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Are non-dairy alternatives better than cow’s milk for babies and toddlers?

Are non-dairy alternatives better than cow’s milk for babies and toddlers?

Cow’s milk has been touted as one of the healthiest foods you can give your growing baby or toddler. Yet in recent years, some parents are filling up sippy cups with non-dairy alternatives like almond milk and coconut milk instead. While some experts agree this is a wise choice, others say these alternatives are causing kids to miss out on key nutrients they need. So, is cow’s milk necessary? “Cow’s milk is essential for cows and certainly not essential for humans,” according to Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician, executive director of digital health at Seattle Children’s and author of “Mama Doc Medicine.” “There’s just no question that cow’s milk is just one option for feeding your baby the calories, protein and fat that they need for growth and development,” she said.

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit www.seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.