Plant-based milks shouldn’t be main beverage for young kids: experts

Experts warn that drinking too much of the plant-based beverages can displace hunger and cause children to eat less

Canada’s dietitians and pediatricians are discouraging parents from relying on plant-based drinks — such as rice, coconut and almond milks — as the main beverage for babies and young kids.

Dr. Catherine Pound of the Canadian Paediatric Society says some plant-based beverages are not fortified with any minerals or vitamins and often contain sugar as the second ingredient after water.

Kids aged two to eight need 13 to 19 grams of protein per day, which can be met with two cups of cow milk or two cups of fortified soy beverage.

Meanwhile, almond, coconut or rice drinks contain little to no protein and would require kids to also eat two child-sized servings of meat or two half-cup servings of lentils.

Almond drinks only contain about four almonds per cup.

The experts warn that drinking too much of the plant-based beverages can displace hunger and cause children to eat less food.

“The challenge for parents is conflicting messages. They read that these drinks are considered ‘healthier’ on social media or hear misinformation about cow milk or fortified soy beverage,” Becky Blair of Dietitians of Canada said Wednesday in a release.

If possible, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, and continued for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding. Otherwise, babies can drink formula or pasteurized human milk from screened donors.

Cow milk is not recommended before nine to 12 months of age. Full fat homogenized cow milk is then recommended for kids until age two.

In the case of allergies or other concerns, Pound says parents should speak with a dietitian.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

UPDATE: missing 12-year-old Terrace boy found safe

Was reported missing on Southside around 10 p.m. July 9

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read