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Friday, November 4, 2011

Cow's milk, soy milk or almond milk for school lunch?

(Photo: Fransisco Kjolseth Salt Lake City Tribune)

I read an interesting article today about chocolate milk in schools. Yes, I know it has sugar in it and it isn't the healthiest thing for school lunch. But my kids don't drink plain milk. In fact, Son #2 was allergic to cow's milk when he was younger, but has out grown that allergy.

In the article, there was someone from a health and fitness institute who recommended replacing cow's milk with soy or almond milk. Woah! Surely that person knows that in addition to cow's milk, soy and almond are among the top 8 things that cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Click here for information about common food allergens. I know that people can outgrow milk allergies, but almond (or any tree nut allergy) is usually a life long allergy.

Click here to read the article about the chocolate milk debate.

In a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report Managment of Food Allergies in School Settings they state that "Fatalities were noted to be over represented by children with peanut, tree nut, or milk allergy and among teenagers and those with underlying asthma" Click here to read the article. It's scary to think someone wants to introduce a known food that can kill students into a school!

So, what do you think? Should schools serve cow's milk? Almond milk? Soy milk? Some people are allergic to cow's milk and can't drink what is served in school lunch now. But do we replace it with another known allergan that can also cause anaphylaxis and death?

Let me know your thoughts


  1. I'm with you Andrea.

    Children who have an allergy to cows milk would likely KNOW that they can't drink the milk (since they are never allowed to drink it at home), and would choose another drink at school lunch.

    Children who are allergic to tree nuts or soy would likely pick up the milk at school since they can normally drink milk at home. They would have no reason to think that the milk at school is different than their milk at home. But they would really be picking up something they are allergic to. The consequences are much too dangerous to me to merit the benefits of lower sugar/calories.

  2. Thanks Kellie, my thoughts exactly. I know that everyone sees things different and it may make sense to some people to use soy or almond milk instead of cow's milk. But, those of us with food allergies have to constantly check our food and drink. And it gets a little old sometimes....

  3. Why replace? Why can't people have the option between cows milk or almond milk? People who are allergic to almonds know they are because its life threatening so they shouldnt drink it. The allergy rate for cows milk and dairy products is climbing at a much higher rate than almond or soy as well the radiation levels are climbing in cows milk. My son is lactose intolerant he also has to check whats in thinks constantly because even a little bit of dairy makes him violently ill for days and so doesn't get to drink milk at school because they don't offer an alternative to dairy as a choice as it should be a choice if u are not allergic to either. And if u are allergic to one of them then you don't have a choice anyhow so it wouldn't matter.

  4. (Sorry for the slow reply, it's hard to find comments on my blog, it's easier now that they changed the format at Blogger.)

    Poor little guy, I feel bad for your son. It is frustrating. I wish they would think of us and ask our input before they change things in the schools. Do you pack a lunch for your son?

  5. Hi interesting reading, I'm looking to find out if having soya or almond milk instead of cows milk affects asthma. I'm a Mum and cut out cows milk 4 months ago to see how it affected my asthma - if at all. Usually I stumble from one cold and chest infection to another. I've been well for 4 months! Needless to say I'm really happy!
    I do miss milk and wonder if I can have the odd soya or almond milk replacement instead? Will it still affect me? Should I steer clear completely? I've also cut out wheat, potatoes and pasta. I've also lost 2 stone in weight and discovered that juicing Apple's with ginger is great for reducing mucus.

    Would appreciate your advice on alternative milks please?

    ny thanks jane

    1. Hi Jane,

      I'm not an expert on that area, I would recommend seeing an allergist. They can do a skin prick allergy test to tell exactly what you are allergic too and what would be the best course for you.

      They would be interested in the symptoms you are describing. If I remember correctly, we kept a food diary and recorded what we ate and how we felt. That would be very helpful to take to your allergist too.

      Good luck! :)