I've gotten some great questions since my food plan post, and I wanted to answer them here.
1. Theresa asks: This is very interesting and I appreciate you sharing your journey. I was curious if you wouldn't mind talking a bit about what choices you have made for Penny regarding her liquid intake? I'm an exclusively BF mama of a 10 month old and my supply is starting to dry up. (I'm doing all I can to keep it going!)But I'm starting to research what other drinks to offer her when I can't offer BM exclusively. We'd like to avoid cow's milk and will talk with our Pediatrician about some options. But I was curious what direction you took. Thanks!
First, kudos to you for breastfeeding your little one! I am still breastfeeding Penny 4-6 times/day, but just after her first birthday, we started to offer almond milk with dinner and sometimes other meals. We have also offered coconut milk, but she seems to prefer the almond. We discussed it with our pediatrician before introducing any other milks, and our pediatrician said that any alternative milks would be fine as long as they were fortified with Vitamin D. Our pediatrician is fantastic, she's had children with allergies, and she's IBCLC as well. Amazing! I would gladly offer rice milk, or flax milk, or any other varieties (except probably not soy just because I think there are less controversial choices). There are so many choices! I always choose the unsweetened plain or unsweetened vanilla. Penny drinks it or water. I think at this age, it's easy to introduce these things because she doesn't have a palate for cow's milk or sweetened things, not having really had them. As far as cow's milk goes, I don't really think there is any reason that kids have to drink it. Up to 60% of the world's population cannot tolerate cow's milk, and it's believed that being able to tolerate it is an abnormality, not the other way around. Even organic cow's milk is often powered and then reconstituted. It travels far. There are so many hormones given to these cows, and it's suspected as a cause of early menstruation in young girls. I have heard cases of preschoolers showing signs of puberty, which stops after taking away conventional cow's milk. Cow's milk is also hugely inflammatory. Anyone who is suffering from ear infections, congestion, allergies, or sinus infections should try eliminating cow's milk. I also just think it's a little weird for adults to drink the breast milk of another species. How did this start? And why is it a food group? That being said, I have heard moms swear by raw milk from local farms, and I really can't speak to that, but it's something to look into if you're really against any of the other milks.
As far as other dairy products go, although I am avoiding them completely, we are allowing Penny to eat cheese, butter, and (plain, unsweetened) yogurt on occasion. It's hard to find enough variety of foods for a toddler to eat, and since Penny isn't showing any signs of intolerance to dairy or problems with ear infections/congestion, a few dairy products here and there don't seem to be doing much harm. We don't give her these things every day, and when she does eat them, we choose local, grass-fed, organic, and just give small quantities. That kid does love cheese! And from what I've read about cheese and yogurt, they are not quite as rough on the body as pure cow's milk. Sorry for the super long reply, but I hope this answers your question!