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Question
Posted by: mia | 2004/12/09

Milk

what are the consequences of never giving a child COW milk i.e. from birth after 9 months of breastfeeding, soya and then maybe rice milk from age 2 continously.... will there be any negative effects on the child if she never had cow's milk except maybe in cheese and yoghurt? The reason for omitting the cow's milk right now is due to allergy to it but i would like to know if i can continue to omitt it indefinetely?
If there is any risk then i would reconsider her and challenge her later the problem is both parents are intolerant to cow's and she has also shown an indication when given yoghurt hence the soya after breastfeeding. I just feel i dont need to ever give it to her?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Mia
The prime reason why cow's milk is so useful in a normal diet, is that it is our richest source of bioavailable calcium (it contains a bit more than 1 mg of calcium per ml). Individuals who have a true allergy to cow's milk (e.g. lactose intolerance) and do not outgrown their allergy as the grown older, may never be able to drink cow's milk. Such individuals must make quite sure that they are getting sufficient calcium (800- 1000 mg a day for adults) from a supplement like Calcium Sandoz or Caltrate. If you have had your lassie tested for milk allergy and she has given a positive result, then you need to keep her on a milk-free diet for awhile, but you must have this allergy confirmed and you should challenge her with a minute amount of cow's milk every few months to see if she still reacts. If she grows out of the allergy then she can of course have cow's milk, yoghurt, etc, but if she does not then you need to a) check if the milk replacements (soya or rice milk) contain sufficient calcium and if not b) give her a calcium supplement.
Best regards
DietDoc

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