Monday, September 21, 2009

Organic milk – a healthier alternative

My grandbaby, the lovely little Lady Laura, will be celebrating her first birthday next month. That means she’ll be ready to graduate from momma’s milk to dairy milk so I thought I better do some research into the best choice possible.

The first thing I learned was that you should never give dairy milk to babies under 12 months of age. Why?

  • Dairy milk is not only harder to digest than breast milk or formula, but it also hinders iron absorption, which can lead to deficient anemia. The most troublesome time to give a baby dairy milk is between the ages of 4 – 6 months, as this can pose a serious health risk to a child.

  • Dairy milk doesn’t provide the necessary amounts of vitamin E or essential fatty acids for normal growth and development.
    High levels of protein and sodium can lead to kidney failure and hypertension, even in young children.

Next, I discovered the reasons why you should give a toddler whole milk, rather than low fat, 2% or 1% milk. That’s simply because toddlers need fat and fatty acids for proper brain development. Most doctors don’t recommend giving a child reduced fat milks until after his/her second birthday, while others suggest waiting until after the child’s third birthday. The best advice I can give you here is to ask your pediatrician for his/her recommendation.

Okay, that all made sense to me, but why bother spending the extra money on Organic Milk? After all, sometimes it can cost up to twice as much as regular milk. Well, here’s why I found out. If a milk claims to be Organic, the following guidelines must be followed:

1. No antibiotics. One of the reason we’re facing an increasing dilemma over bacterial resistance is because we’re exposed to far too many antibiotics. When dairy cows are given antibiotics, it’s only natural the drugs will be present in the milk. Right there is enough reason for me to choose Organic dairy products. But there’s more.

2. No synthetic hormones. Again, cows given synthetic hormones are going to produce milk laced with these hormones. Not something I want to give to my grandbaby!

3. High in Conjugate Linoleic Acid content (CLA). These are important fats that are good for the body and research indicates a direct link between CLAs and reduced cases of heart disease and diabetes.

4. Cows raised on Organic farms enjoy a better life, plain and simple. They are exposed to open air and can graze in organic fields of grass. I want Laura to grow up having an appreciation for being kind to animals. I believe God gave us charge over the animals He created, and it’s not only a privilege to offer proper care, but a privilege as well.

It will cost more to provide our children and grandchildren with organic dairy products, but the health benefits far outweigh the price. Besides, someday when they’re begging for the newest electronic gadget, will we opt for a generic, cheaper version or will we fork over the cash, or plastic, to give them what they ask for? Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not advocating spoiling them…but then again, isn’t that what a grandma’s for?

Keeping it green and healthy,


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