Is Soy Milk Safe For Children?


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Getting your child to drink her daily glass of milk is a battle. But the truth is she needs milk. Cow’s milk is full of nutrients that your child needs. But not all kids can drink milk. Many are lactose intolerant.

For such kids, soy-milk is the solution. Read here to know in detail about soy milk and children:

What Is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance occurs when the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of natural sugar present in cow’s milk. When a person is lactose intolerant, she may show the following symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pain or cramps
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Throwing up

If your child shows these symptoms after consuming milk, you may consider using soy milk.

[ Read: Lactose Intolerance In Children ]

Benefits Of Soy Milk:

Soy milk is not a recent advent. Humans have been consuming soy milk for thousands of years now. If you are still doubtful about using soy milk, take a look at the benefits it has to offer:

1. Great Source Of Protein:

Soy milk contains high quality protein and amino acid. This makes it a great drink for growing children.

2. Perfect For Vegans And Vegetarians:

Most vegan and vegetarian diets lack high-quality protein that is available in animal products. For such families, soy milk is the perfect alternative.

[ Read: Magnesium Rich Foods For Kids ]

3. Alternative For People With Lactose Intolerance:

As mentioned before soy milk is the perfect source of nutrients for people with lactose intolerance.

4. Reduces Chronic Constipation:

Studies show that consumption of soy milk reduces chronic constipation in young children.

5. Tastes Better:

Many children dislike the taste of milk. That’s the reason for many unfinished glasses. Soy milk has a great flavor and just tastes better than cow’s milk. Your child is more likely to finish her glass of soy milk than cow’s milk.

6. Great Source Of Calcium:

Though not as good a source as cow’s milk, soy milk contains sufficient amount of calcium to meet the growing needs of your child.

[ Read: Rice Recipes For Kids ]

7. Other Benefits:

You can ensure your child has decreased risk of diabetes, cholesterol, and cancer when you feed her soy milk.

Soy Milk Side Effects In Children:

Unfortunately, soy milk does not come without side effects. Here are a few dangers of soy milk for children:

1. Causes Seizures (1) :

Studies show a direct link between infant soy milk and seizures in children with autism.

2. Contains Estrogen:

Soy contains low levels of estrogen. This hormone is known to reduce the immune power in animals. Studies are underway to understand its effect on the human immune system.

3. May Cause Allergy:

Soy milk is known to cause allergy in some children. But this kind of allergy is very rare.

[ Read: Chocolate Recipes For Kids ]

4. Can Lead To Digestive Issues:

Soy is known to inhibit protein digestion in the body. This can cause indigestion and related symptoms.

5. Increases Chances Of Sinus Infection:

Soy milk can increase the chance of sinus infection. This is because soy can cause excess production of mucus in the body.

[ Read: Sinusitis In Children ]

6. Problem With Mineral Absorption:

Soy contains phytic acid, which is known to inhibit the absorption of minerals by the body. This can lead to several deficiencies and even anemia.

7. Can Lead To Thyroid Problems:

Excess consumption of soy milk can bring down the level of iodine in the body and cause thyroid problems.

Is Soy Milk Good For Children?

The list of side effects may look long, but it is important to remember that for thousands of years, soy milk has been a staple in many diets. For many cultures, soy milk is not an alternative, but the primary source of nutrients. We need many more scientific studies before we pass judgment of the efficacy of soy milk. But to make the most of this alternative, please keep the following points in mind:

  • Continue breastfeeding as long as you can. Nothing can beat the goodness of breast milk for your child.
  • Look out for soy allergy symptoms. If you suspect an allergy, discuss it with your doctor.
  • Though soy milk contains calcium, it is nowhere near what your child needs. So make sure your child is getting enough calcium from other sources.
  • It is wise to consume soy milk in moderation. One – two glasses of milk a day is what you should stick to.

[ Read: Egg Benefits For Kids ]

There’s nothing to stop you from giving your child soy milk. Just make sure you’re giving her a balanced diet along with soy milk. Cow’s milk has its benefits. But soy milk is no pushover. Go ahead and include soy milk in your family’s diet!

Do you give your child soy milk? Does your child enjoy the taste? How do you make soy milk more interesting? Share your secret with us in the comments section below!

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