The Three Best Milk Substitutes

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist January 18, 2011

Milk allergy affects approximately 2-5% of children from around the world.  Many times “milk allergy” simply masquerades as “pasteurization allergy”, which means that when a switch is made from processed store milk to farm fresh unpasteurized milk, the “milk allergy” suddenly disappears!

Why is this?

Because pasteurization denatures fragile milk proteins and renders them allergenic.  It also destroys lactase, the enzyme necessary for digesting lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk.     A simple switch to fresh from the farm raw milk solves both of these problems.

In those rare instances when a child is truly allergic to cow or goat milk – even the farm fresh variety – figuring out the best possible substitute can be a bewildering experience for a concerned parent.

Soy milk is clearly not a good option as high amounts of isoflavones (plant estrogens) disrupt the hormonal development of young children.   Commercial rice milk is high in sugar and low in nutrition with little to no protein or fats to stabilize the blood sugar.   Even store bought almond milk is not a good choice as it is also very low in protein and fat, high in sugar and is not made from almonds that have been properly soaked/dehydrated first to eliminate anti-nutrients such as phytic acid which block mineral absorption and cause digestive distress.

So, what is a Mom or Dad to do?

Fortunately, there are three excellent milk substitutes that are delicious, healthy and easy to make when there are milk allergies in the home or even just when you are traveling or temporarily have no access to farm fresh whole milk.

I hope you enjoy these three healthy milk substitutes for your child that will be both enjoyable and nourishing!   You may even wish to take a sip or two yourself!

*Please note that these milk substitutes are for a child older than one year old. A child younger than one that is not breastfed should be getting a formula and if allergic to milk, the homemade hypoallergenic baby formula is best.

Coconut Milk Tonic

From Eat Fat, Lose Fat

Makes 1 quart

This drink contains the same amount of calories and calcium as cow’s milk and is high in good fats to stabilize the blood sugar in those active toddlers and children who, without good fats in the diet, will constantly be clamoring for refined carbs.

Ingredients

14 oz whole coconut milk with no additives or  make it yourself (click here to watch video how-to)

2 1/4 cups filtered water

2 TBL Grade B maple syrup (use a pinch of stevia powder for sugar free version) (sources)

1 tsp vanilla extract (sources)

1 tsp dolomite powder (sources)

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium to low heat until all the dolomite is dissolved.     Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Traditional Rice Milk

From Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

Makes 2 quarts

If your child is also allergic to coconut, traditional rice milk works well instead of the sugar laden, nutritionless version from the store.

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice (sources)

8 cups filtered water

1 tsp sea salt (sources)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar (sources)

1/4 cup raw honey (sources)

1 tsp cinnamon (sources)

Instructions

Cook rice in water, covered, until rice is mushy.  This will take several hours.    Process rice and liquid together in a food processor or food mill.  Place liquified mixture in a glass jug with salt and lemon juice or cider vinegar.   Cover tightly and leave on the counter for 2-3 days.   Refrigerate.

To serve, blend with honey and cinnamon and dilute with enough filtered water to achieve desired consistency.

Homemade Almond Milk

From Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

Makes 2 quarts

While almond milk from the store is not a good choice, the homemade version is both delicious and nutritious.

Ingredients

2 cups skinless raw almonds (sources)

Filtered water

2 tsp sea salt (sources)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar (sources)

1/8 cup coconut sugar, sucanat or raw honey (sources)

1 tsp vanilla extract (sources)

1 tsp almond extract (sources)

Instructions

Soak almonds overnight in filtered water and sea salt.    Drain off soaking water and process almonds in a food processor until a smooth paste.  In a 2 quart glass jug mix almond paste with other ingredients and enough filtered water to fill the jug.   Cover tightly and leave on  the counter for 2 days.   Refrigerate.   Stir before serving.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sources:

Eat Fat, Lose Fat

Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

Picture Credit

 

Comments (232)

  1. Pingback: Dairy; Are we milking the problem? | Rhiannon Mack Sensible Nutrition

  2. here’s a question I thought the almond milk option sounded fantastic though it means I won’t get my usual almond flour out of making it so I gave it a go. I took 2 cups of almonds (skins on because I cannot find the skinless) soaked and then ground them which turned out to be a lot of work with my little blender and came out to ALOT of almond paste, then I added the other ingredients and left it on the counter. The next morning I heard hissing and found it was the almond milk jar I opened the lid to releave the pressure and prevent the impending explosion :P losing a bunch of it in the process when it came flying out of there like a black smoke snake in science class. When I came home this evening ditto, it happened again, this time I have separated it into 2 two quart jars, now is this supposed to happen??? … should I drink it??? (I might mention I found this post only after already soaking 1 cup almonds for 12 hours in filtered water then another 12 hours in water plus 1/4 tsp sea salt so I just threw that in the fridge and repeated to get the 2 cups could this be my problem?)

    Reply
  3. Debbie Eisa via Facebook May 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    The Healthy Home Economist, do you use the powder coconut that you have in the “sources”? I was confused because it said coconut milk, but when you click sources, it’s a powder. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. What one is the highest in calcium? I didn’t know coconut, rice and almonds had calcium in them. Our 3 yr old can’t have dairy either.

    Reply
  5. A very long time ago..(in the 1950s) I was weaned from breast milk, only to have my mom realize I was allergic to cow’s milk..living very far from a city, I was given beef broth as a substitute. I have been blessed by exceedingly wonderful health….that’s my story, & I’m sticking with it!

    Reply
  6. Filia Christi via Facebook May 7, 2014 at 7:25 am

    And please check out the GAPS or SCD diets, which could cure your child of their milk allergy…

    Reply
  7. Annette Nelson via Facebook May 7, 2014 at 12:59 am

    I make your coconut milk recipe and my little guy LOVES it! :) He didn’t a first….but after about 4 tries he now asks for it. :) I toss in his dose of probiotics too. :) Thanks so much for this!!!

    Reply
  8. Keri Hessel via Facebook May 7, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Or, you could just breast feed until the WHO recommended age of two. After that, do you really need milk?

    Reply
  9. Stefanie Jones via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Have you ever tried kinesiology? My daughter had severe food allergies when she was a toddler including dairy, which ended up with her Doctor telling me she had to be on stool softeners, and zantag for the rest of her life due to her severe constipation and heart burn when she was eight years old. She went to my kinesiologist and after one visit. No pain, drugs or needles. All of her food allergies are gone and she can eat everything. She is now 14 and all is well. I am a true believer in kinesiology. Btw he has also cured me of my sever cat allergies and it has been eight years since. I have a cat that sleeps with me every night. No problems

    Reply
  10. Lynda Peterson-Owen via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Yes Sabrina Lindsay. And we are the only mammals that drink other mammal milk (cow milk) something wierd about that dont ya think?

    Reply
  11. Sabrina Elizabeth Lindsay via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Did you know that humans are the only animal that continue to “nurse” off another animal. After 12 months of age your baby no longer requires “milk” you can continue to nurse until 2-3 years but really he does not “need” milk.

    You can start the entire family on a vegetarian or even vegan diet which contains no animal products. You will also eliminate extra estrogen that has the chance of young children to develop breasts.

    We switched to organic coconut milk which only contains coconut and guar gum. Amazingly the 6 & 3 year old don’t miss milk

    Reply
  12. Debbie Eisa via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Is there an option besides the Dolomite in the Coconut version? I don’t know anything about it and other comments have said something about lead. Can it be made without it? Thanks.

    Reply
  13. Shanna – my son had lots of tummy issues early in life and at 1 we tried to transition to milk or almond milk and he would have NONE of it. After trying several options and consulting with my Nurse practitioner, we decided not to force the issue. We served him whole milk yogurts and cottage cheese and other calcium rich foods and he is doing great at 4.5 yrs old. If you research you will find that children don’t need as much milk as we are told they do. Just another perspective for you to consider. :-)

    Reply
  14. Tania Jurekie via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I also have tested an allergy to cows and goats milk. I started buying coconut milk, rice milks, etc.. But when you read the ingredients on the packets you will ditch them quickly. Making your own milk can be time consuming – especially when you are making everything else (your own stocks, yogurt, muesli, kefir, etc). I know it’s not hard, but it’s just another thing to do. So I went without for a long time. About 2 months ago, I introduced raw milk into my diet ..the rest of my family had been having this for ages. Firstly through homemade yoghurt and now I drink it in a smoothie. I have not had any adverse reactions and/or symptoms.

    Reply
  15. Beverly Kurts via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    NAET works, even if you don’t understand it. It is based on Chinese medicine. I was cleared of tons of allergies. My son was cleared of tons of food allergens as well. It does work, and is non invasive. It does eliminate allergies.

    Reply
  16. Brooke Music-Jackson via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Since the kid is 2, how about just water? My 2 kiddos are happy with just that. Kids can get all their nutrients from food (and veggie smoothies!).

    Reply
  17. Ashley Krout via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Daphne, thought you might find this helpful :) There’s a link to a hypoallergenic formula recipe for kids under 1 year in the article.

    Reply
  18. Rebecca Gill via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    If one is just too busy to make your own, which of the commercially available Almond Milks are better? Unsweetened, of course.

    Reply
  19. Melisa Hills via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    We have dairy allergies in our house. When the children were done (and before as they desired since 3 of them were approaching age 2 when they self-weaned…and the last one over 3+ys), we simply gave them water. They do like rice, almond, & coconut milk, but those are not regular staples around here. But then, as a child, we did not drink gallons of milk a week either. We drank….water!

    Reply
  20. Michelle Lubbers via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I make almond milk for my one yr old. 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight and drained, then blended with four cups water in a high powered blender (I use a vitamix) and strained through a nut milk strainer bag. Drink up!

    Reply
  21. Andrea Verner via Facebook May 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Coconut milk has more calcium than milk. You can supplement vit d & be sure your little one is eating salmon andor avacado to replace good fats and dark leafies like broccoli and spinach for folic acid. Milk according to my pediatrician is only necessary up to 2 yrs.

    Reply
  22. Hi, just made the coconut version but its still kinda pulpy/frothy even though I ran it through our juicer afterwards. I tasted the finish product and it must be the coconut I used (the mature brown one I scraped the insides out myself rather than use the frozen shredded product) and it taste kinda detergenty. Thats the best way to describe it, it has a soapy after taste.Waiting till my son comes home but he’s a picky toddler I don’t think he’s gonna go for it. I was wondering If I could make milk from coconut cream which I’ve found at WF organic in wrapping not cans (so its non BPA)

    Reply
  23. Pingback: 3 Best Milk Substitutes | All Natural Home and Beauty

  24. Great post! I used to have really bad eczema and did a 30-day program to help me find what was causing it. Through the program I found out my “eczema triggers” were dairy and gluten. After just 15 days into the program my skin healed up SO fast, I decided to cut dairy and gluten for good :) My favorite one to buy is coconut milk, but this is a great recipe for rice milk. I never buy the ones in the store because they put tons of sugar and other stuff in it (sometimes soy), that isn’t really good for my eczema diet. I’m going to try this one this weekend! Thanks :)
    Eczema Diet\’s last post: How I cured my eczema in 30 Days

    Reply
  25. Pingback: Three Alternatives to Cow`s Milk « The Advent Message

  26. My kids (4&1) LOVE my homemade almond/coconut mylk. I sweeten it with a few dates and if still not sweet enough a drop or two of liquid stevia. 1 c. soaked almonds overnight with young thai coconut meat. We love it! BTW, I lost my milk supply at 5 mo. and my daughter did awesome on the homemade raw milk formula!!! Since raw milk is too pricey for our food budgetwe have switched to non-dairy homemade mylks and I have to say we all do great on it! Another variation I do that my kids and I LOVE is to add fresh green juice to the mylk. They LOVE the green mylk and they are sooooo powered up to play and have amazing focus! Perfect for ST. Patrick’s day too!!!

    Reply
  27. Researching Dolomite a bit, I read that it can contain lead and other heavy metals…what are your thoughts on this?
    Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Pingback: Milk Allergies: Need More Options? | Outdoor Nutrition®

  29. Ok I wanna try the coconut milk recipe but im so confused on which coconut milk to use… please help me out if you could.. email me. My son is allergic to raw cows milk, we drank it and he had terrible reactions to it :( – hes 13 mo old. I was unable to nurse due to my milk never letting down, :( – so this has been a battling since birth. We did homemade formula too but it made him very sick and he had to be hospitalized… lets just say ive had so many issues with homemade recipes that im leary of ever trying another… but would love to find a milk replacement for him .. he has done ok with goat milk but it does constipate him some.

    Reply
  30. So concerning making your own whole coconut milk for the coconut tonic recipe, I have a question – Would it be ok to just use store-bought natural coconut water mixed with the raw fresh coconut? I’m just trying to simplify things for myself so I can make this on a regular basis for my daughter…Thank you!

    Reply
  31. I am on day two of the fermented almond milk. I used the apple cider vinegar. I doubled the recipe and stored it in four glass containers. When I unscrewed the first lid it bubbled out everywhere. When I tasted it there was a very strong vinegar taste. Does this sound right? I have not refrigerated it yet, but I figured we could drink it before it was refrigerated. Thanks, Michelle

    Reply
  32. My one year old is allergic to cows milk. I have been making the coconut tonic for the past few weeks and she loves it. How long does it stay good for?

    Reply
  33. We’ve been seeing a holistic pediatrician for our son. Our son will be 12 months in a couple weeks. He gets severely constipated when he has dairy in his system (even through my breast milk). I just started him on the coconut milk tonic you have posted for milk substitutions. Doctor says that plain coconut milk is fine. In fact, after 1 yr they can get all they need with a healthy, balanced diet, that there is no need for milk at all if baby cannot tolerate dairy. Do you agree with this? I have a lot of respect for this doctor and his knowledge but I’ve never heard this before.

    Reply
  34. Soaked Brown Rice Milk: Your recipe uses cooked rice. There are recipes out there using uncooked rice. As a novice I tried it both ways preferring the uncooked method as it is much less time consuming and not so much messing around trying to get the ratio (rice to water) to get a good consistency end product. Is there nutritional or digestive reasoning behind the cooked method vs uncooked?
    Also, I have searched the web for a good quality nut milk bag and have found some rather discouraging comments. Any suggestions?
    Perhaps I should have mentioned at the beginning that I am a celiac, my younger son is a celiac, as is his daughter. Both my son and I have other food allergies and sensitivities. One of his is dairy (& eggs, pnuts, nuts, apples)…he and his family will be arriving soon (US Army) for a visit and I have literally spent hours researching substitute ingredients. It’s not that I am completely unfamiliar…just out of practice.
    Enjoy learning new ways of coping with my health journey through your website. Thanks, C

    Reply
  35. Donna Kempster July 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Hi. I am wondering how much of the coconut milk tonic a 14 month old should drink it a day. Thank you.

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Make your own almond milk at home! | The Happy Health Freak

  37. Soy milk while pregnant can cause you to have a Hemophodrite, use of it after birth for the child can cause a boy to be more “girlish” .

    Reply
  38. Thanks for the recipes. My daughter developed allergies to several things including milk while on raw milk. I don’t blame the raw milk for being raw but I question what exactly the cows are fed. As a baby she was sensitive to milk (diarrhea, eczema), I had to switch to goat milk just to nurse. She seemed to grow out of it and it would only occasionally occur and we switched to raw milk. Problem went away. However after maybe 3-4 years she became allergic to milk, beef, eggs, yeast, soy, wheat, among others (she gets big hives). We live in AZ and the raw dairy here does not pasture their cows (no pasture just desert). Their alfalfa is supplied to them by someone else and I believe they also give them oats and other feed to supplement. They also started giving the cows enzymes. (my husband claimed it started tasting different) We switched to raw goat – same thing, but not quite as severe. Now I truly believe it’s due to the gm soy and /or wheat they put in most animal feed. Soy was in the goat feed. It’s next to impossible to find it without. We have chickens and she can’t do our eggs because of the feed. We found soy free feed and she could eat the eggs (she can also eat emu and ostrich eggs), but the feed was mash not pelletized and the chickens didn’t like to eat it and weren’t laying as much. She can eat sheep milk yogurt with no problem, but it’s impossible to find raw sheep milk that we can drink and make our own stuff from.

    any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Gina, I wrote the previous comment. In our case it definitely is raw milk and, like you, I don’t question raw milk itself as my baby was thriving on it before but I do question what farmers are feeding their animals with. I know that the cows of my second source were fed corn among other things – the farmer’s son was really surprised when we told him that cows GRAZE instead of eating grains…… – so I will do the homemade liver formula today and try it. I will say how it went in a couple os days/weeks. Hoping for the best here!

      Reply
  39. I know that this is an old post but I really hope someone can give me a good help!

    My baby was thriving with homemade raw milk formula but during a trip I had to buy raw milk in another place that was supposed to be a trusted source. Turns out my baby developped a strong rash eczema and it doesn’t go away no matter what I do (I tried to rub – in different times – shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil + 2 drops of tea tree essential oil, castor oil on her skin and the patches don’t go away). I removed the egg yolk (it is now maybe 2 weeks or more) and it’s not this that triggers the eczema, it is the raw milk (even though we are already at home and with our previous source of good raw milk). My baby cannot stand the liver, so I thought about doing almond milk. However I have doubts and worries… where will she get her minerals from (namely calcium as well) not to mention fat? I have vanilla extract that I made with vodka… I am not going to add vodka to my baby’s milk!

    What are the benefits of the vanilla and almond extracts (homemade almond milk)?
    Can please someone help with this?

    Reply
  40. Pingback: MEGAN MONDAY: Weary of Dairy? And Then What? | mysuperfoods

  41. Hi, My children all have digestive problems. We have found the thing that helps them the most is having them take a supplement of digestive enzymes and probiotics. We didn’t learn about them though until my boys were ages 1 and 3. They were on acid reducer meds and ate no dairy. They are now able to eat dairy as long as they take one of their supplement pills.

    With my daughter I took the supplements while pregnant and nursing and it made a huge difference. I nursed her to 8 months and then she did fine with regular formula. At a year (3 months ago) I switched her to fresh dairy milk and she did ok with it until we went on a trip at Christmas and forgot the milk at home. We tried her on store bought milk and she got very fussy and constipated. Although we still give her the digestive enzymes and probiotics and she is still MUCH better than my boys, I am trying to figure out what to do to get her back on track with her digestive system. She has never been the same since Christmas. A week ago while on a trip I started her on store bought coconut milk and she improved but when we got home we couldn’t find coconut milk so started her on almond milk. Now she seems worse again. And is having some constipation.

    I found this site when searching for whether almond or coconut milk is better. Sorry for the long post but my question is… is there any reason that I can’t give her store bought coconut milk in a carton? Or why is the homemade stuff better? With my sons I tried soy, rice, and goat milk and they couldn’t tolerate any of them. Finally they just drank water. I think I tried almond once but either they didn’t like it or it was just too expensive for us. I don’t remember ever seeing coconut milk for sale.

    Thanks!

    If anyone is interested, I have created a blog that tells about what all we went through with our childrens digestive problems and what we’ve found to help. help4acidreflux.wordpress.com

    Reply
  42. Pingback: Does My Toddler NEED Cow’s Milk?

  43. I’m Asian and know many many other Asians who swear by soy and soy milk (freshly made) and we hardly ever eat manufactured soy products. Our history of eating soy is millenium old.

    I agree with Dr. Weil the and Journal of Nutrition.

    “When you consider that millions of men in China, Japan and other Asian countries have had soy foods in their daily diets from earliest childhood, you can appreciate that the plant estrogens they contain have no discernible effect on male sexual development, and no feminizing effects at all. Given the huge populations of Asian countries there’s no reason to think that soy affects male fertility, either.” – Dr Weil MD

    Reply
  44. Pingback: Choosing the Right Coconut Milk (for weaning babies) « The Paleo Mama

  45. My rice milk tastes very bitter and lemony. I only put a 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Does this mean I didn’t do it right? or that it has gone bad?

    Reply
  46. I tasted the almond milk right before I covered it on the counter for 2 days. It was so delicious! Then after 2 days + chilling, it tasted completely rotten/sour. Is it necessary for the milk to sit on the counter for 2 days?

    Reply
  47. Well apparently you are evil for offering alternatives to breast milk and not writing in caps that breast milk is best. I just don’t get people. My milk dried up when my son turned 1 bc I got pregnant, then with my second I was so depressed and out of it by the time she was 10 months old that if I didn’t stop nursing I would expose her growing brain to anti-depressants and my rage and issues. 10 days after I stopped nursing it was like a heavy fog lifted from my brain. I assume it was hormones. I was a mess and a terrible mother for a while there. I wish I was still nursing just so I didn’t have to figure out an alternative to milk bc of a dairy allergy, but that ship has sailed. I’m grateful for info like this. All people saying breast is best over and over does is make me feel guilty for being a messed up person. I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t no matter what my choice. I can’t afford the best and homemade ing either, but sometimes I’m just grateful to live in a place where the water is clean, the food is the best I can afford and I have a resource like the internet to get info.

    Reply
  48. Hi, great post. I’m only 18 and unable to purchase a food processor. Is it necessary to use that or will a blender be able to work just as good with the same results? I was also wondering how long each homemade milk can be stored for? Thanks!

    Reply
  49. Except that, milk from other animals is yummy…

    I wanted to posit, for those who can’t get raw milk, in my personal experience, it was the homogenization that caused problems. Any problems I had with milk previously (heavy on the stomach, caused acne) disappeared when I got the non-homogenized, low temp pasteurized grass-fed milk. So there can be homogenization allergies too.

    Reply
  50. Amanda Cook Elliott via Facebook August 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    There is no need at all for milk beyond weaning, which should occur between the ages of 2 and 7, depending on the child. Why such a huge push for dairy on this page? These aren’t “modern eating fads” it’s just the way it is. We don’t need milk from another species our whole lives.

    Remember that at some point in human history someone had to look at the cow and say hey, let’s drink that thing’s milk. They didn’t wander up to the first humans and just offer it.

    Reply
  51. What about breastfeeding beyond a year, a trusted wet nurse, milk sharing? I think these are great options, but the article never mentions the best option–breast milk.

    Reply
  52. I think you’ve missed the point Sarah. I wasn’t making a judgement about, or questioning the way you fed your children. What I am deeply concerned about is that you wrote this post to position yourself as somewhat knowledgeable about infant & child nutrition and yet you stated that the best food for those under one is formula, and the best milk for those over one is raw cow’s milk. This is utterly incorrect as in both cases the best choice is breastmilk. I agree with Alisa that this discredits anything you have to say on the topic of infant & child nutrition.

    Reply
  53. Kari Carlin Aist via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I know, it’s just, as I said in a comment on your website:
    I loved the article right up to the point where you said something about these recipes being meant for a child over one, because under one year of age the child should be receiving…formula?! You lost me there! Why oh why would you not have said “breastmilk or formula”? Or preferably, “breastmilk or a suitable Artificial Baby Milk substitute”?

    I don’t know your baby-feeding history [well, now I do--thanks], and I didn’t read through all the many comments here to know if there’s a reason you would exclude breastfeeding as an option, but coming from someone who calls herself the Healthy Home Economist I feel disappointed with regard to this omission.

    Please understand: this is NOT an attack on people who can’t/don’t breastfeed, rather a plea to help support breastfeeding in a world in which formula companies have the upper hand in tweaking the cultural norms to make formula seem normal and breastfeeding optional. Seeing as this is World Breastfeeding Week 2012, I had to say something.

    Reply
    • Yeah, we get it. She added her comment about not giving the substitutions to a child under one bc enough people were asking her about giving them to a child under one that she wanted to make it clear that if you were using a substiution for a child under one the ones she listed were not approriate and formula was the better option (as a substitution). Believe it or not not everyone breast feeds for a year or more and are looking for the best substitute.

      Reply
  54. There was no mention in this post that the suggestions are only for those small percentage of children who cannot be breastfed. It’s in total contradiction to the WHO guidelines that children should be breastfed till at least two years old.

    Reply
    • If you look through the comments several people were asking about using these substitutions for their babies under 1. She said she would add to her original blog not to use them for a child that young. These were people who were looking for alternatives. Calm down.

      Reply
  55. I loved the article right up to the point where you said something about these recipes being meant for a child over one, because under one year of age the child should be receiving…formula?! You lost me there! Why oh why would you not have said “breastmilk or formula”? Or preferably, “breastmilk or a suitable Artificial Baby Milk substitute”?

    I don’t know your baby-feeding history, and I didn’t read through all the many comments here to know if there’s a reason you would exclude breastfeeding as an option, but coming from someone who calls herself the Healthy Home Economist I feel disappointed with regard to this omission.

    Please understand: this is NOT an attack on people who can’t/don’t breastfeed, rather a plea to help support breastfeeding in a world in which formula companies have the upper hand in tweaking the cultural norms to make formula seem normal and breastfeeding optional. Seeing as this is World Breastfeeding Week 2012, I had to say something.

    Reply
  56. Pingback: The Lie About Dairy (Only for Baby Cows) | The Kitchen Trolls!

  57. Anne Marchal via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Thanks but we have the milk issue and a coconut allergy on top of that makes our options very limited.

    Reply
  58. Ladies, not every mother can breastfeed. I never could. My first was on formula because I didn’t know better and couldn’t afford to make my own. My second was on raw goat milk because I found a local dairy farm that serves raw, grassfed dairy. I’m blessed to have the farm but not everyone can breastfeed, not everyone has a farm nearby and not everyone can afford organic ingredients to make their own natural formula.

    Reply
  59. Laura Reiner Brady via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I have been following this blog for a long time now and really she is a huge supporter for BF so stop attacking! For women who can’t BF (not by choice) she present a healthy natural alternative with raw milk formula. Sadly my #5 didn’t thrive no matter what I tried so I am thankful to have a homemade alternative. Now for after 1 yr – I still make the formula and I would testify that there is such a thing as pasteurized milk allergy. People miss this & go right for soy or rice. For true raw milk casein allergies I would avoid rice & soy from personal research and other comments stated above.

    Reply
  60. Alisha Wilkins Roseleip via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Formula?! Normally LOVE Your blog, but I think you have totally missed the mark with this article unfortunately and have discredited yourself for this topic with just this one error. Breastmilk is always the best choice for a baby, even over one, if it is available.

    Reply
    • I think she is saying that you use the formula if your child is younger than a year and has milk allergies and you need to have a substitute. Just bc you breastfeed it doesn’t mean that it will magically erase allergies. My son was hospitalized for 2 weeks for things I was eating while nursing him. She has said in videos and blog posts that breastfeeding is best numerous times! She has never advocated that her formula was better than breast milk. She is not doing that now. Of course breastfeeding is best, but it’s not always what is possible. I am currently breastfeeding my 16 month old who has severe food allergies. She is allergic to milk, even raw goats milk. I have to be on a special diet so I can breastfeed her, but I am having to wean now. There are no milk options for her, so this post gives wonderful options!

      Reply
  61. “Please note that these substitutes are for a child older than one year old. A child younger than one should be getting a formula” I can’t believe you said this!!! Shouldn’t a real food advocate be advocating breast feeding?!

    Reply
  62. Ann Dickinson Degenhard via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I too would say that breastfeeding past age 1 is the best form of milk for little ones.

    Reply
  63. Tami Hallam via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I would suggest to try milk with the A2 casein protein before giving up on milk for your allergic child as well. If it’s the A1 protein he or she is allergic to, it just might be the solution to being able to drink milk again for them.

    Reply
  64. Sarah Reddick via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

    We have been drinking raw milk for short of a year now, however this summer my 2yo began no tolerating it. :( Thanks for the article!

    Reply
  65. Janice Fuentes via Facebook August 3, 2012 at 9:21 am

    It’s sad that it’s illegal in so many places. I don’t have the ability to buy it and I can’t afford a cow share.

    Reply
  66. Pingback: How to make your own almond milk

  67. Update, my son doesn’t like it! I will give it a few more tries. He is used to store bought vanilla almond milk. He is a very picky eater. Any tips? Thanks!

    Reply
  68. Just made the coconut milk for my son! I didn’t have enough milk in my coconut so I added a little water. Everything is organic except the coconut…the packaged kind that I found here isn’t organic and I searched all day yesterday for some. Anywhere I can buy it online? I love the taste and was able to find the Dolomite powder at the store. When it cools I am going to see if he likes it, I love it. The heat was on 4 and even with stirring the Dolomite clumped up a bit, so I am going to try a lower heat. :)

    Reply
  69. I am going to make the home made almond milk. As much as I love, love, love cow’s milk, it doesn’t love me. I’ll report back when I’ve make a batch. Gluten and dairy free is the way I do best.

    Reply
  70. Hey there! My son has had a milk protein problem since birth. We discovered what the problem was when he was 6 months. Since I nurse him, I have been off all dairy since. He will turn 1yr on March 8th which is just about 3 weeks away. My supply has been slowing decreasing and I am not successful with pumping much. Do you think it would be fine if I added in one of the above “milk” recipes to supplement (like at meal time with his food) it would be ok? I think purchasing the stuff needed to make the homemade formula when he is only 3 weeks away from a year kinda silly. I still plan on nursing him until he weans himself so he would still get mama milk for a while. Also-I make the almond milk for myself and cannot get the almonds into a paste. Any suggestions? Thanks so much-learning lot’s about my health in relation to what I eat.
    Jacqualine\’s last post: Banana Bread

    Reply
  71. Also, the new reports say something about arsenic in brown rice!
    how do I know the brown rice is safe?
    I am waiting on the doloimite powder for the coconut milk to try.
    thanks so much

    Reply
  72. goodness! I forgot to filter the water!
    what does that mean?
    thanks so much, hope to hear back soon as I have the rice milk sitting and waiting :)
    lily

    Reply
  73. Thank you for the post Sarah. I just found your website a few months ago and have shared several of your posts with friends. I’m always looking for information to improve the way we eat. I tried the rice milk recipe with apple cider vinegar and the taste was way too vinegary for me or my 3 year old daughter. I’ll try it with lemon juice and see if we like that better. Thank you for all the great information!

    Reply
  74. Hooray! I’ve done some searching around for Weston Price leaning mom bogs and I hit the jackpot today. So I’m not all knee deep in WP stuff, but lived w/ a family in New Zealand who were and a lot of it made sense to me. I incorporate it in various ways…fermented veggies, cooking with lard, coconut oil, etc. And I have a 2.5 year old and we’ve just fallen into giving him cow’s milk as part of the nighttime ritual. Mostly so that I could get a break. I’m still breastfeeding happily, so it just seemed that we should replace my breastmilk with something and I also wanted a break from pumping. Anyhow, its been in the back of my mind for ages that I want to stop the milk. I just really feel that its not a good source of nutrients for him, esp. since its pasteurized. So I’m thinking of just going off the milk altogether. And I love your recipes for the milk alternatives. FINALLY. My question: What do you think is the ideal beverage other than water to offer children? I’m thinking that don’t really want to replace the milk with an alternative. If anything, I’m thinking of herbal tea or lemon juice with water and stevia or maybe a homemade kefir…? Just curious what the nourishing traditions take is on this. I’m guessing most tribal diets don’t have much emphasis on giving children some other animal’s milk after they’re weaned…is that true? I’m just curious what other traditions are in this regard, so I can start envisioning what a milk free life looks like for a toddler. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  75. Thank you for the information. I would like to also know, how long does the homemade Coconut Milk tonic last when refrigerated? Also, which brand contain NO BPA in the cans of Coconut milk? Thank you!

    Reply
  76. I have made the Nourishing Traditions Almond milk before but I did not take the time to blanch my almonds and just used them with the skins on. I am curious if this it is harmful to leave the skins on or if it is just a matter of taste/texture? I do strain in a nut milk bag so I would assume the majority of the skin stays out, am I wrong?

    By the way, I have also just recently found your website and I am loving it, thank you for all you do.

    Reply
  77. Pingback: It’s not lactose intolerance… « bearakademie

  78. Pingback: mmm… coconut! « Perfectly Organic

  79. I stumbled upon your website last night and I must say I’m really enjoying it! Im still breastfeeding my 12 month old, but have had to supplement with Baby’s Only dairy formula and wanted a new alternative. I’ve have been learning a lot about raw milk and other nourishing foods & the ways to cook them (inspired by the Eat Fat, Lose Fat book) & I am excited to share these with my son. I was planing on making the coconut tonic for myself, so I’m glad to see he can enjoy it, too.
    Thanks again & I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Many blessings,
    Kendra

    Reply
    • Sorry for the editing mistakes. I think I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep and trying to type while trying to hold on to a wiggly baby :)

      Reply
  80. I just mixed up the coconut milk tonic. It’s delicious! I am confused, however, about the total fat content. I definitely don’t watch my soon to be 1 year old’s fat – but according to my calculations the total fat per cup is about 18 grams.

    There are 77 grams of fat per can of pure coconut. The total amount of liquid in the recipe is about 34 ounces. Divide the two and you end up with 2 1/4 grams per ounce – multiplied by 8 and that equals 18. I could be mistaken? Whole milk has about 8 grams.

    Any thoughts on this? I would think adding more water might not be a good idea b/c it would lessen the other nutrient totals – but – that is a lot of fat.

    Reply
  81. Hi Anne,

    I have a 10 month old and will be starting homemade almond milk in a couple of months w/ added coconut for fats. Not sure if I’ll add the dolomite powder? Your babe can get calcium from food sources such as kale or even blackstrap molasses. I believe almonds do as well – but I’m not sure if the calcium comes through after making the nut milk. Have you thought about making almond milk? I may go to coconut – not sure yet – whatever she tolerates!

    I haven’t researched enough as to whether her having dark leafies everyday will be enough. So hard without dairy at this point! Curious to hear other thoughts on your question.

    Reply
  82. I am looking for a coconut milk recipe for my 14 month old as a milk substitute. I was interested in this until read that dolomite powder is a high source of lead. Are there other calcium supplements that can be used that do not contain lead?

    Reply
  83. I made the almond milk and it didn’t come turn out very good. It tasted more vinegary than almond. I can’t drink it. What did I do wrong? Or is it suppose to taste like vinegar? I am so disappointed. I was looking forward to drinking it.

    Reply
  84. …I forgot to add, I second Gem’s question regarding why the dolomite powder isn’t added to the rice/almond milks? I know almonds have natural calcium…but…just curious to hear your thoughts.

    Reply
  85. Hi Sarah,

    Do you have an opinion on which of these three is the best? I’m leaning towards the coconut or almond milk version but I’m not sure. I have a few months to think about it – just researching for now. Perhaps rotating?

    Reply
  86. I’m curious as to why you don’t add dolomite to the rice and almond milk recipes? I am weaning my 1 year old off of a dairy based formula. I have had great results using raw coconut oil for his eczema and with all of the radiation being found in milk I am looking for milk alternatives (better safe than sorry). Is it possible to let the coconut milk ferment as well for the added nutrients and enzymes? Which recipe is the do you think is most similar to whole milk. I love your blog and thanks for all the info.

    Reply
  87. What do you think of the commercially available refridgerated coconut milk that is available now? We have been using

    Reply
  88. Christine Kaiser March 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    I just found your blog and I just want to say YOU ARE AWESOME. I can’t wait to learn more and more and more from you. Thank you for what you do and what you share! Keep up the wonderful, wonderful work :)

    Christine

    Reply
  89. Hey!!! I am going to try the coconut tonic when my daughter turns a year old, which will be in 2 months. How much of this drink can I give her a day? Is it the same as how much I would give her whole milk if I was giving her that? I just want to make sure I don’t overdue it and upset her sensitive tummy!! Thanks

    Reply
  90. Pingback: Poots and Pans – Blog Archive Crazy Changes – Poots and Pans

  91. I wondered why you don’t add whey to the almond milk recipe? I have the big Nourishing Traditions book and it calls for whey. I have been wanting to make almond milk and came to your site to see how you do it.

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist February 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Cheryl, whey doesn’t work for kids allergic to whey and this article is about substitutes for kids with milk allergies, so I used lemon juice or apple cider vinegar instead. If you don’t have milk allergies, use whey – that would work great too.

      Reply
  92. Thank you so much for the coconut tonic recipe. My 15 month old daughter is allergic to milk (we’ve also tried raw goat’s milk). I do have one question – how long is the coconut tonic good in the fridge?

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah!

      Our daughters are several months apart, I’m just now starting the coconut milk tonic. How much does LO drink per day – or did she drink when she first started it?

      Also, I posted below about the richness of it. I’m diluting with bone broth in each bottle and she is taking it very well albeit a strange combination! Perhaps I shouldn’t be too concerned with it – but she is still taking in about 24oz per day. At about 18 grams (If I’m calculating correctly) per cup – it seems pretty heavy? Maybe not a big deal, though.

      Hope you are still having success with this! It’s yummy!

      Reply
  93. Hi Sarah, thanks so much for this great site! I’m excited to try these.

    I live in Florida, where my kitchen is warm enough that my ghee and coconut oil are usually liquid instead of solid, and there’s lots of mold potential everywhere. Should I still ferment the almond and rice milk for two days?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  94. Maybe a dumb question, but just curious why there are no added ingredients to these recipes like there is for the real milk substitutes–like whey, bifidus, sunflower oil, etc.

    Reply
  95. thank you SO much for these recipes! my sons (3 and 5) are anaphylactic to dairy so they’ve been drinking commercial rice milk with coconut milk (about 1 Tb rice milk and 1/2 cup coconut milk a day). once i get the dolomite powder and bpa canned coconut milk , i’ll give this recipe a try first!

    btw, you wouldn’t know of a non-dairy yogurt starter would you? i’ve heard of GI Health and Cultures for Health but not sure if they’re safe for people with life-threatening allergies to dairy. i’d really like to try to make coconut yogurt for my kids but at a lost!!

    Reply
  96. Is there a way to make pasteurised milk safer to drink? Here in B.C. it’s illegal to sell raw milk, but I start to feel sick and get headaches and such if I don’t drink any milk for extended periods of time. I know you’ve mentioned low-temp pasteurised milk in other posts, but I’m not sure if I’d find the same brands you mention, plus I’d rather support the local farms around me…

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist January 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

      Ashley, unfortunately, pasteurized milk has already been damaged to the point where it is not of benefit to drink it in my opinion. Is there any way you could perhaps barter for some raw milk in your area from a local farm .. this way there is no sale going on, only an exchange of services. Or even a cow-share program perhaps?

      Reply
      • Mm, if I had a vehicle I would consider it, but I don’t, and it takes way too long to get anywhere near the farms that here. I guess I’ll just have to cut down how much I drink, or only drink it during stressful periods like exams…(I dunno, I find it helps, but that may just be from always drinking it while de-stressing during such times) :(

        I wonder if there’s any groups lobbying for the legalisation of raw milk that I could help out with..

        Reply
        • Hi I read your post and there is a farmer in Ontario who is at the front heading the battle to legalize raw milk in Canada. His name is Michael Schmidt and so far he’s won the first leg of a supreme court battle, I’m sure he could use any support on the side of raw milk. Check him out on facebook and good luck :).

          Reply
  97. Hi! Thanks for the info! All 4 of my kids have some degree of milk allergy. I’m wondering how what age a child can be before they can consume one of the recipes (i.e. coconut milk) listed above? My youngest is 8 months and still reacts to his lactose-free formula (for medical reasons, I am unable to breastfeed).

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist January 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Christel, thanks for the comment. I am a bit concerned about hemp milk and have been wary of it as it was never used traditionally as a food except during periods of starvation. Here is a snippet from an article I read on the subject from westonaprice.org:

      “Hemp was not traditionally used as a food except during periods of starvation as seen in the book, The Year 1000: What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium — An Englishman’s World, by Robert Lacey. In a chapter called “July: The Hungry Gap,” he writes about the period of near starvation that would occur every summer for poor people before the August harvest was ready. You’ve probably heard of the LSD-like mold that grew on rye. But he also writes, “This hallucinogenic lift was accentuated by the herbs and grains with which the dwindling stocks of conventional flour were amplified as the summer wore on. Poppies, hemp and darnel were scavenged, dried and ground up to produce a medieval hash brownie known as ‘crazy bread.’ So even as the poor endured hunger, it is possible that their diet provided them with some exotic and artificial paradises. ‘It was as if a spell had been placed on entire communities,’ according to one modern historian.” (p.102)”

      Reply
      • I’m SO glad you commented on the Hemp Milk…we were wondering about whether it was good stuff or not… So many good things said about it online but I trust you more than any of the others.
        Doing the Coconut Milk Tonic for our 12 month old who can’t have dairy. So glad I checked your posts before “settling” for something else. THANK YOU!

        Reply
  98. Hi Sarah,

    Great article with recipes! As for the coconut milk, would the powdered kind (with no additives) make a good substitute for the BPA-free canned ones? The canned ones are hard to find locally…

    Thanks!

    Reply
  99. I don’t think this makes sense. The study that this theory comes from dealt with mostly cooked milk. It was pasteurized in that sense, but the kids lived on the farm (hence “fresh farm milk”). I wouldn’t give raw milk to a child if I were you.. that’s gambling with their health. Raw milk is much more likely to make them very sick.

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist January 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

      Hi Reality, there are two raw milks .. the raw milk from unhealthy, confined cows eatig unnatural feed that is destined for pasteurization which is the one you speak of in your comment. I would never drink this milk raw.

      The other raw milk is the one produced from healthy cows on unsprayed green pastures that is actually much safer than pasteurized milk. This is the raw milk I drink and my family drinks and has safely consumed to the incredible betterment of our health for 10 years.

      http://www.realmilk.com/tworawmilks.html

      Reply
  100. There is no comparison in flavor with storebought and homemade almond milk. I’ve only made a one day soaked, strained version but I’d be keen to try the fermented kind. I like the coconut tonic too. Coconut milk also makes fabulous smoothies. A coconut milk and lime juice smoothie with a tiny hit of B maple syrup and ice cubes makes practically a dessert drink. Only healthy!
    Kelly\’s last post: Post holiday diets – Almost sugar free almond joy bars

    Reply
    • you have ot be careful with that one however as more then 2 brazil nuts a day will meet your selenlium requiment, more then that would be toxic. so beware!

      Reply
  101. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Three Best Substitutes for a Child Allergic to Milk — The Healthy Home Economist -- Topsy.com

  102. Normally I soak the almonds in water/salt overnight; drain (rinse and drain again); blend in the blender with the ratio of 1 C almonds:4 C filtered water; and strain through unbleached muslin. We don’t add any flavoring or sweetener and dd likes it fine. Is this method okay? Is the ACV adding something or just making it last longer? I guess I’m trying to figure out the benefit of the acid and leaving out for 2 days vs just making it and refrigerating it. Also… is leaving the whole almonds in there (through the paste) making it a more complete protein or is straining it fine? I don’t think dd would like all of that ‘pulp’ mixed in her almond milk but we’ve never tried. We save and dehydrate the almond ‘mush’ left after straining it to use as almond meal in other recipes.

    Thanks so much!
    Beth\’s last post: Shelf Work Choices Mayonnaise

    Reply
      • Hi Sarah – I just finished the three-day process for almond milk. It turned out effervescent and sour tasting (but smells fine; just fermented). Knowing the nutritional benefits, I am determined to acquire the taste for it. What are your thoughts on helping my family adjust to the taste of the fermented almond milk from the store-bought, sweetened stuff? Are there any intermediate steps I can take to make it more palatable for them? I am working hard and making strides to kick the sugar habit for myself, my husband and our three year old.

        Reply
        • Great news – I renamed it as “almond kefir” for my husband and as “creamy kombucha” for my kid – Everyone is happy.

          Reply
    • Hi Beth!

      How old was your dd when you began almond milk?

      I’ll be starting it in the next couple of months for my 10 month old.
      I would love to connect and ask you a few questions if possible!

      Reply
  103. Thanks for the great milk alternatives. Question: For the almond milk how do you get skinless almonds? Normally I blanch the almond and then the skins slip off, is that OK or does that ruin the almonds for the soaking process??

    Reply
  104. Almonds are easy to sprout for a boost in nutrition. Soak 24 -48 hrs. in filtered water, with one change of water. At this point the skins usually slip right off. If not, blanch them for about 10 seconds and plunge into cold water to cool quickly. Slip off skins and blend up your milk with the other tasty additions mentioned above. We often strain through a nut bag for a super smooth milk. This technique is a raw vegan gem. Enjoy.

    Reply

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