In contrast to the government recommended 3 glasses of preferably low-fat milk per day (2 – 2 1/2 for children), an editorial written by leading Harvard pediatrician David Ludwig and Harvard physician and nutritionist Walter Willett (one of my personal heroes), published in JAMA Pediatrics supports what many in the natural wellness world have been pointing out for decades, that:

  1. Humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk, which is a modern addition to the diet on an evolutionary scale
  2. Fat free milk doesn’t keep the fat off of us – and may in fact, increase obesity
  3. There is no evidence of the safety of lifelong exposure to the growth hormones naturally found in milk
  4. Countries with higher rates of milk consumption also have higher rates of osteoporosis

The Milk & Low-Fat Milk Push

Much of the push toward milk drinking in this country has stemmed from a very powerful dairy lobby and a gross lack of  understanding of nutrition on the part of the medical community. The long standing belief is that we require milk for health. The only milk humans actually need for health is breast milk. Once weaned, animal milk is not a biological nutritional necessity.  The low-fat milk push stems from misconceptions about the risks of fat in the diet, namely that fat makes you fat and that all fat is bad and causes heart disease.

Good Quality Fats Keep You Full and Fit

Good quality fats are, in fact, incredibly important to our cellular health, protecting against heart disease and boosting our metabolism. They give us long lasting, sustainable energy, reduce insulin spikes, keep us feeling full for longer, and enhance carbohydrate metabolism, actually enhancing weight loss! One study by Dr. Ludwig demonstrates that people eating less dietary fat burn fewer calories than those with a higher fat diet of identical calories! Overall, the low fat-diet trend has been accompanied by an increase in dietary sugar and carbohydrate consumption.

When we remove the fat from milk, it becomes much less filling, leaving us to fill up on the proverbial cookies instead of the milk. You just don’t get as full so you consume more calories from other sources to get the energy your body needs. Yet low-fat milk is relatively high in sugar. In children and adults alike, using low-fat milk products leads to greater weight gain than full-fat milk products.

More Sugar than Soda!

Worse is that many parents and schools, while getting sodas and other sweetened beverages out of kids’ diets, are replacing these with low-fat, highly sweetened flavored milks, for example, chocolate milk beverages. Yet these have as many calories – or more – than sodas! Ludwig states, “The substitution of sweetened reduced-fat milk for unsweetened whole milk – which lowers saturated fat by 3 g but increases sugar by 13 g per cup – clearly undermines diet quality, especially in a population with excessive sugar consumption.”

Do Kids Need Milk?

Not drinking milk when I was pregnant, and then not giving it to my young kids was a tough – and unpopular – decision. Obstetrician and pediatrician colleagues said it was essential for my children’s proper growth and development. All of my friends were giving it to their kids. And the Got Milk? ads (sponsored by a very powerful dairy industry!), which had just started to hit the big time, were a constant reminder that I could be putting my own and my kids’ health in jeopardy. But somehow cow milk didn’t make sense to me as a dietary staple. It’s a concentrated sugar and fat content drink intended to grow a baby animal to hundreds of pounds in no time flat!

Beside that, drinking a glass of milk with a giant curdle in it had taken milk off of my gustatory welcome list since I was 6 years old. I’ll never forget that curdle! (Yuck!).

Then I met a 94-year old still-practicing pediatrician who asked me if I gave my children milk to drink. I sheepishly told her I did not, fully anticipating the firestorm of disapproval pediatricians bestow on well-meaning parents whose practices deviate from their own. Instead, I surprisingly got a nod of approval (she was a craggy old woman and though I want to say a warm nod, there was nothing warm about her). “Good,” she said crispy in her gravely voice, “Your children are not calves or kids. Milk makes children fat and anemic. They don’t need it.” Heck, the woman was 94 and still practicing medicine – she had to be on to something!

That was nearly 25 years ago. Three of my four kids have since far exceeded our family’s average height on both sides, and out of 4 sets of teeth, we’ve seen only 3 cavities in 28 years. And interestingly, unlike both my husband’s family and my own, none of my kids have seasonal allergies or asthma, and none had eczema, which may be related to dairy allergies. My son is 6-8 inches taller than the tallest men on both sides of our family. He did crave milk as a teenager. I kept it on hand for him during that time. He grew 10 inches. My own seasonal allergies, which had been severe, disappeared when I took dairy completely out of my own diet, something I’ve seen repeated many times with patients.

But What About Calcium?

What about calcium? Countries with the highest dietary dairy intake have the highest rates of osteoporosis, and individuals in countries with extremely low dairy intake amongst the lowest. Ludwig and Willett state that daily calcium needs are likely overestimated, and that human beings met their daily calcium needs through food long before humans domesticated dairy animals. Dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, legumes, and small fish such as sardines are rich sources of calcium. Further, calcium is not the only important nutrient for our bones. Magnesium and vitamin D are just as important. And perhaps the most important bone building nutrient? Weight bearing exercise!

What Should We Eat?

So what should we eat? What should we give our children? A healthy diet is replete with green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and adequate protein from a variety of sources. Water is always our best beverage. Breast milk is best for babies.

Should dairy products be a part of our diet? If well tolerated, small amounts of organic yogurt, cheese and full-fat milk can be nutritious, filling, and delicious, and entirely appropriate in various stages of our lives and for our eating pleasure. Some of us, however, just don’t tolerate dairy well, experiencing symptoms ranging from digestive discomforts to sinus congestion to anxiety and depression. In those cases, it’s not an optimal food for you, though gut healing can improve tolerance in some individuals. Instead I encourage non-dairy dietary sources of nutrition.

Throughout the years, much like that 94-year old physician did, I have steered my patients away from drinking milk as a beverage unless a nutritional necessity, for example, a mother is truly unable to breastfeed, or a pregnant mom or child needs to gain weight or get extra dietary protein and calories and is just having trouble doing it.

Little children who have been weaned but not yet fully eating solids may do well with organic whole milk if tolerated. In babies under 1 year of age, dairy can cause gut inflammation leading to chronic micro-bleeding in the intestines, causing anemia, so it is optimally avoided entirely in this age range.

It is not required in the recommended 3 cups/day for us to be healthy.

When I do recommend dairy products, they are of the full-fat variety. And I always recommend organic dairy products to minimize exposure to hormones given to cows to increase milk production and antibiotics and other chemicals used in the dairy industry. Many individuals, even some who cannot tolerate cow dairy, do very well with goat milk and other goat dairy products, a good source of protein and other nutrients. The proteins and fats in goat milk are more digestible than those in cow milk.

And sure, a small amount of full-fat milk in an occasional cup of coffee can be one of life’s great adult pleasures, eh?

Got milk ideas, questions and stories? What do you drink instead of milk? Do you notice health problems in yourself or a family member when drinking milk? Improvements when you took it out of your diet? Has your child’s pediatrician, if you have kids, pressured you about giving your kids milk? What beverages are served at your kids’ school? 

The action happens below this blog! Let’s hear from ya’!

Love always,

AJR-Sig

 

 

 

 

 

126 Comments

  1. I am looking for ways to increase lactation. Do you have any past newsletters regarding that subject that you could forward to me?
    Thanks.
    Fay Bunnell

    • Hi Fay, I’ve got this topic in a blog coming down the road, but in the meanwhile, my Natural Health After Birth is a great resource. Be well! Aviva

    • I used malt beverage, a non alcoholic carbonated drink sold in supermarkets (Publix has its own brand) and it worked great. The taste is not great though :).

      I also used fenugreek tea (not the pills). I bought mine at wholefoods already nicely packaged in individual tea bags. I have heard that preparing the tea from the actual seeds works even better (you can find the seed at local fresh markets), but I found the tea bags to be convenient.

      I drank 2-3 cups a day and saw a considerable improvement when I did so. It smells horrible, but totally worth it!

      Good luck!

  2. I have cut out milk from diet several years ago and feel a lot better for it
    Several years ago I read in the “Larousse Gastronomique” that: “In spite of the fact that milk is liquid, milk should always be regarded as a food and not as a drink. It should be eaten instead of drunk…” I had found this statement very enlightening and rarely heard. Just thought I’d share.

  3. Hi Aviva,

    Goat milk? Exceptional.I have been feeding my twins home made goat milk formula since they were 5 months old and I am still giving them goat milk once a day now that they are two.My son David was born with aggravated acid reflux and when I was feeding him baby formula he was not eating properly, crying most of the time, vomiting, gas and so on.His doctor tried zantac, liquid ranitidine with no result.David ended up on Prevacid when he was two months.I kept trying to take him off his medication until 5 months with no real success.Then we went to the homeopath and she suggested giving up baby formula completely and replacing that with home made baby formula from organic goat milk.I was surprised and petrified in the same time, but because I hated Prevacid we decided to give it a try.Guess what?? My kid stopped fussing once I started giving him goat milk.He still vomited until he was a bout 10 months old, but no crying, no gass , he started eating better and more and more each day.I stopped Prevacid the next day I replaced his formula with no side effects what so ever.
    Ever since in our house we stopped drinking cow’s milk. We still have yogurt from time to time and mozzarella, but no milk.

    • Excellent! I love that YOU figured out exactly what your babies needed!!! Baby formula is a necessary evil for many women, but wow, just so unhealthy for babies! <3

  4. YEAH! I will share this post with as many as I can. Milk and I have never been friends. My daughter’s reaction was even worse. So glad to have this information from you.

    I was young in the 40’s and 50’s and had to drink a glass of milk plus a glass of reconstituted orange juice every morning with my breakfast. I remember the ‘lump’ I felt in my stomach while walking to school. I came to dislike breakfast! Oh, in addition, we were part of the ‘clean plate’ group. I was always the last one at the table, the others having given up on the idea I would ever finish. If you could see a photo of me you would not see a skinny little thing. I was not overweight but looked well feed. I had to unlearn the ‘clean plate’ concept!

    Sometimes I felt like a voice in the wilderness when it came to not drinking milk. The Diamond’s book. “Fit for Life”, was the first time I read that we did not NEED milk in our diet. Yes, I still use cream in my coffee sometimes. Every time I eat ice cream I get congested – lots of milk and sugar :). But I know I do not need milk. The ice cream does not taste as good as the ice cream of memory. Old habits of eating die hard.

    Now, for the most part, we eat fruits from the garden and the store, vegetables mostly from the garden and solar-heated greenhouse with a little fish, poultry and a little pork and beef. I am 70 and still working full time in my eclectic careers – massage therapist, book cover designer, gardener and volunteer. Life is definitely good!

    Thank you for all the work involved in your blog posts and for sharing.

    • I would like to know this too. All these bloggers right about milk not being good for you but they are talking about pasteurized homogenized milk which yes, it is bad for you,.Pastured dairy cows, raw milk…that is good for you.

  5. Hello,

    As we had great trouble establishing breastfeeding with my first child my wife did not provide sufficient milk so we supplemented using the formula from Nourishing traditions (goat milk, a few healthy oils, kefir, pro-biotics, and acerola). He thrived on this blend.

    No problems with the second baby, she’s 100% breast-fed and at 4 months has yet to try any other foods.

    We still give our son, who’s 2.5, some goat milk on occasion, as well as yogurt. He’s also a cheese head and loves Stilton and blue cheese.

    I also make “milks” out of nuts using my vitamix. Hazelnut milk is my favorite. These are much thicker than the varieties from the store and have much higher nutritional content (and probably healthier oils. Most of his calcium however probably come from greens.

    Owen

  6. Hi Aviva! Great article. Fascinating to see that the tendency to shy away from cow’s milk is picking up within the medical community. I’ve been off cow’s milk for over a year. I drink coconut milk, while my husband and 17 month old drink raw goat’s milk. She has a cow’s milk allergy, so I make our goat milk yoghurt at home, as well. After nursing, the thought of drinking another mammal’s breastmilk was a huge turnoff for me. Though after a year on coconut milk, I’ve noticed my nails aren’t as strong, and I’ve sustained both a moderate stress fracture, and milder “shin splints.”

  7. What do you thinkg about so many real food bloggers insisting that raw milk is the healhiest food ever? What do you think about dairy plain, full fat, organic sheep, goat or cow yogurt?

    • Hi Rachel B.
      I’m not sure any one food is the healthiest food ever. And there’s a lot of foodie faddism out there. Certainly it is a healthful addition to some people’s diets and a rich source of many nutrients and enzymes. Best for everyone? No, certainly not the majority of the world that is totally lactose intolerant! And not for pregnant moms in whom listeria can be very dangerous for baby. But sure, if you enjoy dairy and tolerate it, all of the sources you mention can be great! 🙂 Aviva

      • HelloI

        As a nurse and real (raw) milk devotee, I was disappointed with this article. I don’t think Avia would give real milk a chance, after being traumatized by a milk curd, “yuk”…and why only focus on calcium, when real milk has so many nutrients and enzymes…like magnesium and vitamin D? My challenged lungs are never better than when I go on an occasional real milk fast. It has ALL the nutrients one needs and more except vitamin C. Lactose intolerance is a thing of the past with all of the probiotics and enzymes in real milk. A food fad? I think not, Real milk treatments were used at the turn of the century, My grandmother lived to be 105, sweet and beautiful on the neighbor’s real milk she picked up from him in her own milk pail. Milk is an economical, beautiful gift from mother nature. Why buy processed, packaged foods if you have real milk available. Not I. But then, I loved the story of Heidi living with grandfather and their cow, and how she brought the sickly city girl to her humble home and made her well with pure food….fiction?

        • Real milk is a great thing…If only everyone had goats and cows a lot more folks would be healthy. But alas, raw milk is illegal to sell in most places… One of my oldest patients drinks it every day. I’m all for it! Again, 99.9% of people in this country not only don’t have raw milk available, but most folks have never seen a cow or goat!

      • All my sons are “Lactose Intolerant” but can drink raw milk just fine. When milk is pasteurized and homogenized it changed into something that is bad for us.

  8. Great write up! I have struggled with this decision for a while. I was severely allergic to the cow as a baby and could not tolerate anything from it until i was about 9 years old (i was breastfed and raised on goat’s milk instead). I always had horrible asthma and allergies well into my 20s despite all the medical intervention of allergy shots and prescription drugs to keep it under control. I am now three months pregnant with my first child and have struggled whether or not to cut dairy from my diet. I don’t really drink milk, but I do have it on cereal once or twice a week and eat some greek yogurt. I do buy organic and “growth hormone free” milk and yogurt when desired, but after reading this I might go back to life without it except a little cheese here and there.

  9. I love this article, but want to hear also your take on soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk and which you prefer the most and least to children weaning and why.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Emily
      I’m a real thing kinda’ girl and frankly, I think milk is more of a close to nature food than a lot of the milk subs out there. That said, soy milk and coconut milk are traditional foods in Asia. The problem is that so many of them are highly sweetened– sometimes even as much as juices and sodas, and so are not much more than healthy than empty calorie beverages. Water is best. Unsweetened subs if needed. Whole milk if tolerated and the calories and protein needed. WArmly, Aviva

  10. I’m so happy to see this! I have just begun reading Dr.Joel Fuhrman’s book, “Eat to Live” he recommends abstaining from the consumption of animal products. In addition I’ve also read “Fit for Life” that laments the use of dairy in the diet. But I’m an Amariacan girl, I gulped down all of the three recomended cups of milk as a child and currently have a terrible relatuonship with fatty and salty cheese. I’m heppy to hear Harvard guys are weighing in. How long will it be before the government stops subsidizing the dairy industry through the WIC program. I feel that it is kind of like cigarettes. Kids are started on their dairy addiction young. This article should be widely read. Thanks for the post!

  11. Hi Aviva!
    I love all your books and follow your blog. Personally, we only use whole milk- and it is local and grassfed. I haven’t believed in low fat products since I was a teenager! We plan to use raw milk when it’s available to us after we move next week.

    What are your thoughts on the difference between raw, grassed, and traditional pasteurized store-bought milk?

    Thanks!

    🙂
    Sandra Maurer CD, RYT
    Holistic Pregnancy and Birth Coach

    • Grass fed organic always! Raw great for some folks. Take care with little babies, pregnant mommas and immunocompromised folks who should avoid it. peace! aviva

  12. My son was nursed but with a two ounce top up at night as he was extra hungry and I didn’t seem to be producing enough as I had been unwell. He developed eczema on his face within days and it got worse until it was weeping. I stopped the top up and also I stopped having any milk and the eczema cleared up within a few days. I told my doctor and she was a sceptic, spouting the usual nonsense about ‘no scientific evidence’ blah blah etc. I experimented a few time by introducing it again and watching the return of the problem several times but still none of the health experts were accepting of it and thought it was a drastic measure. Since then I have done a lot of research and cut eggs and dairy from my diet ( I was already pescatarian) , it lifted a veil from my eyes and I see how things work so much more when it comes to government ‘health’ policies in the UK. What dairy/ egg and meat business wants is what it gets and that is money plus the wool firmly over people’s eyes so to speak. My son’s father opposed me for 5 years and tried to insist that he needed milk only to try going without it himself and seeing miraculous results to his own skin. It is not healthy for any humans as it is from a different species to us and as such is alien to our bodies. Since I looked into dairy I found out the evils necessary to produce it and even if it was good for me i wouldn’t have it…the price is too high for my conscience. I’m glad you are getting the risks out there to the masses along with some other enlightened doctors, people need to know how it affects us short and long term. I understand how hard it is to give it up…I went for a long time hanging on to that one perfect morning cup of tea made with cows milk having given up the rest of the dairy stuff…we transitioned onto sheep cheese and milk but eventually gave that up too. I Like almond milk now, or Kara coconut milk drink, organic soy occasionally but mostly oat milk which my son loves. He is 8 years now, a big strapping boy with good teeth and good skin so I know I am doing the right thing in swapping the milk for things like home made green juice and smoothies instead.

  13. My concern is WIC is telling young mothers not to give their babies water. Also, all these moms mixing that rotten Similac up for their babies and not even tasting what they are given their most precious gift they were given on this planet. Then they heat up the bottles in the microwave. Now Similac has a new formula for babies that vomit up this weird stuff we are calling food for our babies. Now they are putting garbage in it to force it to stay in our children! “They” (including you in this article) are saying not to give cow’s milk but I would think that would be much better than Similac which is not food at all. At least a cow has nourishment that is normal. (Chemical additives to their food, too, aside.)

  14. Thank you for this article. The subject of milk can definitely be controversial! Before developing a leaky gut and autoimmune issue, I didn’t seem to have problems with dairy. I’ve read from raw milk (from grass-fed, no hormone/antibiotic) advocates how the nutrition is so much different and beneficial than pasteurized. Also, I’ve heard more about the traditional A2 casein milk, compared to the A1 milk that is prevalent today. My practitioner’s mother is apparently being helped with her autoimmune health issues by drinking A2 cultured whey from grass-fed cows. I know there are so many different examples and that everyone is different. There is evidence of people in Biblical times drinking milk, but I’m sure their milk was much healthier! –just some random thoughts 🙂

  15. I’m so happy to hear your take on the great milk debate! I’ve been dairy free for 3+ years and my life has been transformed. My husband just went dairy free and after 4 months without he says he doesn’t think he’ll go back because he feels so much energy and mental clarity. The key as you mentioned is figuring out if you can tolerate dairy and, if so, having a little bit of high quality, organic dairy is ok. I work with my clients regularly to educate them as you have and help them figure out how to remove dairy from the diet. It’s not easy but it is possible!

  16. Excellent post – We removed dairy as it was one food trigger that led to my son’s severe head-to-toe eczema and as you said, many parents were disapproving. We’re so brain washed into believing milk is an essential part of our diet – an excellent marketing campaign by the dairy association most likely. Dairy also played a part in my husbands frequent migraines and my acne. So, removing it from our entire family’s diet has been life changing. My husband and I enjoy little dairy treats from time to time, but we no longer consume dairy milk, opting instead for home made nut and seed milks whirled up in an instant in my VitaMix (best invention ever!).

    Thank you for this post – controversial for sure, but a must read!

  17. Thanks for this. But I’m still unsure why you are saying it’s not GOOD to drink organic, full-fat milk. The nutritional science seems to point to many health benefits from drinking organic, full-fat milk (in moderate quantities – e.g., 3 glasses a day). Around the world, especially in pastoral communities, milk is the most common food source that provides incredible nutritional benefits. So, if you can tolerate it, why not drink it? There seems to be nothing inherently bad about it, so why the push against it? I don’t see any overwhelming evidence why NOT to drink it.

    • I think I actually said if you tolerate it and enjoy it, or need the nutrition/calories then go for it! IF organic and full fat. What I believe I said is that is it not NECESSARY – which is what many parents and adults are led to believe. We can get full nutrition elsewhere so shouldn’t feel badly about not drinking milk. But hey, if you love it and it feeds you and you’re otherwise healthy, great food source.

  18. Great post! Have you read ‘The Devil in the Milk’? My PCP, Jane Hightower (she is credited with discovering and highlighting the problems with mercury in fish- she was talking about it decades before the general medical population started paying attention) recommended it and I haven’t had cow dairy since. I would love to hear your thoughts on this book.

  19. I was a little surprised when all my friends were told by their pediatricians to ‘wean to milk.’ I never considered such a thing. My little guy breastfed until he was 21 months and drinks water. Sometimes he asks for milk and I give it to him – whole, organic and sometimes raw from our trusted farmer. But generally it’s not needed and I definitely don’t push it. Great article, many important points.

  20. Aviva,
    Thank you for this article! I have recommended this to many patients as well as personally followed a no/low dairy diet for my family. It is great information and very well put.
    Dalite Sancic, L.Ac., MS

  21. I’m wondering about providing something like almond milk instead to my daughter. I have a feeling she’ll be a ‘milk before bed’ kind of kid. What do you think of this as an alternative to cow’s milk?

    • cow’s milk is probably more nutritious but you can alternate around and also see what she prefers. just take care to use whole milk, avoid sweetened almond milk, and be careful about dental caries — kids should really only have water after toothies have been brushed!

  22. Super happy to read this! Humans are the only mammals who drink other mammals milk! Happy to have a pediatrician who told me 5 years ago that is was perfectly fine to never give my 1 year old milk! Thanks for another great read Aviva!!

  23. As a midwife, I advise my mothers to consume no dairy the first month of their baby’s breastfeeding experience. When nursing mothers consume dairy their babies can get colic. The population has too high of a dairy intolerance to risk your baby being intolerant. It is easier to avoid colic rather than get rid of it.

    • hi deb, some baby’s don’t tolerate momma drinking milk or eating any dairy. this is true. sometimes it’s more a matter of the baby’s gut flora than the mom’s foods; sometimes it’s the foods. keep midwifing! <3 aviva

  24. Excellent article!

    I’ve been saying the same thing too…I always scratch my head at the cow’s milk recommendations, especially since the AAP even admitted last year to limit milk to toddlers (to prevent iron-deficiency anemia). Milk is high in phosphorus as well as calcium, which inhibits bone development.

    But really the reason I don’t encourage milk in my practice is that I rarely see a child who does well on it. Universally children who do a dairy elimination have their health issues clear up – things like behavioral problems, ADHD, chronic ear infections, chronic sinus infections, recurrent colds/flu’s, etc, etc.

    I wrote a similar article last year (Calcium – the Great Milk Myth). http://www.mtwholehealth.com/2012/11/calcium-the-great-milk-myth

    Dr. Erika

  25. Thank you Aviva for stating simply and clearly what I attempt to explain to my patients everyday. When we take a moment to think about it, dairy seems so unnatural in our everyday diets. My patients constantly report improvements in skin (esp eczema in my babes), digestion, and any inflammatory-type condition. I also regularly see adapting a dairy-free diet improve or completely resolve menstrual cramps; my patients are shocked.

    Thank you for ongoing inspiration in our changing world of health and integrative medicine!

    With Love,

    Ashley Weber, Naturopathic Doctor

  26. I was told back in the early 70’s by my chiropractor all about milk and all about the milk farming lobbyists, even all the other lobbyists dealing with our food and drugs. I certainly learned a lot from this wonderful gentleman. He guided me so much. My children were 4 and 6 when he helped me with the learning journey about our government, the law and health. He was truly a gift in my life. My children were not deprived of milk, but I sought out buying milk right off organic dairy farms. That milk was wonderful. We mostly ate fruits and veggies, light on the meat and dairy. My children didn’t have colds, infections,and all the normal childrens diseases most kids get. How weird this was, but I was even turned into Protective Childrens Services because we didn’t eat the way they thought we should, or go to Dr. (just my chiropractor) and we didn’t partake of any drugs because we didn’t go to the MD. My kids are in their 40 now and doing very well, as I am doing well to.

  27. My family has eliminated industrial dairy products. But we do drink full fat organic raw cow milk, cheese, butter etc. We also drink rice and almond milk. We had been drinking non organic skim milk for years, with tons of extra weight and health problems added to it. I am grateful for having found raw milk. Our family enjoys it and we have seen drastic changes in our overall health.

  28. Hello Aviva,
    I so enjoy you after such a long time from our meeting years ago at herbal conferences. So delighted medicine is catching up to real science: my beloved mentor, John R. Lee, MD, who taught me ‘real’ biochemistry and encouraged this x-RN gynecologist to become a researcher spoke these very words in the late 1980’s. Since his focus was the prevention of osteoporosis with natural transdermal progesterone cream, he passionately spoke about diet and warned against too much animal protein, including milk. I personally drink my morning coffee strong and black, but when I drink milk, it is usually almond or brazil nut milk which I often make myself. Thank you for your presence in my life.

  29. What is your opinion from a nutritional angle, to Almond Milk? Is it better or worse than Cows or Goats Milk? Our toddler son loves milk, and I would like to wean him off cows milk, as well our young daughter is about to be weaned off formula, so an alternative would be ideal.

  30. My 15 month old has mostly weaned himself (only nurses upon waking and was exclusively BF until a year) but takes a bottle of milk (whole, organic) before nap and bed to transition to sleep. He will take almond or coconut milk as well. Would those be preferred alternatives? Thank you!

    • I have an 18 mo old granddaughter. We all prefer whole milk for her since she weaned. It’s the most nutritious of the 3 in my opinion, and doesn’t require added sweetener because of the naturally occurring lactose in the milk. As long as your little one doesn’t have lactose intolerance, eczema, or develop symptoms from drinking it….

  31. I drank Almond and Coconut milk throughtout my whole pregnancy and so far my 6 months old son is just fine. Unfortunately at 4 months I did have to stop breastfeeding and had to start on formula which I really hated to do, but had no choice. I’m just wondering, when he hits 1 year, I know the peditrician will recommend replacing formula with whole milk – should I not give him goat milk instead? Or almond/coconut milk? OR does he really not need this milk substitute?

    • Hi Ashley,
      At 1 yo goat’s milk would be a terrific option — and in my opinion, more natural and nutritious than the almond or coconut – though those can be used occasionally for variety…

  32. Great blog post! Until recently we were drinking a lot of raw dairy milk. It seemed like my toddlers were addicted to it, so I cut back – then cut it out of our diets. Now we drink water and coconut milk, which interestingly they aren’t dependent on. A lot of recipes call for milk – what do you recommend as the best milk substitute? I’ve been using coconut milk but would love to hear your advice.

    • Hi Melissa,
      I use milk or yogurt cut with water in baked goods because it gives the best texture in my culinary opinion. But any of the milk subs work ok. Warmly, Aviva

  33. Aviva!

    I noticed with eating less dairy, I feel less bloated and phlem production. When I do have some dairy around, I do notice I am better able to tolerate non homogonized or cream top milk. It doesn’t give me cramps, loose stools and nausea. Is Nettle tea, raspberry, and oat straw teas a good substitute for calcium? I try to drink those quite a bit and incorporate salad greens everyday I love you Aviva! You are a huge inspiration! Keep up the good wrk!

  34. I have tried to steer clear of milk and dairy for years as it makes the allergies (everything from gluten to seasonal) so much worse the one time in my life I turn to milk for help is during my pregnancies I always loose weight and the only thing the doctors/midwifes always recomend is to add dairy back into my diet…so I suffer through allergies and major headaches to gain weight! Don’t get me wrong I love a good cold cup of milk, just in day to day life it’s not worth the suffering it causes!

  35. I have noticed that I have a sensitivity with dairy. I have always had sinus and allergy issues growing up. I went vegan for almost a year and now that I eat dairy again, I can feel the nasal drip and mucus running down my throat shortly after eating dairy. Cheese and yogurt are my main dairy foods. I like milk, but I don’t crave it so I don’t drink it often. Giving up dairy isn’t as hard as it sounds and some people feel so much better without it. Between this post and Dr. Hyman’s latest posts, I will be discontinuing dairy again just to see how I feel.

  36. Hi there Aviva,

    This is just a *great* blog post — thanks for sharing your experience so clearly! I do adore dairy and I look toward ancestral practices to gauge how I should proceed with dairy. I, personally, do not have dairy every day and sometimes not every week. But, like you said, when I do have dairy, it is in whole form and/or traditionally processed.

    When I think of how my ancestors (and ancestral practices from cultures in close connection with dairy animals in general) consumed milk, I am steered toward the following products:

    Clarified butter (ghee)
    Whole cream
    Yoghurt made at home with an heirloom culture
    Kefir
    Aged cheese
    Whey (for fermenting and sometimes to just take a swig)
    Simmered raw milk with spices to help digest proteins of the milk, move phlegm of the milk, and to encourage metabolism (black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom, namely)

    Just a quick note on the Ayurvedic practice of simmering/boiling milk… It’s interesting that, in India, they do not drink raw milk. They say that the phlegm in the milk would cause stagnation and dampness in the body, basically. They boil the milk to bring ‘agni’ or digestive fire into the milk to help digest the milk. They do this with herbs (as in the spiced milk) and they do this before they make their yoghurt. They also say that if the milk is not drunk or eaten within 24 hours after this simmer/boil, then it has gone bad and is filled with “ama” or toxicity. This makes me think about all the rank, pasteurized milk sitting on shelves. It’s just not supposed to be that way.

    I look for these items from sources where the animal was pastured on grass or on forage. For example, my neighbor has a goat that forages all day long…and that’s where I get milk for yoghurt, kefir and simmered, herbed milk. I have a relationship with her and milk her when my neighbor is out of town. I sought this relationship out and I am very pleased with it. …some of the best feta I’ve ever had!

    I also would like to suggest Jessica Prentice’s book, “Full Moon Feast.” Jessica is one of my heroes (like you Dr. Aviva!)…and one of the chapters is entitled “Milk Moon.” There’s so much richness in this book…one of the few I have read three times through and still refer back to it…

    http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1933392002

    I am not really for or against milk. I am for food as close to its source as possible. I am for small, cottage industries and farms. I am for replicating traditional and ancestral practices. And, most of all ~ I’m for listening to my own body and responding appropriately.

  37. What are your thoughts around raw milk and it’s increased nutrient values. I wonder if someof these country’s you talk about with high osteoporosis are drinking pastureized milk? Also, to my understanding, legumes and nuts should be soaked so the nutrients can actually be absorbed and used in our body.

    • no need for everyone to soak nuts and legumes. some people tolerate them better that way — the enzymes help sort of predigest them. see my other comment about raw milk 🙂

  38. Hello Aviva,
    Even though I don’t have kids, yet, I love reading your columns.
    I agree with what you said, we need good fat and we don’t need to drink store bought milk that went through pasteurisation.
    What about the raw milk though?
    I hated milk since I was a kid, and I was tired of listening to my mom and everyone else that I need to drink it if I want to have a strong bones. I have been refusing to drink milk, until I read the history of the raw milk, the benefits, and decided to join a share. Six months later, I am enjoying the raw milk and noticing positive changes. Some of the inflamation from my body is gradually dissapearing and I am starting to feel much better. There is no phleghminess at all when drinking a raw milk, and I wonder why oh why are we denied access to this goodness.
    Radka

  39. I was so glad when this study came out – mainstream science may finally be catching up with what many of us have known all along! I have a MS in nutrition from an excellent university, and it was always somewhat frustrating to see how both teachers and my fellow classmates pushed the importance of low-fat dairy – especially for young children – while downplaying the benefits of dairy-free diets. Hopefully this new study will start to encourage a new way of thinking in the profession. I really enjoyed your article – you presented everything simply and concisely in a way that’s easy to read and understand – thank you! I will definitely be sharing this! I am 24 weeks pregnant, and my child will not be getting any dairy. Maybe I should carry a copy of this article with me once the baby comes as a hand out for all disapprovers! 🙂

  40. I’m pretty much on board with this.

    As far as fats go, we try to find whole fats that are the least processed, unrefined and not rancid. This can be super challenging as hardly any oil is produced locally here. One fat that we’ve open to is homemade lard- rendered pig fat from pigs that a friend raises. Lard is the subject of lots of controversy- what are your thoughts on *homemade* lard?

    • I’m a butter fan, myself! 🙂 Don’t know much about lard — hearing more folks talking about it, especially the Western Price folks. Sorry – haven’t looked into the lard facts yet.

  41. Hey Aviva, I’m suprised there was no mention of raw milk in your article. Do you have any experience with that? Raw grass fed milk is the only type I will drink or give my daughter. Many people out there swear by it. Pasteurized milk is a dead food.

    • hi rachel,
      raw milk can be great but can also carry bacteria that can make pregnant moms and immunocompromised folks very sick. so care with it – but sure, if you can get reliable, good quality – absolutely. used to live near a dairy farm in vermont. we’d get this raw milk with about an inch of cream on top! no kidding!!! Aviva

  42. Great article!! I’ve been struggling with milk for some time now, that is, whether to cut it out completely. I am now being recommended the 3 glasses a day by my children’s paediatrician. My dietician friend thinks almond milk doesn’t have the calcium requirements for children (aged 2 and 3) and pretty much everyone around me believes cows milk is the way to go. I’m currently giving one child lactose-free milk and almond milk (but neither are organic- can’t find it anywhere) as he has been having a lot of loose stools. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thank you!!

  43. Thanks for giving me more “backup” in what I recommend and what I do for my own family. If dairy is absolutely necessary, I recommend goat milk over cow milk.

    Too bad we can’t get the full article due to need for subscription.

  44. Where does yogurt fit into this milk/calcium issue?

    Is yogurt considered dairy? I want to say yes, but I believe the milk is in a different state. Does that make a difference?

    Thank you kindly,

    Samantha

    • Yes, yogurt is dairy. It can be made from cow, goat, sheep and probably other animal milks (camel anyone?). Because of the numerous live bacterial cultures in yogurt, it is far easier to digest and an excellent way to promote healthy gut flora. So if someone can tolerate dairy, in my opinion, yogurt is one of the best options.

  45. as a new, older mama i was surprised when i started craving milk while pregnant. i had not had a glass of milk since i was a kid! the craving may have been hormonal, but i think it was just that i liked getting a quick and easy protein source in my super carb heavy diet. only full-fat organics for me and my family! thanks – i love your perspective!

    • I’m intolerant of dairy (react to the casein), but here and there did crave during pregnancy. I found it was cured by increasing calcium input other ways.

  46. One of the main reasons I chose to get my own milking goats , apart from my belief that milk should not only be raw and organic , but also TOTALLY un-processed (all commercially supplied milk, even whole full-fat organic milk , goes thru all sorts of processing,separation via high speed spinning and then re-blending with the fats to obtain a consistent end product) , was because apparently RAW milk is one of the few good sources of vitaminB6 . Most other foods that contain B6 are eaten cooked eg grains, and B6 is very unstable to heat & light. Women need plenty of B6 for hormonal health . Anyone else have any further knowledge about this ? I would love to hear 🙂

  47. I breastfed my son until he was 2 1/2 years old, and never had a reason to give him milk. After a few months someone had given it to him (grandparent, daycare, friends mom? I can’t remember) which happened to be mid december. He loved it, and since it was more my choice to give up nursing than his I saw no issues with giving it to him, cause y’know, I thought kids were supposed to drink milk. He got a circle rash around his butt, coughed all through the night, kept waking up from boogers, and his personality totally changed. He started freaking out at the drop of a hat, and having night terrors, which was by far the worst. My son had never been sick before, and up to this point was a delight to be around. Unfortunately this lasted for about 5 months, and I couldn’t figure out how he was staying sick. I had been really busy and scatterbrained and kept forgetting milk at the store for about a week a half, and all of the symptoms happened to clear up. I bought milk again and after one glass within about 3 hours his mood was quick to be angry and that nasty cough came back. I never would have thought that dairy would have had that effect.

  48. Great article, Aviva! Probably a little unpopular for me to say this here but we are dairy farmers. My husband was born on this dairy farm 55 years ago. But I’m not a huge advocate for the general public to drink milk, only for the simple reason that the store bought stuff is not what milk should be. Unfortunately – and this is huge – our country will not allow raw milk to be sold or given away!

    I think there is a real difference between the homogenized/pasteurized version of milk in the store and the real stuff coming from our grass-fed cows and onto our table. The constitution of milk through pasteurization and homogenization has been altered. Key components are missing that are required to digest other components. As someone said above, pasteurized milk is a dead food.

    All of our 6 kids have grown up with raw milk, butter and yogurt. They don’t drink milk like water, though. They have not struggled with allergies, ear infections, tummy issues, or other things that are usually linked to milk. And I haven’t seen many of these maladies in the other dairy-farm raised kids they grew up with in our community who drank raw milk. My adopted son actually prefers raw cream on his oatmeal rather than milk. I’m trusting his body is needing this as he has a hard time gaining weight.

    Very shortly we will be selling our cows and thus, our source of raw milk. Will we still drink milk? I will be looking to make kefir and yogurt from organic milk sources that have a lower point of pasteurization. Asked my hubby if he’d consider hanging onto just one cow for our own needs but after milking cows almost his entire life he emphatically shook his head, No! Can’t blame the poor man.

  49. My daughter has never tolerated dairy well. She had colic and once I cut dairy from my diet she did much better. At 6 months I was able to add it back in my diet, but she cannot directly eat it. When she does she gets really bad stomach aches and gas. She cries out in pain. It is extremely saddening as a parent to watch your child in so much pain. It is even worse to have people think you are crazy or not believe you and give your child dairy when you are not around. Then you have to watch the crying and pain. I hope she grows out of her dairy issues, but this article makes me feel better about the fact that she is not able to tolerate dairy. It makes me see that it is normal.

  50. With my first child, I followed all of the pediatrician’s recommendations for feeding her. I started rice cereal at 4 months, juice and baby food from jars at 6 months, and then lots of milk when she weaned at 1 year. She is the pickiest eater! She preferred to drink her food instead of eating. The pediatrician told me that was fine, and that drinking juice was like eating fruit. A few years later he told me not to let my children have very much juice because it was just sugar. Ugh. With my next two children, I rarely gave them juice and never fed them any baby food. They weaned at 17 months and did drink milk, but not as often as my oldest. My youngest child went straight to water and real food when I weaned him, also at 17 months. He will drink milk, but only sometimes. We get raw milk, and it is full fat. We also stopped giving all of our older children milk to drink regularly when by the time he was weaned, and their eczema went away. I have a friend who thinks that milk is vital to children and gives her children all the milk they can drink. Her daughter is the same age as my youngest, and my child isn’t small or malnourished by comparison. I will never be convinced that children need milk. It is great as an occasional drink, in my opinion, and useful in baking. For a family of 6, we go through 2 gallons of milk in 11 days, and sometimes we don’t use it all up in that time.

  51. I drank 2% non-organic milk as a child, lots of it. I switched to soy milk as a young adult but it seemed to give me skin issues (acne). I’ve been drinking rice milk for several years now as an adult. It is fortified with calcium and vitamins. My question is: I am 35 weeks pregnant. Not sure what I should give my child? Seems like just water and solids after breast milk is what is most recommended? Is that correct?
    P.S. My skin in fine.

    • Congrats on baby in the works! Breastmilk best until age 2. Of all the milk choices available, organic whole milk is the most natural and nutritious. But if not tolerated, water, unsweetened almond milk, and solid foods can all be healthy choices. Best wishes! Aviva

  52. Like I thought. Anyone who disagrees doesn’t get put in the comment section. I would at least like an email that addresses my previous comment.

    • As I shared with another reader….
      I do not filter out comments that represent other viewpoints. I got as many as 60 comments yesterday. I devote my time and energy freely to writing these blogs as well as answering them. This usually takes 6-8 hours per week. I cannot answer them all in one day. I do filter out hostile comments or views that seem unfounded. I have not yet seen your comment from yesterday. I do not choose to breed “dissent” on my website – though I do welcome active and engaging dialogue. I cannot promise to address every single comment. This would be impossible on my time. I would prefer people who have kindness and patience to engage on my site. That’s sort of a community rule I follow and hope others will as well. Be well. Aviva

  53. Hello,

    I posted a comment on your blog yesterday morning, that was mildly critical. I’m curious why you decided not to post it – do you filter out posts that aren’t in line with your thinking? Doesn’t seem like your style. But if this is a common practice on your blog (not allowing any dissent), I won’t be re-visiting your site.

    Thoughts?
    FC

    • Hi There
      I do not filter out posts that represent other viewpoints. I got as many as 60 comments yesterday. I devote my time and energy freely to writing these blogs as well as answering them. This usually takes 6-8 hours per week. I cannot answer them all in one day. I do filter out hostile comments or views that seem unfounded. I have not yet seen your comment from yesterday. I do not choose to breed “dissent” on my website – though I do welcome active and engaging dialogue. I cannot promise to address every single comment. This would be impossible on my time. Be well. Aviva

  54. I loved reading this post and everyone’s comments! As an acupuncturist, I was trained to believe that dairy caused ear infections and other phlegmy problems, so I never gave my kids milk. My youngest drank rice milk for several years after weaning, and i am not happy with that decision now, but that was 8 years ago. When we tried raw milk, he got gassy, so that didn’t last for us. For the past several years we have used coconut milk on cereal. I don’t like using something processed, but it seems the best option for us right now. My second son loves yogurt and cheese and seems to tolerate them fine, so we do give those to him sometimes.
    Thank you so much again for this post. Makes me feel not so crazy in this low-fat-dairy-focused country!

  55. Have you considred the benefits of raw whole milk from grass fed cows?
    – from realmilk.com:
    There are many health benefits to consuming raw milk. Early studies showed that children consuming raw milk had greater resistance to disease, better growth and stronger teeth than children consuming pasteurized milk. Animal studies indicate that raw milk confers better bone structure, better organ development, better nutrient assimilation, better fertility and even better behavior than pasteurized milk.

    Raw milk contains enzymes and encourages beneficial bacteria that contribute to easy digestion and ensure that all the vitamins and minerals are absorbed.

  56. I’m 70 years old and haven’t been drinking cow’s milk for years after hearing the human body is not made to properly digest cow’s milk. That same article said that goat’s milk is far better tolerated by the human body. I have also cut down on the quantity of milk I drink in a day. I make my own plain, full-fat yogurt from organic goat’s milk, and that is the extent of my consumption of milk. I do have a small amt. of organic ice cream when the craving hits. I also do consume organic cheese from time to time–many times it is made from goat’s milk. So far my bone density has not suffered. After all, there is calcium in the many dark leafy greens and other healthy foods I eat. I also have no risk factors of any kind. I can’t be doing it wrong! I also enjoy almond milk (which I make myself) on granola, and use pure coconut milk (thick, and the only ingredient is coconut) on my cereal. The trick there is use a small quantity as coconut milk is actually a healthy form of fat. By limiting the quantity used each day, I avoid the problem of too much fat. I also don’t have a weight problem. Thanks for this article. I read it with great interest.

  57. I have a question? With my first child, I was not able to breastfeed because I had a breast augmentation 12 years ago. So she was raised on Enfamil formula from the get go. She didn’t seem to have any negative reactions to it, as far as I can tell. At age one, I switched from formula to cows milk. I too, since childbirth, totally question why the heck humans drink another animals cow milk. But I’m so normalized and tolerant to it, I still do it. But after reading this article I am wondering this: I am currently pregnant with my second child and am wondering if you have suggestions as to an alternative “healthier” approach to feeding my newborn into toddlerhood this time around. I know I will not be producing milk this time either. I am intrigued by mention of goat milk formulas with other nut/seed milks etc.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Hi Jessica,
      Goat’s milk is a great option for after you baby is 1 or so years old. Prior to that, however, I do recommend formula is momma can’t breastfeed because it is going to be designed to meet babies’ specific nutritional needs for a variety of nutrients – for example, b vitamins and essential fatty acids. I would go with an organic brand as your best option. Nut and seeds milks, and other homemade milks, do not guarantee you baby what she or he needs nutritionally. Best wishes and congrats! Aviva

  58. Love this – thank you! My son is deathly allergic to dairy and this is quite helpful. Thank you! I have started lifting weights again as well and suspect I have a dairy sensitivity now so this is great info for me. I have heard similar things for awhile but love getting it from you as well!

  59. Is organic whole milk a good source of protein? I have a 13-month old son who is not a big eater. He self-weaned from breastfeeding at 8 months. I’ve been giving 4 5oz bottles a day of cow’s milk primarily because he doesn’t get much protein from other sources. He’ll eat some hummus and nut butter, but I don’t know if that’s enough protein for his developmental needs. Thanks.

    • Yes, it is an excellent protein source when well tolerated. I also try to think about what kids eat over a 2 day period — that really gives a broader perspective. I know feeding tiny tots is so tough!

  60. My son is 13 months old and still gets some breastmilk. He cannot tolerate yogurt or any dairy because it flares his eczema. Besides goat milk, what other milk would you suggest that has good nutritional value: rice or almond? Thanks.

    • Hi Maria
      Yes, for sure, almond can be used. I think rice milk has much less nutritional value than goat and almond milks. Best! Aviva

  61. Thank you Aviva!
    My 20-month old son is intolerant of all dairy products. He gets stomach pain and gas at night if he ate some. I breastfeed him one time a day so I stopped daily products too because he is really sensitive. Two or three times a day, I give him almond (rice or soya) milk mix with oil (olive, Lennon, coconut etc.) and sometimes add fruits mix in my Vitamix. I founded this idea after my pediatrician told me that he has to eat more fat because his weight stayed the same in last 6 months. She asks for many blood tests to be sure he is in good health, but he has no other other symptoms. I’m still waiting for the results. After I read your article, I’m not sure I have to give him all this milk and maybe just add good fat in his food. However, I noticed that drinking his smoothies help him to digest better. I’ll like to have your idea on that situation. Thank you so much for sharing all those good Informations et good vibration!

  62. What a wonderful article! We are a no milk household, with the only dairy we consume being cheese (just can’t give up that goodness!). When is it okay to intrusive almond milk to children? I have a 7 month old exclusively breast fed baby and have no plans to ween prior to age 2, but am curious when I could give him almond milk. I am not a great pumper so he doesn’t get a lot of milk while I’m at work during the day, 6-8 ounces is usually all he gets (I am only gone 4-6 hours at any given time). What other liquids are okay for the little ones once they turn a year?

    • Hi Danielle,
      Almond milk is a great option as a beverage! Whole milk and water are also appropriate, though water obviously isn’t a nutrition source. And good for you for extended nursing. That’s the best. Warmly, Aviva

  63. Milk! Yum! I love some milk! But, we don’t get it from the local grocery store. No way! We drink only full fat milk fresh from the dairy. It has not be homogenized or pasturized. We get it from a trusted farmer with healthy pastured cows and a clean dairy. Best milk ever. We also drink goats milk that was as well. But, if we couldn’t get it that way, we wouldn’t drink it at all. We also buy raw cheese and have it shipped straight from a dairy in Kansas. We love to make our own full fat yogurt and milk kefir as well!

  64. What are some opinions on and alternatives to vitamin d supplementation for breastfed infants? I really appreciate you and your blog followers view points Ms. Romm. Thanks 🙂

  65. Hi Aviva –
    Great article!! I have a 6 month old that i’m planning to start baby-led weaning with in a few days. I used to be entirely plant-based (cured me of my autoimmune condition) but have recently added some pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed/pasture raised meats back into my diet. Alot of what i’ve read about doing organic developmentally appropriate baby-led weaning is to start with things like pasture-raised egg yolk, bananas, kefir or full fat yogurt, and avocados and steamed low-starch veggies. i’ve also been reading about how i should hold off on grains until all the molars are developed ~18 months but i hear conflicting advice about this. Do you have any advice on this? I still plan to nurse for as long as possible as well.
    Thanks so much!
    Nadia

  66. Hi Aviva –

    Great article!! I have a 6 month old that i’m planning to start baby-led weaning with in a few days. I used to be entirely plant-based (cured me of my autoimmune condition) but have recently added some pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed/pasture raised meats back into my diet. Alot of what i’ve read about doing organic developmentally appropriate baby-led weaning is to start with things like pasture-raised egg yolk, bananas, kefir or full fat yogurt, and avocados and steamed low-starch veggies. i’ve also been reading about how i should hold off on grains until all the molars are developed ~18 months but i hear conflicting advice about this. Do you have any advice on this? I still plan to nurse for as long as possible as well.
    Thanks so much!
    Nadia

  67. I really could not say when the last time is that I had a glass of milk. It might be going on 15 years. I stopped for various health reasons. Since then, I have enjoyed almond, coconut, hemp and rice milks. I did eat whole fat cheese and Greek yogurt until developing an intolerance during my first pregnancy three years ago. My daughter, now 2 1/2, has had almost no dairy and never a glass of cows milk. Our pediatrician has never batted an eye about it. She is wonderful and very wholistically minded.

  68. I love this article! It’s very informative. I noticed something you didn’t mention, though – raw cow’s milk. I’ve read that people who can’t digest pasteurized milk can handle without problems raw, pastured milk. And, it doesn’t have the addition of aspartame or hormones. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks in advance!

    • You’re right! Can be good stuff – though I am super careful about the source and don’t recommend for pregnant women because of listeria.

  69. Chef salad, yogurt, plrezets. 3 things my 9 yo loves! They took the chef salad away cuz not enough of the grade school kids ate it. They also had cut veggies with ranch dressing and took that off too cuz no child except mine (apparently) would eat it. And they never had yogurt. I told her from the get-go it was a dessert. Now she loves it. And broccoli, spinach, and a lot of other veggies.They only have to meet a certain number with calories and fat for a meal to be accepted in schools. The best thing would be if you can pack your kids’ lunch every day. I work full time and hope that the school can provide a decent lunch. There are times though that she’s told me she had nachos for lunch. Not a real meal. And I pay for that crap!

  70. Thank you for the article! I will post it on my Facebook wall in hopes that family read it. I have suffered with so many issues for close to 30 years. And anytime I said “I think it is food related,” family would Say “no no.” After going to two rhumatologists because my symptoms mimicked autoimmune issues, I went to my naturopath and asked for the IgG food intolerance test. And voila! 36 foods. I cut them out and within a week felt better than I have ever felt in my life! The highest culprit, dairy… Since cutting it out completely, when I have accidentally had dairy, my symptoms come back.
    My son who is 3 has eczema, upper respiratory congestion a lot, dark circles and he was having bowel issues. I put him on lactose free milk and lacteeze and his issues got better. After a visit with the naturopath we have decided to take him off dairy completely and I am so nervous. I know I will be quized on how he is getting dairy. I make my own bone broth and we eat a diet rich in veggies and whole foods.
    I am so tired of defending how I need to eat. And I feel like because I have had so many issues, my family may think/feel that I am making dairy an issue for my son. But I am not. I see the similarities and know better.

    So I guess I write this to let others who are struggling with this know that they are not alone. We know our bodies. We don’t want to suffer. When someone says they feel badly for me because of my food limitations, my reply is “oh no! Don’t! I am thrilled! I feel great and all I have to do is avoid some foods. I will take that over an autoimmune disease any day!” And then they seem to get it. But I won’t leave my son to figure this out alone later in life when I know better now.

  71. Hi Aviva,
    you mention cavities in relationship to milk. My 2 daughters (6 & 3 years old) were breastfed over a year and I ‘ve thought we had a good diet – the only milk products are a bit of organic cheese and yoghurt (with oatmeal), we eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds and only 1 bread meal (organic dinkel sourdough). We also have organic eggs and meat every so often. Still both girls have cavities yet! Our dentist links it to the use of Weleda (no fluoride) toothpaste and wants to fix the teeth. I also had cavities as a kid but my daughters have a much better diet and they brush at least twice a day! It seems that the mineralisation of their teeth is failing but how about their bones then? Fluoride does strengthen the tooth enamel but also has toxic effects. I’m sure there is something missing in our diet that keeps the teeth from being healthy. I’ve just started again with sprouting as maybe that helps the minerals being taken up better. I cannot believe that in a good natural setting peoples teeth would decay so easily! Do you have any ideas or resources to look at?

  72. I struggled with seasonal allergies my entire life and had taken allergy medication nearly every day for over 10 years. When I became pregnant at 31 I greatly reduced my dairy consumption because I always knew it was not beneficial to health and didn’t want my unborn daughthter to have it. For the first time my allergies were gone! I mean completely gone, vanished! I continued to limit my dairy consumption while breastfeeding and have not given her dairy. She has been over the 98%ile for height since she was 3 months old!

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