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The taste of Almonds, Rose Petals and Honey offered by a mother to her child

Added 25/02/2013

Today the Mail newspaper reports of the distress parents are experiencing as supplies of two popular baby milk formulas which are designed to be of assistance in particular for babies with colic and constipation dwindle in the stores. As a result of the anxiety of not having milk to offer to their baby, parents have been willing to pay huge prices for tins of formula being sold at inflated prices on sites such as ebay.

I am not going to write about the situation being reported, this is being covered by many social media sites. But it has inspired me to sing the praises of a wide variety of milks that are non-diary. Also I would like to offer alternative solutions to colic and constipation. Many people are not aware that there are alternatives to dairy until digestive symptoms arise that are uncomfortable, with children this can sometimes be in the form of colic. Others are very clear at the outset of parenting in a decision of not wanting to use dairy products in their child’s diet, and so seek alternatives.

Nature’s seeds, nuts and grains offer us the opportunity to make wonderful alternatives to dairy milk; always my encouragement would be to support breastfeeding as best for babies. I would also accept that this is my opinion and every mother must trust her own decision and I would support her in listening to what feels the most peaceful way to nourish her child. For myself I used almond milk with my children when it felt it was the right timing for weaning. I love the benefits of almond milk and I cannot sing its praises enough, it would always be my first choice as an alternative to dairy milk. Obviously not the choice if there is a nut allergy. I feel it is the most nutritious of plant milks; it is great for the immune system, full of antioxidants, protein, minerals and has a very alkaline effect on the body which most nutritionists believe to be of assistance to health and well being.

Seeds and grains also make wonderful milks as well; examples would be rice, oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. All of these wonderful gifts from nature make great nutritious milks. Whether you make your own plant based milks at home or buy ready made from the whole food store is personal choice, we do have the good fortune that these milks are much more easily available in stores.  

Below is a recipe for homemade almond milk;

Soak almonds overnight in water

Drain almonds and remove skins, you will now find that they easily pop out of their skins.

Place one cup of the soaked skinned almonds in the blender with 3 cups of water and blend.

Strain through muslin cloth or a nut milk bag.

Here is your almond milk.

If you are using almond milk as part of weaning it is great to add to mashed vegetables or fruits. I also use to make either arrow root porridge or slippery elm porridge with almond milk, when I was weaning my children; this is stacked with health enhancing nourishing benefits. The slippery elm or arrow root really supports the digestive system. If you wanted to add some sweetness maybe a little maple syrup, a lovely plant based sweetener. All of these ingredients support healthy development of the digestive system which would have the effect of it be much less likely to experience colic and other uncomfortable systems of the digestion system being irritated. If you wanted to offer almond milk as a drink while weaning from either breastfeeding or formula feeding I would suggest just small amounts are needed. If you use almond milk with toddlers or older children it enjoys the company of spices, a great one would be vanilla.

As I wrote earlier my encouragement for breastfeeding and then using plant based milks as weaning foods are my enthusiasm and I love to sing the praises of them. What is more important to me as a herbalist and childbirth educator is to communicate to women to trust that all the answers as how to best nourish their child are within their hearts and to trust what feels of most assistance. If this short blog has inspired you to discover the delights of plant based milks for your children, enjoy and have fun. I end with a story a herbalist told me at a conference where I was speaking about herbs and foods for babies and children; he shared with me that his mother use to make him almond milk with rose petals steeped in the milk and honey added. I have not forgotten the feeling of love he communicated by remembering this delightful nutritious drink his mother would make for him as a child. Just beautiful.

Lots of love Amanda

Check out a wide range of Nutitious, Wild-crafted Herbal Teas in the Welcome World Store!!

Posts you may also be interested in:
Herbs for Relaxation and Sleep by Amanda Rayment Master Herbalist on Born
Breastfeeding is so much more than just milk on Lactivist Network

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Hi Amanda, great blog! I recall your enthusiasm for almond milk from one of our Doula sessions and reading this has brought it back to my mind. I will definitely be making my own almond milk when i wean my son. This blog couldn\'t have come at a better time as i was seeking the best plant milk to try since discovering that too much rice milk could be harmful due to Arsenic levels. Thanks for the inspiration, Rhiannon.

Rhiannon Marston, 25-02-2013

Hi Rhiannon, lovely to hear from you. Enjoy making almond milk ! lots of love Amanda x

amanda, 26-02-2013

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