Kids who are intolerant to lactose have great difficulty in digesting lactose. Now let me explain what lactose is and share some more information regarding the same. Lactose is in fact a kind of sugar that is present in milk obtained from cows. Our small intestine decomposes lactose into simple sugars like galactose and glucose which can be easily absorbed by the body and converted to energy.
Children who are intolerant to lactose have lesser production of lactose within their body; hence the consumed lactose is not digested and remains in this undigested form till it passes into the colon. Once it starts fermenting inside the colon, it can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea.
Depending upon the severity of the lactase deficiency, lactose intolerant kids are capable of consuming small amounts of lactose. It is best for such kids to avoid dairy products in order to do stay away from stomach problems. But the problem is, in doing so; parents might skip significant nutrients present in milk such as calcium. In children, calcium is vital for development of strong and healthy bones.
So what should parents do? An absolutely amazing alternative is soy milk. The majority of soy milks contains adequate amounts of calcium and is also loaded with essential vitamins that promote growth in kids.
Soy milk is prepared using soy beans which are subject to soaking, grinding and are then mixed with water. As soy beans are not derived from any animal, soy milk contains negligible amount of fat and no cholesterol. Although soy milk is obtained from plants, it is quite similar to cow milk in terms of nutritional content. The amounts of Riboflavin, Vitamins A, D, B12 and protein are almost similar. You will be happy to learn that consumption of soy milk is extremely beneficial for kids as well as the entire family, since it protects against osteoporosis, lowers cholesterol and also prevents certain types of cancers.
Believe me, switching over to soy milk is not at all difficult. Most kids love soy milk, particularly when it comes in vanilla flavor. It would be great to begin by offering chocolate or vanilla flavored soymilk or offering along with cereal. You may as well make hot chocolate, soy milk smoothies, frozen treats, or even cook with soy milk. Simply make use of vanilla flavored or plain soy milk in place of cow milk when you are cooking your choicest recipes.
Tips to make your child’s switch to soy milk easy
- As happens with any new food, your kid might require getting adapted to soy milk by taking a few attempts to drink it.
- Take soy milk and mix it with stuff which your child is fond of. For instance, if he prefers bananas, you may prepare a banana smoothie for him with soy milk.
- Place more than a single option before your child. Ask him to accompany you to the marketplace and let him choose from amongst the different soy milk options available.