We discovered my son’s milk allergy when he was 9 months old. When even the smallest drop of milk comes in contact with his skin, he immediately breaks out in red, itchy hives. At that time, we started him out with soy-based infant formula. Since then, he’s graduated to soy milk fortified with calcium.
Here in Switzerland, we can easily find soy milk at our local grocery stores and organic (bio) markets. In our small city, Coop and Migros typically carry one or two brands, including organic options. We’ve even found small individual servings of soy milk–like juice boxes, but with soy milk–which is great for traveling.
Possible Soy Milk Risks
Recently, my mother asked if we had done our research on soy milk. She had seen in the news some mention of risks associated with soy consumption. Over the summer, I had also read a blog post suggesting the same thing. So, I did some reading, and here’s a sample of the articles I found on potential soy concerns. A few studies have linked soy to reproductive and thyroid problems, but these articles generally indicate that more research is needed.
- Could Eating Too Much Soy Be Bad for You?, Scientific American, November 2009.
- The Science of Soy: What Do We Really Know?, Environmental Health Perspectives, June 2006.
- The Scoop on Soy Milk for Children, What to Expect.
- Soy Controversy, Living Without, October/November 2010
- Soy’s Negative Effects: Is This the Most Dangerous Food for Men?, Men’s Health, May 2009.
Bottom line: These articles raised more questions for me, as opposed to providing a definitive answer about whether to reduce or stop our son’s soy milk consumption. Our pediatrician and allergist in the United States recommended soy-based formula and soy milk, and neither brought up any concerns. For the time being, we’ll continue purchasing organic, non-genetically-modified soy milk. However, I’ll make sure to revisit the soy milk question once we meet with our new allergist.
For those with milk allergies, what do you use as a substitute? What have you been hearing, if anything, from medical professionals about soy milk? Please share your experiences in a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.