’re capable of providing micro and phytonutrients.
This article may also interest you: Benefits of Almond Milk and Some Side Effects
It’s an option for children who are allergic to cow’s milk proteins
Almond milk is a great option for children who can’t consume cow’s milk due to allergic processes. Obviously, breastfeeding must always be the priority.
However, if there’s any type of limiting factor for breastfeeding itself, you can make your baby a bottle with this nut milk. This way, processes that increase inflammatory reactions can be avoided.
Supplement of essential minerals
According to what we mentioned above, nuts offer a complete supply of minerals, among which zinc stands out. This micronutrient is essential to ensure proper immune system functioning, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients. This mineral plays a role in the differentiation of the cells that comprise the body’s immune response.
Contraindications and disadvantages of almond milk for children
We already mentioned above that breast milk is the best food for babies. Alternatively, cow’s milk also has an interesting nutritional contribution. However, almond milk lacks protein and healthy fats, which is why it lacks in macronutrients.
In addition, some versions contain a lot of added sugars, which affect the body’s metabolic health. In this regard, it’s crucial to read the labels to avoid ultra-processed options that aren’t very healthy.
Keep in mind that the best options are almond milks that contain a lot of water with remains of the dried fruit. However, they’re somewhat bland and not very nutritious. Although they can reduce your baby’s risk of developing allergies, you should consider adding higher-quality foods to their diet.
Almond milk for children is an option for allergy sufferers
As we’ve explained throughout this article, almond milk for children can prevent the development of allergies and avoid the consumption of cow’s milk in children who are intolerant or who suffer autoimmune responses when exposed to its proteins.
You can add it to your baby’s diet once they turn six months old. Nevertheless, the preferred option will always be breastfeeding. This is because it’s capable of providing all the nutrients your baby needs to develop properly.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Binns C., Lee M., Low WY., The long term public health benefits of breastfeeding. Asia Pac J Public Health, 2016. 28 (1): 7-14.
- Mis NF., Braegger C., Bronsky J., Campoy C., et al., Sugar in infants, children and adolesecents: a position paper of the european society for paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition committee on nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2017. 65 (6): 681-696.
- Wessels I., Maywald M., Rink L., Zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Nutrients, 2017. 9 (12): 1286.