Whether you’re looking for a milk alternative because of allergies or preference, there are tons of options on the market.
WHICH MILK ALTERNATIVE IS BEST?
As you know if you have a toddler, once they’re 1-year-old, they’re supposed to switch over to solely drinking cow’s milk from formula or breast milk. (Of course you can give them breast milk as long as you want, that’s great, but the 1-year mark is when this switch is supposed to happen. The AAP only stresses the importance of breastfeeding to 12 months.)
Well, what do you do if your baby has a milk allergy? Sure, there are tons of milk alternatives out there, but which is best? Almond milk? Soy milk? Oat milk? Coconut milk?
Do you know the two most important factors for toddler nutrition when it comes to milk? Protein and caloric content. Almond, coconut, rice, hemp and oat milk contain little to no protein. What about infamous soy? I think we’re all aware of the controversies over soy. Especially in high volume.
Brand new toddlers are drinking lots of milk multiple times a day, so knowing what you’re not only putting in their body, but filling their body with that quantity of ingredients repeatedly, is extremely important.
PEA PROTEIN MILK
After lots of research, I decided it was best to have my daughter drink plant-based pea protein milk. Just looking at the chart above shows it wins across the board!
Bridget has been drinking around 25 oz. of Ripple a day for the past couple months and she has taken it beautifully. Her sweet body is very sensitive, yet she has never had an adverse reaction to it. She hasn’t experienced bloating, or any signs of being uncomfortable, in addition to never rejecting the taste – #momwin to the max! I have to pull the empty bottle out of her mouth after she sucks it dry in a single breath. I care to the utmost degree about what I am putting in her precious body, and this has succeeded even my highest hopes. (And if those who know me could talk about me on here, they would tell you that means a lot coming from me.)
Here are some super cool charts that are extremely informative about pea milk:
This is a fairly new milk alternative compared to the others, however, after lots of reading and comparing cow’s milk nutrition to a million alternatives’ nutrition labels, pea milk stood the test best. Maybe it does for adults too, maybe it doesn’t. I solely researched what would be best for a toddler and their needs in regard to calcium, calories, etc. So I am solely talking best comparison for a toddler and important intakes they need.
Yes, it has absolutely crossed my mind that since pea milk is newer to the market compared to others, that there hasn’t been as much long-term testing and that concerned me for a minute at the very beginning, but I have to trust what I believe is best after my research. And this hands down excels in every category.
We use Ripple’s unsweetened original flavor. There is original, unsweetened original, vanilla, unsweetened vanilla, chocolate milk and even little cartons you can find in the aisle at room temp vs refrigerator aisle. (Clearly, this has some sugar and preservatives to be able to be non-refrigerated.) Since I like Bridget to have as little to no sugar as possible in her diet, we haven’t used this yet, seeing as I prefer non-preservatives and no sugar, however I know there will be times when I will need to use it for ease and absolutely will. In regard to regularly, and what we’ve used for the past couple months, has solely been unsweetened original. They even have pea protein creamers, protein powders, protein shakes and more for moms and dads. It really is incredible what a niche they’ve created.
Is the milk green?
No. It is white. The milk is made from yellow peas, not green.
Have you tasted it?
Sure have. Drew and I have both had some sips of it because I refuse to give my daughter anything I won’t eat or drink myself. And honestly, it tasted like milk. Granted, Drew and I don’t drink milk so we might not be the perfect people to ask for comparison. But, we thought it tasted like milk. I even baked Bridget’s vegan birthday cakes with the milk and made the frosting with the pea protein as well. Our entire family raved about the taste of the vegan cakes and I doubt they would have known there was pea protein included.
Where do you buy it?
I was concerned that it would be a pain in my butt to be buying pea protein milk. I had never heard of it prior to learning about Bridget’s cow milk allergy, so surely I assumed I would have to drive to some crazy out of the way health food place to buy it a few times a week. I was wrong. I buy Ripple from Sprouts and Publix. I even believe Target has it as well. My point – it’s easily accessible. As accessible as regular milk? No. But very easy to find given how cool of a product it is.
As always, I’m here for you mama if you’re experiencing a milk allergy. I hope this was informative for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out with your own experience or questions. And make sure you discuss your personal child’s needs with your pediatrician.
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