Once my daughter's first birthday approached I was confronted with the question of supplementing with cow's milk. I was fortunate enough to exclusively breastfeed until she started solid food. After Ella’s first birthday, I continued to breastfeed, I did however decided to discontinue pumping. This is when I made the decision to supplement with hemp seed milk.
Prior to becoming pregnant, I felt very strongly about weaning my future child off of breast milk (which is the world’s most perfect food for humans) and onto cows milk (which is meant for baby calves). While there are some nutrients in cows milk, I never felt comfortable giving Ella milk from another species. From the beginning, Ella had an adverse reaction to dairy in my diet. This made it an easy choice for me when deciding whether or not to give her cows dairy.
Does Cow's Milk Really Do a Body Good?
Cow's milk is one of the leading allergen foods in America. Many scientific studies show an assortment of negative health effects directly linked to cows milk consumption. Although its known to be common knowledge that dairy milk is good for your bones, statistics show that countries with the lowest cows milk consumption have the lowest instances of fractures and osteoporosis.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, headed by Dr. Neal Barnard, advises against giving children homogenized/pasteurized cows milk, as it is associated with cancer, juvenile diabetes, allergies and mucus conditions. 
Today's dairy cows are injected with a genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This hormone increases milk supply, which increases profit for the dairy industry. The scary part is, that while this synthetic hormone is increasing milk supply in cows, it is also increasing blood levels of insulin-growth factor (IGF-1) in the humans that consume it. High levels of IGF-1 are linked to cancer. This was an issue my mother never had to worry about when I was a baby. Now, as a mother myself, being aware of these statistics and studies not only scare me, they makes me very angry.
To top it off there have been studies that show giving a baby dairy milk during and past infancy puts them at a greater risk for developing type 1 diabetes. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued this warning : Early exposure of infants to cow's milk protein may be an important factor in the initiation of the beta cell destructive process in some individuals." and "The avoidance of cow's milk protein for the first several months of life may reduce the later development of IDDM or delay its onset in susceptible people." (The American Academy of Pediatrics Work Group on Cow’s Milk Protein and Diabetes Mellitus – 1994).
Consuming cows milk has been shown to suppress the immune system. When milk is consumed, your body looks at the proteins as an invader and attacks them. Meanwhile, in some humans, their immune systems will also attack the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Research determined that having one type of autoantibody to insulin indicates that a baby predisposed to the disease has roughly a 4 in 10 chance of contracting type I diabetes within the next decade.
Why Hemp Seed Milk?
To supplement nutritionally, pediatricians recommend giving children milk past infancy. Many toddlers have tiny appetites, milk ensures that they get some of the nutrients and fat needed to support their growing bodies. With the increase in food allergies and personal preference, many mothers, like myself are turning to dairy-milk alternatives.
Hemp seed milk happens to be my favorite dairy-milk alternative for my daughter. Unsweetened Vanilla Tempt Hempmilk not only tastes delicious, it has the highest fat content of non-dairy milks. This is crucial for brain development in babies and toddlers. At 80 calories and 8 grams of fat per eight ounce glass, it rivals the fat content of whole milk (also 8 grams). A key advantage that hemp milk has over cows milk is it contains naturally occurring essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Hemp milk contains a valuable source of protein. Hemp seeds are the only complete source of plant protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs in one source of food. It also provides a valuable source of calcium (30%), Vitamin D (25%), phosphorus (20%), riboflavin (25%), Vitamin B12 (25%), magnesium (10%), Vitamin E (8%), iron (6%) and zinc (4%). I like to supplement my daughter’s diet with shelled hemp seeds in many of the foods that she eats for extra protein!
- 1. Should Children Drink Cows Milk
- 2. Cancer linked to IGF-1
- 3. Cows Milk Linked to Diabetes
- 4. Children Milk and Diabetes Statistics