Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
step 7: rethink dairy as a healthier choice for families. Goat, sheep, buffalo and camel milk is pure A2 too. Still, while evidence is mounting that A2 is the safest choice for families with any history of dairy intolerance, my first choice is always to go for organic, grass-fed milk first. Is sheep’s or goat’s milk better than cow’s milk? Along with being pure A2, often goat's milk and sheep's milk are lower in lactose than cow’s milk. Another benefit is that both sheep and goats are able to produce good milk on a grass-fed diet and often do not have to be supplemented with grains – though of course one can’t take it for granted that all sheep and goat milk have been produced this way. Goat’s milk Pros: Goat's milk contains smaller molecules – more like breast milk, which may make it easier to digest – and goat cheese even more so. High in medium-chain fats and low in short-chain fats, goat milk has the healthiest fat content. Cons: The flavour can be off-putting for some children. Many goat cheeses on the market contain preservative 202 (see page 266 for more information). Sheep’s milk Pros: The highest in minerals like calcium and iron, protein and vitamin C. Creamy yet still very low in lactose. Cons: Higher fat content than cow's or goat's milk, plus the flavour can be off-putting for some children and it’s not as easy to find. to digest than milk? To digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk, we need lactase. Most people don’t produce much lactase after infancy which can make them intolerant to lactose. Hard cheeses and yoghurt lose lactose during the production process, and some quality branded yoghurt has live cultures added which can help facilitate digestion, so children with mild sensitivities or intolerances may be able to handle these in small quantities a lot better than straight milk. However, if a child is suffering from an allergy to milk protein, rather than lactose this won’t help. A true milk allergy is an immune response to one or both of the milk proteins and can be severe. Why are cheese and yoghurt easier What about cheese sticks? Cheese sticks are highly processed, high in sodium and more likely to be made with milk from grain-fed cows. I also think it’s best to get children out of the habit of expecting everything to come in wrapping. It’s harmful to the environment and also sets children up to expect that food should be individually wrapped and come from a supermarket. If your child likes cheese sticks, start to work on transitioning him to cheese shapes instead. Often when transitioning from cheese sticks I tell parents to buy a block of cheese which is often cheaper, lower in sodium and more environmentally friendly. Either grate cheese into a small container that fits into a lunch box or let your child cut it into fun shapes using cookie cutters. What if my child won’t eat dairy? Don’t worry. Children can quite happily thrive without dairy as long as they are receiving adequate amounts of calcium from other sources. Try meat and vegetable stew, a sardine sandwich (don’t knock it till you try it – I grew up eating these and they taste even better toasted), a rice paper wrap with organic tofu, hummus and shredded bok choy, a handful of almonds, a bliss ball that contains dried figs, sesame seeds and almonds, a Rich Chocolate Black Bean Brownie (see recipe on page 119). However, if your child has a limited diet due to fussy eating and adequate calcium sources are in short supply, working to get them to eat dairy will be a great way to ensure their calcium needs are met. Recipes for the following tips can be found throughout the book: • Add yoghurt to fruit smoothies. • Make homemade ice-cream using milk, cream or yoghurt. • Make mini-pizzas and top with cheese. • Add grated cheese into omelettes. • Serve scrolls or bread made with yoghurt in the batter. • Offer savoury muffins or rice balls with cheese blended through. • Offer pasta sauce with cheese or cream blended in. 235 Consider this… A healthy calcium intake for a child can be acheived by excluding cow’s milk and including good-quality dairy products, like natural yoghurt and goat cheese in moderation, and an abundance of non-dairy calcium-rich foods. you know? Full-fat milk Did products contain less lactose, more vitamins and will have less of an effect on blood glucose levels than low-fat milk products.