top of page

Choosing a suitable plant-based milk for young children with a cow's milk protein allergy.

Updated: May 15



milk for young children

There has been an explosion in the array of plant-based milks available over recent years. This is great news for our families living with food allergies, but it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to choosing the right one. Plant-based milks can vary significantly when it comes to nutritional composition. They are not all created equal!


It is best to go for non-organic varieties, as they are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Organic varieties are not fortified, they don't contain any vitamins or minerals. If you are excluding dairy from the diet, then you need to ensure you find suitable alternatives providing many of the important nutrients we get from dairy - fat, protein, calcium and ideally iodine (although it can be hard to find dairy free alternatives fortified with iodine.




milk for young children

Soya milks are usually higher in protein, closely followed by pea and oat (joint second). Nut and coconut milks tend to be very low in protein and fat, (also nut milks are not suitable for those with a nut allergy). I don't recommend any of the nut or coconut milks for small children due to their lower fat and protein content.


Alpro Growing Up (soya and oat varieties) and Ripple Kids (pea), contain higher levels of fat, protein, and micronutrients. Unfortunately, they are also sweetened with cane sugar, which is disappointing as these milks are marketed for toddlers. Ripple Kids do also make an unsweetened milk, but it does not contain iodine.




Milk For Young Children

milk for young children

milk for young children

Comparison of popular plant-based milks

Milk per 100mls

Calories (kcal)

Protein (g)

Fat (g)

Calcium (mg)

Iodine (mcg)

Additional information

Whole cow's milk

65

3.5

3.7

120

32


Alpro Growing Up

64

2.5

2.1

120

24

Sweetened

Alpro Original Soya

42

3.3

1.9

120

nil

Sweetened & unsweetened varieties.

Ripple Kids Pea

50

3.3

3.3

185

nil

Sweetened & unsweetened varieties.

Mighty Pea

33

2

1.9

180

nil

Sweetened & unsweetened varieties.

Oatly Barista

61

1.25

3

145

22

Barista varieties are higher in fat.

Alpro Coconut

20

0.1

0.9

120

Nil

Sweetened & unsweetened varieties.

Alpro Almond

22

0.4

1.1

120

Nil

Sweetened & unsweetened varieties.

Elmhurst Almond

54

2

4.5

25

Nil

Unsweetened


So, which one do you choose?


When recommending a plant-based milk I consider several factors:

  1. Growth

  2. Any other food allergies present.

  3. Nutritional requirements

  4. Dietary intake

If your child has a good appetite and there is no concern regarding growth, then you can choose between non -organic soya (as long as they are not allergic to soya), pea and oat milk. If your child doesn't eat fish, then it would be better to choose a milk fortified with iodine.


If you have any concerns regarding your child's dietary intake or growth, then please get in touch.


Comments


bottom of page