Pros And Cons Of Soy Milk for Children
Soy milk is something that you can find on the shelves of many grocery stores. With a robust variety of flavors kids love, like chocolate and vanilla, this creamy substitute for dairy milk appeals to youth of many ages. A number of infant formulas are also made from soy. As with any other food item, soy milk has a number of possible benefits and drawbacks for any children who drink such a thing.
Pro And Con: Allergies
Millions of kids across America suffer from various levels of allergy related to cow milk, as explained by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. That agency declares soy milk as a sound substitute in such cases, given that it does not have the specific lactose protein that causes kids their trouble. This has meant that there have been big changes to milk consumption as any milk market report will show.
On the other hand, a number of children are actually allergic to anything soy. Given that food allergies vary drastically in how severe they are, talk to your physician if you personally have any concerns about allergic reactions in your child.
Pro And Con: Hormone Content
Research, at the time of writing, is still inconclusive in terms of what effect soy milk or other soy-based products might have on the hormone levels of a developing child. This is per information from Harvard Medical School. Soy milk does contain estrogen receptors that might mimic specific effects of estrogen, and that might affect the cancer risks of both prostate and breast cancers. Harvard does note that as yet, there is not sufficient evidence to avoid things like soy milk, and that even cow milk might have potentially harmful hormones.
Pro: Bowel Movement
Children age 3 or younger might stand to benefit from having soy milk formulas rather than ones based on cow milk. MedlinePlus of the National Institutes of Health suggests that children who have soy formulas suffer fewer instances of diarrhea and have bowel movements less frequently, likely due to the fiber content of soy milk.
Pro: Supplemental Calcium
Washington University reports that fortified soy milk is a good way to make sure a kid has enough calcium coming in. The university says that children with enough calcium coming in through their diet are more likely to grow properly, develop sufficiently, and generate stronger bones. Also, fortified soy milk also has vitamin D specifically, which is a vitamin that engenders calcium absorption
Con: Thyroid Complications
In some extremely rare incidents, soy milk that is given to an infant might cause thyroid level fluctuations. This can cause goiters, as MedlinePlus of the National Institutes of Health warns. Goiter is a medical term for a condition involving an enlarged neck that is related to thyroid issues. Known research reports that such problems cease when the soy milk is taken out of the diet.