Nut Milk Benefits for Babies
Not only can you benefit from homemade nut milks, but your little ones can too! Read along for 3 surprising benefits of nut milk for babies.
1. Brain Power
Your baby's brain will double in size during their first year of life, becoming about half the size of an adult brain at just one year old. No wonder they need the high nutrient density of breast milk and formula for those 12 months! After the one year mark, however, they’re ready to try a larger variety of foods and drinks, and babies that were formula-fed are encouraged to make a switch to another variety of milk. While many parents introduce cow’s milk, there are a surprising number of reasons to incorporate nut milk as well. It’s easy to switch up the flavor too, so even picky older kids will enjoy it. Plus it’s healthy for you as well and you know exactly what is in it!
Just like how nuts are considered “brain food” for adults, almond and some other varieties of nut milk contain a profile of nutrients that support the health and development of the baby's brain and promote higher levels of intelligence. This is because nut milks that contain higher amounts of riboflavin and L-carnitine increase brain activity, strengthening its function. Keep in mind that different nut milks have slightly different consistency, especially in contrast to breast milk, so select a bottle that works for the milk you choose. A bottle that helps to eliminate air and allows for a smooth flow even with slightly thicker (or thinner) consistency will better aid digestion.
2. Healthy Eyes, Skin, Hair, and Nails
In addition to brain boosting, almond milk has high amounts of vitamin E. Not only is this vitamin important for immune function, it promotes eye, skin, nails, and hair health- that’s why skincare and beauty products often tout they have added vitamin E. It is also thought to have long-term benefits like reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease thanks to its work as a natural antioxidant that fights free radicals. The best way to get enough of good ol’ vitamin E is via natural food sources, like nuts and nut milk.
3. Healthy Body Weight
Of course, babies need quite a lot of every nutrient, including fat. That’s why it’s important not to eliminate breast milk or formula from your baby’s diet entirely at the one year mark, but rather include other varieties to enhance their nutrition. Simply incorporating healthy, lower-calorie nut milks will help your little one develop healthier habits, like opting for healthier beverages, which will help them maintain a healthy body weight when they’re older. These healthy habits will see them into becoming a healthy child, and healthy adult.
Certainly, there are some compelling reasons to give nut milks a try as part of your baby’s diet; just be sure to get the all-clear from your baby’s doctor. Once you do, the world is the baby’s oyster (or nut)!
Article contributed by Karoline Gore.