You may have heard about the benefits of consuming soy milk a number of times, and maybe, you even tried it yourself once in a while. Once you’ve weaned your toddler and tried different food options for him, you may have considered soy milk for your toddler as well.
But is it really a good idea to have your toddler drink soy milk? Keep reading to find out the benefits of soy milk for toddlers.
Soy Milk Vs Cow Milk:
There are many differences between soy milk and cow milk when it comes to nutritional content.
It has been found that whole milk tends to contain 146 calories, while enriched soy milk contains just 100 calories in a cup worth of serving. When it comes to fat content, cow milk again turns up to be a winner with 8g of fat as opposed to 4g of fat in a cup of enriched soy milk.
In terms of protein content, whole milk and enriched soy milk are nearly the same with 8g and 7g respectively. But on the plus side, whole milk has 0g of fiber in a single cup’s serving, whereas enriched soy milk can give your toddler 2g of fiber.
Soy Milk And Calcium Content:
Compared to cow milk, soy milk is a bit low on its calcium content, which is why, if you do decide to give your toddler soy milk, you must consider choosing a fortified form of soy milk that is enriched with important nutrients like folate, calcium, vitamin A, D and B.
It has also been found that soy milk contains certain compounds known as phytates, which tend to decrease calcium absorption – so you’ll need to make sure your toddler consumes more calcium-rich foods if he’s been drinking soy milk. You can choose to introduce your toddler to foods like yogurt, cheese, canned salmon and orange juice fortified with calcium.
Is Soy Milk Good For Toddlers?
The Diet Channel website emphasizes that the consumption of soy milk as opposed to cow milk could create a deficiency of calcium in the toddler. What’s even more concerning is that growing children need calcium for the proper development of bones, teeth, hormones, muscles and even the central nervous system. In such cases, you may choose to switch to soy milk that has been fortified with calcium and other important vitamins.
In general, soy milk can turn out to be an impressive alternative milk option for children who are intolerant to cow’s milk. However, if your toddler is affected by milk allergy, he may also be allergic to foods containing soy, including soy’s milk.
In such cases, it is best to seek a paediatrician’s advice before turning to soy milk for toddlers.
The Side Effects Of Soy Milk For Toddlers:
It is also important to note the various health concerns that arise as a result of consumption of soy milk.
- Soy milk is often used as a substitute for cow’s milk, but many a times, soy milk may also trigger severe allergic reactions. It is believed that the proteins found in soy could cause side effects such as nausea, skin rashes, abdominal pain etc.
- Cow’s milk is also known to be a good source of protein, while regular soy milk contains lower amounts of this important food group. Toddlers who consume more of soy milk may have a chance of being deficient in protein, which could in turn, impact blood pressure and temperature levels.
- Soy milk contains phytoestrogens- a compound that is thought to have an impact on breast cancer. Certain sources also claim that the consumption of excessive amounts of phytoestrogens could lead to early puberty in children- however, further research is needed to confirm these findings.
It is always safe to seek your doctor’s opinion before trying any new food option for your toddler. Beware of any food allergy. Soy milk is a healthy and safe alternative to dairy milk.. However, you must ensure that your toddler is not allergic to soy milk.
Have you introduced soy milk to your little one yet? Is he liking this new milk substitute? Don’t forget to share your views in the comments section below!