Giving Soy Milk to Babies, These Are the Facts

Body Health
Soy milk is not a foreign drink for the people. Everyone of all ages might have drunk it. But may I give soy milk for babies? Judging from its name, of course, soy milk is made from soybeans. In one cup (240 ml) unsweetened soy milk contains at least 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 80-100 calories.

Giving Soy Milk to Babies, These Are the Facts

Soya milk is a source of protein, potassium, vitamin A, and isoflavones. Because it is made from plants, this milk is free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat.

Allowed or not?

Although nutritious, this milk can not be drunk by everyone, for example in infants. Health experts advise against giving soy milk to babies, especially if your child is born prematurely or is less than six months old. Why? Because babies aged 1-6 months should be given breast milk. Breast milk has all the nutrients your child needs to grow healthy and develop.

Giving soya milk to babies under six months is also feared to increase the risk of an allergic reaction to soy in the body. Not to mention the content of additional ingredients in soy milk that are considered not good for babies, such as sugar. If ordinary formula milk contains a type of lactose sugar, soya milk usually contains glucose. This glucose can damage the teeth of infants and young children.

Also, there are concerns if giving soy milk to babies can affect the development of their reproductive organs. Soybeans contain natural compounds phytoestrogens. Well, the chemical structure of phytoestrogens is similar to a female s*x hormone called estrogen. It is feared it can cause early puberty and thyroid problems. Also, consuming phytoestrogens in large amounts is thought to make your baby's weight tends to low.

Rules for Giving Soya Milk to Children

However, soy milk may be given as an alternative if the child or baby is allergic to lactose or formula milk made from cow's milk. Of course, after discussing it first with your pediatrician.

If you want to buy soy milk for babies, choose one that is made from whole soybeans. Not low-fat or non-fat. For children under 2 years, fat is very important for the development of the brain. Also make sure that the soy milk is enriched with vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium.

If your child drinks soy milk, it is recommended to increase calcium intake. Soya milk contains phytate natural substances which can reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium and other minerals.

Finally, make sure your little vitamin B12 intake is met. Soya milk is made from plants, while vitamin B12 is found in animal foods, including cow's milk.

Keep in mind that about 10-14% of children who are allergic to cow's milk are also allergic to soy, so before giving soy milk to babies or children, make sure you discuss with your pediatrician first.

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