Milk production companies encourage parents to give cow milk to boost their kids’ growth and development. What those companies might not tell you is that saturated fat and proteins from cow milk might increase your child’s risk for chronic diseases of the heart, asthma, colic and eczema in later years. If your kid is aged between three and eleven years, the following reasons will make you realize the gut health implications of taking too many dairy products.
Milk product allergy
Some kids’ metabolic systems accept dairy products so well that you will hardly notice when you need to stop during their first years. Cow milk can cause constipation and allergies. If your kid develops rashes, constipation, colds and skin conditions like eczema after taking dairy products, it would be best to change to non-dairy products.
Lactose intolerance is a condition that develops when your kid’s digestive system cannot produce enough lactase to synthesise sugar in milk. On the other hand, milk allergy happens when the body cannot digest saturated fat and milk protein from the cow. Typical signs linked to lactose intolerance include bloating, nausea, watery stool and stomach cramps. A child who manifests these symptoms should start taking a non-dairy-related diet immediately.
Increased risk for iron deficiency
While cow’s milk is an everyday diet that parents rely on to feed their kids, they shouldn’t overdo it. Better still, they need to avoid it entirely since it lacks an essential nutrient that controls cell functions known as iron. By feeding your young one with dairy products including sweetened yogurt, cheese, butter and milk, you increase their iron deficiency risk.
Increased risk for acne
A high intake of dairy products is also closely linked with the risk for acne. The condition mainly affects teenagers and young adults that fed on cow milk products during their early stages. Acne develops when someone reacts to milk hormones, not saturated fat. When you have a condition like acne, your skin might develop scarring. Emotional distress is another common experience that people affected by acne might face.
Likely to cause future weight problems
Cow’s milk contains saturated fats. While labels on milk products might indicate low fat, you can never be sure if what they say is true. As your child keeps taking the milk, their risk of excess weight gain and diabetes type 2 increases. While your family’s weight history also plays a role in determining your child’s metabolic reactions in the future, it would be best to avoid increases their risk for weight issues by avoiding dairy products.
What type of foods can replace dairy products?
Like adults, kids have unique preferences, especially when it comes to diet. Your young one might not be willing to quit using plain milk, yogurt, cheese or any other dairy product. But after linking lactose intolerance, allergies and the risk for chronic diseases in the future, it would be advisable to try out other foods to substitute cow milk including:
- Vegetables. Spinach, carrot, broccoli, kales, and cabbages contain high fiber, an essential nourishing element for your child’s gut. A low fiber diet can induce your child’s risk for constipation. This increases their risk for bowel cancer and cardiac disease over time. Additionally, high-fibre vegetables reduce your child’s risk for obesity and diabetes. While most parents might not prioritize incorporating yogurt and kefir to enhance gut health, they should do it in moderation.
- Whole grains. Whole grains such as beans might induce bloating when it is not well-prepared. However, whole grains play a significant role in promoting your child’s gut health.
- Healthy fats. Healthy fats can also be found in fruits such as avocados, salmon and olive oil.
- Nuts including almonds and walnuts. Studies have found that there is a 45% risk reduction when fat from nuts are substituted for saturated fats from meat and dairyproducts.
- Fruits including blueberries, strawberries, and papaya are rich in vitamin C. A child that takes lots of fruits increases their body’s ability to absorb iron and heal wounds.
Dairy products look appetising. Information written on the product labels might suggest that they are healthy. However, there is no reason why you should put your child’s health in jeopardy because they crave it. It is worth considering Sproutedbiome products in this case. Even if your child does not manifest allergic reactions or lactose intolerance, ensure you give dairy products moderately.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.