Many people are firm believers that cow’s milk is the “perfect food” and you will never be able to change their minds. But parents need to educate themselves about milk allergies and lactose intolerances with their children in mind to be forewarned. One main reason why cow’s milk isn’t that great for you is that it was made for cows, not humans. Secondly, if you are not consuming magnesium along with cow milk, you are not benefiting from the calcium. Thirdly, if you consume something with iron in it, your body also cannot uptake calcium at all. So, red meat and a glass of milk, is not a great idea.
The reaction of the immune system to milk proteins and milk products is a milk allergy. These are signs and symptoms that will appear while the child is an infant. This affects the digestive system along with skin and airways. Milk allergies can be life threatening to infants if not recognized and something done about it. Infants who develop milk allergies are usually put on soy milk by the family doctor.
Lactose intolerance shows up a couple of years later and is caused by the body not being able to break down the milk sugar lactose. This affects the digestion only, and causes symptoms such as bloating, gas and loose bowels. This occurs only after drinking milk or eating dairy products. This is not a serious intolerance and many people can still drink milk or dairy products in small amounts and not really feel any symptoms.
If a child or adult is found to be milk-allergic, it is best to know that not all “milk-free” labels are misleading, and they still can have milk protein in it. Some of the soy cheeses that are labeled as milk free can still have some milk in it, so read the labels very carefully.
Many nondairy foods can be substituted for milk or milk products. Be aware, however, that just because a food is labeled “nondairy,” it does not necessarily mean that it is milk free. Even a “milk-free” label can be misleading. For example, some soy cheeses claim to be milk free but may still contain milk protein. That’s why it’s always important to read all food labels when you have a milk-allergic child.