Question of the Day: At 1 year what are your milk plans breastmilk, toddler formula, cow milk or alternative milk?

This is question has come up a great deal in a couple of the mother’s groups I am in as our little ones are approaching and passing the 12 month mark.  And it sure seems like a loaded question with a lot of different view points from personal preference to child allergies.
What are (did) you do for the 1 year switch-a-roo?  Breast milk, toddler formula, cow milk or an alternative milk source?  Why did you choose this path?  What has worked or not worked for little ones with milk allergies?

My Answer:

We are primarily vegetarian but I would say we border on vegan in our house.  We don’t drink milk, eat eggs, or eat meat.  We don’t do this because we want to save the world or feel “awe those poor animals”; we do this out of personal preference.  Neither one of us cares for meat (although I do love seafood & sushi) and milk & eggs have never been a part of our diet.

When our little one turned 12 months old we had come to an crossroads where he could go the cow milk route or we could find alternative  sources of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.  How did we do that?  With the help of a pediatric nutritionist and a lot of research online.  What I learned was he only needs 16 oz of “milk” a day to reach his dietary requirements so how can I do this with out giving him cows milk.  Easy I blend my own hemp and almond milk.  I know “oh no she said HEMP milk.  She can’t be giving that to her baby”,  but before anyone dives of the deep end the Hemp seeds do not contain THC and they are very rich in protein, omegas, vitamins and minerals.   It is easy to make them into milk.  at first I followed the recipes I found to the “T” but over time I now make them a little differently.  Here is my simple way of creating a pseudo-milk for us and our little guy.

Hemp/almond/cashew milk (I do it the same way for each one, sometimes I blend them together.)

1 cup “RAW” cashews/almonds/hemp seeds
2cups water
1 cheese cloth or thin mesh strainer(I use the mesh strainer)

Soak nuts over night in a glass bowl(hemp seeds do not need to be soaked and can be used as is).  Sometime the following day drain them scoop them up and put them into a blender(I use a magic bullet).  blend until smooth.   Put the cheese cloth or mesh strainer over a medium/large bowl drooping in the center and pour the liquid into it.  Then squeeze or press the excess milk out of the nut fibers.  When that is finished you have a bunch of nut pulp(as I call it) this is where most recipes say to stop, however I like the “milk” to be a bit thinner so I repeat the process a couple more times and use the remaining pulp in muffins and/or bread.

This is a time consuming option but it is more economical and you control the ingredients and the thickness of the milk.  It will keep for about 3 days in sealed containers in the fridge.

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