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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

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top five children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.

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