written by: Elysia Arseneau, staff writer
Here at NutriChem, we are used to answering fantastic questions related to health, wellness, and nutrition: that's what we're here for, after all! Julia Davie, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, gets the following question about cow's milk quite often from concerned parents, and thought it would be useful to have the information available on our blog.
If you've ever wondered about how cow's milk affects your child's allergies or skin conditions like eczema, read on!
There is also information at the end of this post about how to book a FREE 15-minute Nutrition Consultation with Julia. She can help you with anything on your mind regarding your child's nutrition.
"I grew up drinking cow’s milk and never seemed to have an issue with it affecting my skin. Recently my 3-year-old daughter has developed red and itchy patches on her cheeks and arms. Our family doctor diagnosed it as eczema. A dear friend suggested that, before using cortisone creams, I try removing dairy from her diet. But I always thought that dairy was important for growing children....
"Do you think that eliminating dairy will reduce the eczema? Also, is removing dairy from a child’s diet a safe choice? Thanks!"
"These are excellent questions! Your family friend was wise to suggest that you try removing dairy from your daughter’s diet.
"Eczema is often the result of a hypersensitivity to a food or environmental intolerance. Milk is not only considered one of the top allergenic foods, it is also extremely inflammatory. Therefore, milk consumption may trigger an eczema outbreak or contribute to the red, hot, itchy and sore feeling that is characteristic of inflammatory skin conditions. For these reasons, removing dairy may result in a strong improvement for those suffering from eczema.
"While some children (and parents!) are resistant to it, removing dairy products from a child’s diet is generally considered safe. The main concern is finding a nutritious substitute for your little one. My preferred alternative is a combination of coconut and almond milks. Coconut milk is rich in calories and fat that is important for healthy brain development and immune function. Almond milk provides some of the calcium necessary for growing bones.
"To make up the rest of the calcium, simply add more calcium-rich foods into your daughter’s diet. Broccoli, sesame seeds, almonds and kale are all excellent sources of plant-based calcium. (For picky eaters, you can always "hide" greens in smoothies and sauces!) In addition, consider introducing a quality fish oil, vitamin D and protein supplement in order to replace what is lost when removing the protein-rich and fortified cow's milk from the diet. You could even consider making your own milks (like this Brazil Nut Milk) to ensure the quality of the ingredients and to avoid additives, thickeners and preservatives.
"There are other dietary, supplement and lifestyle recommendations that may initiate further improvement for your daughter. For a customized nutrition protocol and meal plan created specifically for your child, consider booking in with one of NutriChem’s Registered Holistic Nutritionists. For a free 15-minute consultation including handouts and giveaways, sign up for Kid’s Day at NutriChem on Saturday August the 27th!! (The phone number is below.)
"As always, it is best to consult a health care practitioner before implementing any dietary changes and supplementation."
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March's Question is: How important is vitamin D? Should I have my levels tested or can I just take 1000 IU per day?