I told you in my January challenge post that I'm transitioning to veganism and am in the research stage of making a dietary decision for the babies. In the pro-vegan corner is my desire to save them from the ill-effects of animal protein. Even though there's no history of Type-1 diabetes in our family, I'm still afraid of them consuming the casein in cow's milk, which is linked to the onset of Type-1. In the pro-vegetarian corner was every pediatric dietary recommendation I've been handed at the doctor's office about the 16-24 oz. of cow's milk toddlers are supposed to be slurping down on a daily basis.
But how does that work with extended breastfeeding? Was I supposed to be cutting feedings to make room for cow's milk? What did my breastmilk lack that they needed from cow's milk? How many times a day should I be nursing them, anyway? Turns out this information isn't as easy to find as you might think.
Here's what I found out: There's absolutely NOTHING that cow's milk provides (except for added Vitamin D) that human breastmilk doesn't. In fact, human breastmilk is still the best choice for human toddlers. It's species-specific and is richer in the brain growth-friendly fats that humans need.
So to break this down for you, our culture encourages:
- Weaning babies from human milk, the best nutritional choice for human babies and toddlers
- Replacing an ideal, species-specific nutrition source with one designed for baby cows
But we replace a nutrition source designed for advancing brain development in favor of one tailored to fast-tracking the growth of a four-legged critter to several hundred pounds within a matter of months. Huh. How... quaint.