Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Milky Way...

So if you guessed more than 10 different types of milk you are correct, all of which will be discussed: soy milk, rice milk, almond milk (you can make any kinda “nut” into milk eg peacans, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews – these are typically not something that you are going to see on a store shelf but you can create them in your own kitchen with the help of your food processor and raw nut of your choice), grain milk (or “plant” milk) which can be made from quinoa, barley, spelt, rye or wheat again these are not something you will find at your neighbourhood grocery store but something you can easily make, hemp milk, “seed milk” most commonly from sunflower seeds or sesame seeds, coconut milk and who could forget cow’s milk, goats milk and most notably breastmilk. 

Soy Milk:
·         Made from ground soybeans, rich in iron and calcium (some brands are further fortified with calcium and vitamin D – these are the ones that you want to look for)
·         Comes sweetened or unsweetened in a variety of flavours (plain, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry) – you want to avoid flavours with babies as they may also be sweetened with sugar
·         Contains about the same amount of protein as cow’s milk, but is substantially lower in fat
·         Coagulated protein from soy milk can be made into tofu, in a similar way milk is made into cheese 
Rice Milk:
·         Made from fermented rice alone or in combo with soy milk or other grain milks
·         Sweeter flavour then soy milk, lower in calories then cow’s milk making it a poor substitute for a babies and children as they need fat for growth and development
·         Comes sweetened or unsweetened, and aside from a non-dairy alternative to milk it has no real health benefits
Almond Milk:
·         A “milky” drink made from ground almonds, it is lactose and cholesterol free, has less saturated fats then regular cow’s milk (more important for us adults but babies and children need the fat)
·         Most commercial products are plain or flavoured with vanilla or chocolate, sweetened or unsweetened  
·         Most are fortified with calcium (this is something that you want to ensure)
·         Can be used as a milk substitute in any recipe, suitable for vegetarians and vegans
 Hemp Milk:
·         Made from hemp seeds, “nutty” flavour, a vegan alternative to other “plant” milks, whether there are trace amounts of THC in the milk is debatable
Grain “Plant” Milk:
·         Milk substitute made from fermented grain or flour such as quinoa, barley, spelt, rye or wheat 
·         Looks similar to  cow’s milk but is lower in protein, high in carbohydrates, lower in fat, typically unfortified as they are made at home; thus lacking calcium  
Seed Milk:
·         Uncommon, rich in nutrients dependant on the type of seeds that you are using, may be highly allergenic therefore not suitable for babies and young children
Coconut Milk:
·         Often debated as a seed or fruit, milk is a sweet white liquid from the “meat” of the coconut, the rich taste of coconut milk is due to its high oil content and sugars
·         May be used as a supplement to cow’s milk in tea or coffee, but its main uses are in many different tropical cuisines   
Cow’s Milk:
·         Made for baby cows, whole cow’s milk is recommended for infants after the age of 1 although some would argue that closer to the age of 2 is recommended so the child’s digestive system is more mature to break down the proteins in cow’s milk
·         The fat in cow’s milk is important for brain development and growth in babies and children,  rich in calcium, iron and b vitamins 1 cup of whole cow’s milk has 8g of fat, 8g protein and nearly 200 calories from which ½ are from fat... so is what other type of milk can you get that nutritional profile?
·         This is where we crumble... and feel that we would be self-fish to not offer cow’s milk to our daughter this is when I toy with “simply pure vegan baby +” .  There are many different opinions out there on “safety” of raising a vegan baby/child some say  vegan babies suffer from nutritional deficiencies, failure to thrive and vitamin b deficiency others say that when carefully monitored a baby/child can thrive on a vegan diet... I am not suggesting one way or the other merely presenting both sides to be continued...
·         There is also goat’s milk and other mammal milk that human’s will consume for different purposes
·         Save the best for last, does breastmilk need an explanation?... I would need to create an entirely new blog to discuss the benefits and reasons that infants should be breastfed for a minimum of 1 year, did you know that the world average of breastfeeding is 4 years? Breastfeeding toddlers has more recently became more common even amongst working mothers
·         I can’t possibly do service to discuss breastmilk in this post will follow up with a post dedicated to breastfeeding and breastmilk  
·         My daughter was exclusively breastfed for 1 year of life (she never even had a bottle she went straight to a sippy cup) and now I continue to breastfeed in the morning and evening the perfect start (even at 4:45am haha) and end to our day

Sorry for another loooooooooooooong post I guess one could say nothing is simple anymore... who would have thought there were so many different types of milk?

What is your favourite type of milk? What type of milk to you feed your baby or child(ren)? Have you ever “made” any milks at home? 

My personal favourite right now is vanilla almond milk and chocolate soy milk my husband would concur.  As for our daughter she is in love with the PC Organic Soy Formula and breastmilk... although I think she was asking for quinoa milk today I guess that will be one of my next adventures in the kitchen, I feel that offering a variety is key a little splash of quinoa milk mixed Julia’s dinner is a perfect little nutritional boost (quinoa is a little power house... we had red quinoa last night – it was fun having the red but if my eyes’s were closed I couldn’t have been able to tell the difference... recipes to come...)

I am going to do a follow-up to this post in the upcoming weeks to further dive into the controversies surrounding introduction of cow’s milk in infants...

Coming up next... recipe for this tasty tomato red wheat melody that I whipped up tonight, pictures of my over stuffed freezer and step by step guide to making the easiest tastiest crackers/teething biscuits ever!! Forget the baby mum-mum’s... these are baby yum-yum’s...

Two more things before I retire for the night first I have added a spot where you can subscribe with your email and secondly I am committing myself to posting at least twice a week if there is something that you would like me to discuss please comment below.

Have a warm glass of milk of your choice ;-) and sleep tight!

~ Mama J


  1. I'm not going to comment after every post:) I just wanted to say thanks again for this information because I had never thought about how much different our bodies are than babies. I am definitely going to re think the cow's milk idea.

  2. Your welcome Cielita! Thanks for checking back in, yes I have been busy I have so much to write about :) and ya babies have very different nutritional needs then we have... look forward to your future comments.

  3. Mother's Day is coming. I made an order for 2 bottles of Birds Nest soup ( as well as 4 packets of Chinese tea that's supposed to be good for regulating cholestrol. My mom's cholestrol has been pretty high lately, or so she tells me.