Healthy Alternatives to Dairy Milk
The other day I went to my sons school as the local and regional dietitians were there sampling new ‘healthy’ foods for the kids during their lunch & they wanted to show me what they are adding to the menus. I thought it was too good to be true that they were whipping up a kale, berry, and banana smoothie! And then they went on to add a cup of Monsanto milk that they serve at lunch everyday into the smoothie! UGH!! My stomach was turning. Why ruin a nutritious, power packed smoothie with mucous forming, rBGH, antibiotic ridden milk?! My son came home from school and said he couldn’t believe they were making a healthy smoothie, but then went on to say ‘but when they poured in milk, I’m like ew, what kind of milk is that? It’s probably so not good for you.’ I’m working on helping the dietitians serve healthier foods for lunch, and wow is it a process!
I like what our Pediatrician says when our kids turn one, “Milk is a beverage at 1 years old and shouldn’t be used as their main source of getting nutrition. They should have a well rounded/balanced diet, and milk is a beverage”. With that being said, kids/toddlers need a lot of fat, protein, iron, fruits, and veggies for their growing little bodies. We have been using nut milks for about 10 years and like most things, I have had a journey with that, and I can say there are now some healthy alternatives to milk. We used a lot of rice milk 10 years ago, which I have learned is far from good. Rice is hard to digest for little ones, and rice (and apples) contain arsenic so you want to be mindful of how much rice you are eating in a week.
I have recently just discovered The NutraMilk! It is so easy to make homemade milk in just minutes! I LOVE that you don’t have to strain it, and it’s just ready to drink after you add the nuts & water. So far I am loving homemade cashew milk the best. I find that I don’t even need a sweetener in my coffee when I use homemade cashew milk. I just add that to my coffee and Vital Proteins Collagen for added protein & essential amino acids. The only drawback to The NutraMilk is that it is pretty big! Storage is something to consider when buying this.
Store Bought Brands
If milk is a main source for your families calcium, be sure to check the amount of calcium on the label. Companies are always changing & new companies always coming to the market. So this list may change over time, but here is my quick list of healthier milk alternative brands!
MALK. This is the cream of the crop! They leave out carrageenan, binders, artificial colors, and sweeteners. Made with six ingredients or less, and more than one cup of sprouted organic nuts in every bottle, & cold-pressed with the latest technology to retain all the nutrients without losing any of the flavor. You can find MALK at Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods, some Targets, and others!
Califia Farms. They leave out stabilizers & gums. Califia Farms is non-GMO, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten free, vegan and use a BPA-free carton.
S.O. Delicious. Some of you may disagree on this one, and I understand! They still use gums and ‘natural flavors’ which could be a long list of unknown additives. However, it is better than many nut milks on the market, and they are verified non-gmo, have an organic line, vegan, and free of artificial flavors, colors and hydrogenated oils.
We have never tried oat milk, and I’m glad we haven’t as you have probably seen how many oats contain glyphosate! We avoid soy milk because most soy is genetically engineered and unless you know and trust the company, I would avoid buying soy milk. We have used hemp milk as well, but it is hard to find a clean label on hemp milk.
What kind of milk do you drink? I would love to hear!