Soy Milk for Toddlers – Is Soy Milk Good for Toddlers & Babies?

Soy milk for toddlers is becoming increasingly popular, and many parents and caregivers are just getting to know it. Well, not for me – soy milk has been a personal favorite for many reasons. I was introduced to this delicious milk by my nana, and I loved it from the first instant.

However, after I got my first baby, I consulted with my medical adviser on whether it was safe for babies. His response and the nutritional value of soy milk were surprising – and I am happy to share my findings and experience with you.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about soy milk and whether it is good for toddlers and babies. Let us get started – shall we?


What is Soy Milk?

Soy milk is a highly nutritious drink made from cooked soybeans, and it has been around for a long time. The rich drink contains soy protein, natural sugar, and fiber.

However, the nutritional value of soy milk varies depending on how it was made. A 4-ounce of soy milk contains about 3 – 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, and a half gram of sugar. In addition to this, it contains 40 calories. The drink also contains vital nutritional minerals like iron, potassium, and calcium.

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Soy Milk for Toddlers – Is Soy Milk Good for Toddlers & Babies?

As you already know – or should, doctors and dietary experts recommend parents and caregivers give only cow’s milk and water to babies. In many instances, cow milk is the only type of milk doctors recommend for babies between the ages of 1 and 5.

So, the question is, ‘can I give soy milk to a toddler and baby?’ Well, the answer to this question is yes. Soy milk is an acceptable alternative to cow milk – yes, even for toddlers and babies. However, you should ensure that the soy milk has been fortified and unsweetened for babies between 1 and 5 years old.

As a result of its strong nutritional value, soy milk remains a strong substitute and natural equivalent to cow milk. As we go further in this article, we will discuss all you need to know.


How Much Soy Milk Can a Toddler Drink?

For babies and toddlers, special care must be taken for everything to be served in moderation. For example, the maximum soy milk a toddler should drink is 16-20 ounces per day. This means that you should not serve more than 2 to 3 cups of soy milk to toddlers daily.

If you notice that your baby is allergic to cow milk, or lactose intolerant, you should stick to 1 – 2 cups daily. However, you should also be informed that some babies are allergic to the protein contained in soy milk. In many cases, however, the children outgrow this allergy as they become older.

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Is Soy Milk Safe For Babies?

Before giving soy milk to a baby, consider the age of the baby. A baby that is below 12 months should only be fed with breast milk or formula. Also, during the weaning period, stick to water – do not offer milk. Whether this is cow milk or soy milk – stick to water.

After the baby crosses 12 months of age, you can begin to introduce milk. You should note that the milk should be unflavored, fortified, and unsweetened. This applies regardless of whether the milk is cow milk or soy milk.

Although soy milk is highly nutritious, do not completely substitute it for cow’s milk. This is because cow milk is rich in calcium, protein, potassium, and vitamins. If you are offering soy milk to a baby, ensure it is fortified and unsweetened.


When Can I Give My Baby Soy Milk?

Under normal circumstances, a baby is better off with cow milk. But if you need to offer soy milk for personal reasons, then you should wait until the baby is at least 1. There are many reasons why parents or caregivers opt for plant-based milk. One reason is if the baby has a milk intolerance or allergy. Another reason is if you are training the baby to be vegan or the baby has a medical issue.

Children’s health experts advise parents that if they may, they should only substitute cow milk with soy milk for babies under 5. So, this means that you should not offer them almond milk or oat milk. Also, you should ensure that the soy milk is fortified and unsweetened.


Pros and Cons of Soy Milk for Toddlers

It is normal for parents to look for alternatives as they prepare to transition their babies from breast milk. Even parents who feed their babies with infant formula research suitable alternatives. If you have done this – or will, there are a lot of alternatives you would stumble onto.

You would be introduced to a variety of non-diary breast milk and infant formula alternatives like almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.

But there is a hundred percent chance that you would be told that the best option is soy milk. This is especially if you are looking for an alternative to cow milk. Since it is milk that is not taken from animals, it is a good option for vegan families and babies.

However, there are various pros and Cons you need to consider before giving your baby soy milk. Below, we have discussed the pros and cons of soy milk to guide you when choosing this substitute.

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Pros of Soy Milk for Toddlers

1. Health and Nutritional Benefits

Soy milk contains some nutrients that contribute to the health of your baby. It contains a good amount of phytoestrogens. However, recent research has revealed that high amounts of estrogen are linked to breast cancer. But you have nothing to panic about because the molecules of estrogen in soy milk will not endanger your baby.

The amount of estrogen contained in soy milk is adequate and poses no threats. It acts as an anti-estrogen and helps to regulate the estrogen levels in the body. Soy milk, like other plant-based milk, is easier to digest than animal protein. It also helps to balance the baby’s system in cases where the baby has consumed too many animal proteins from other foods.

2. Close Nutritional Substitute to Cow Milk

Milk is important to the overall development of babies. Babies around one year should drink milk at least two times daily. By the time they are around three years, they should be drinking at least two and a half cups daily.

Milk contains important nutrients such as protein, calcium, and Vitamin D, which contribute to your baby’s overall growth. However, if your baby is intolerant to lactose, then you should stay off dairy products. This is one of the reasons why parents source substitutes for diary milk.

Although there are many plant-based milk alternatives, soy milk is the closest to dairy milk regarding nutritional value. Soy milk contains similar nutrition values – especially protein and calcium, to cow milk. In essence, when you give your baby soy milk, you would not have to worry about completing the baby’s daily nutritional value with other supplements or foods.


Cons of Soy Milk for Toddlers

1. Allergies and Reactions

You risk possible allergies and reactions when you give your baby soy milk. This is possible if the baby is allergic to plant-based milk or the protein in soy milk.

Part of the reactions associated with protein from soy milk include rashes, running nose, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you notice that your baby reacts to soy milk and you notice any of the following reactions after introducing them to the soy milk diet, stop the diet and watch if the symptoms will stop.

2. Set Limits

When parents consider the decision to wean their babies off breast milk and infant formula, they often look for substitutes. Milk is usually the substitute of choice, but parents and caregivers need to set limits so that the baby does not get too used to milk.

Milk, including soy milk, can be filling. So, once your baby gets used to it, they will find it hard to eat solid foods. This will affect the baby’s overall growth and development because milk alone cannot sustain the baby. So, ensure to set limits and prevent the baby from becoming totally dependent on milk.


Is Soy Milk Good for 1 Year Old?

Many parents and caregivers begin to transition their babies from breast milk and infant formula at six months. So, it is okay to introduce soy milk to a baby at one year old, but ensure that they are still on breast milk or infant formula.

You should also ensure that you do not exceed 16 -20 ounces per day, i.e., about 2-2.5 cups for babies aged 1 to 5 years.


Is Soy Milk Good for Toddlers & Babies?

Doctors and nutrition specialists recommend that you give your children mainly cow milk and water between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. However, if your baby needs to take an alternative to cow milk, then it is best to use soy milk.

Soy milk is good for toddlers and babies because it contains the nutritional equivalent of cow’s milk. But you must ensure that the soy milk given to your baby is fortified and unsweetened. The reason for this is not to increase the sugar content in the baby’s diet.