milk, milk or milk....

I am constantly asked by people the milk question...cows milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, goats milk, and I could just keep going on and on...I think because most of my friends know that I didn't give my kids any cows milk, they want to know why we don't and while pregnant and breastfeeding I never drank it myself. the reason is simple, we are not cows so we don't really want to drink cows milk, it just doesn't seem right to me. I also happen to know quite a few people that live perfectly fine lives without it and have raised their kids without it as well, in macrobiotics dairy products are one of the first to go. In our home we do eat yogurt and cheese, I'm not a fascist (hence "nonchalant mom") and although I wish that I had the strength to be a vegan, we are not. what is most important to keep in mind is that your kids are eating complete meals, that they love whole foods (not processed) and that they learn at a young age that food is fuel for your body. if you think that cow's milk is the only source of calcium here are some ideas of calcium content in various foods (per 100 grams, unit mg):

kombu 800
hijiki 1,400
wakame 1,300
arame 1,170

seeds and nuts
seasame 630-1,160
almonds 234-282
sunflower seeds 120-140

cows milk 100-118
goats milk 120-129
various cheese 94-850

soybeans 190-226
tofu 120-128
miso 70-180

turnip greens 130 (these are delicious steamed and my kids love them!)
parsley 200
watercress 90
diakon 200

also while breastfeeding I never drank milk, I think some people feel that it's the only thing that turns into breastmilk and without it you can't breastfeed, nonsense...it's more important to eat well and drink water than drinking a cow's milk. I used to crave steamed kale with sunflower seeds (and a bit of olive oil) for breakfast! and I still do...delicious. we use various things for the kids to drink, rice milk, soy milk (we like either eden unsweetened or eden extra) usually a combination of the two and usually adding a bit of water to the content (just like we do any juice). there is always a big debate about what milk is appropriate for kids, and that's just what it is..a debate, you should listen and take part and then do what you think is best, a soy milk story in the newspaper is always interesting...but any new research is just that...research, you have to look to yourself and do what you think is right...and you won't always be right (I hate that!). so please email with your thoughts, the more information the better for all parents!