Goat milk is a healthy food. It contains proteins of high biological value and other important nutrients that can help the body develop its functions properly. However, many people wonder if it is appropriate to give goat milk to a baby or if it may pose a risk to the baby’s health.
Before we begin, we must point out that dairy products are a food group of high value in the diet. Although they are currently under discussion, the evidence leads to the conclusion that they may actually contribute to good health.
Benefits of goat milk
Let us dive directly into the topic by first commenting on the main benefits of goat milk and explaining the scientific attitude to the topic.
Improves muscle development
Goat milk has the highest quality proteins. It is a food of high biological value, which contains all the essential amino acids and has a good digestibility.
There is evidence that protein is essential for ensuring good muscle function and preventing tissue degeneration in the medium term. Failure to meet the needs increases the risk of developing sarcopenia.
Increased bone density
In addition to its protein content, goat’s milk stands out for the amount of calcium it contains. This nutrient is important to ensure good bone health.
Intake of this nutrient in adolescence reduces the risk of bone fractures in adulthood and the risk of osteoporosis. It shows a study published in the journal Nutrients .
Goat milk has a lower content of lipids than cow’s milk. Therefore, it is much easier to digest. This does not mean that fats are harmful to health – far from it.
However, according to recent studies, these nutrients have a longer transit time in the digestive tract, so they can cause discomfort if ingested in excessive amounts.
Goat’s milk for a baby: From what age and why?
It is possible to give goat milk to a baby as a substitute for cow’s milk, but one has to wait to include this type of food in their diet. Otherwise, allergies or intolerances may occur.
Pediatricians recommend that this product not be given until after the age of 12 months, although some experts claim that it is possible to start introducing it somewhat earlier.
You should take into account that goat’s milk has a high concentration of minerals. Therefore , it may be too aggressive for the kidneys if they are still in the maturation phase.
Goat’s milk for a baby: Goat’s milk-based breast milk substitute
There are currently some breast milk substitutes based on goat milk on the market. These can be an alternative that can be considered when breast milk substitutes made from cow’s milk give the baby too much air in the stomach or discomfort in the intestines. Since goat’s milk is easier to digest, these symptoms can be relieved.
In any case , it is good to consult your pediatrician before deciding to give a product of this type. It is also necessary to observe the nutritional value of the infant formula in question and thus to check that it does not contain a large amount of simple sugars.
Side effects of giving goat milk to a baby
The biggest risk of giving goat milk to a baby is the development of an allergy to the proteins in the food. One can experience cross-allergy between cow’s milk and goat’s milk proteins, and if one product is not tolerated, the other cannot be tolerated either.
In addition to this, no other side effects have been detected when the food is properly included in the diet, ie. when waiting 12 months to introduce it. There may be only minor changes in the intestines, although they are bothersome, e.g. the presence of air in the stomach.
A great alternative for young children
As mentioned above , one can consider including goat milk in the diet of children over 12 months. This food is easily digestible compared to cow’s milk. It has a high nutrient density, where proteins and minerals such as. Calcium is especially important.
In addition, the lipid profile of goat’s milk is considered to be healthy, although it is true that most of the fatty acids it contains are saturated. However, the concentration of these is lower than in cow’s milk.