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Researchers in New Zealand appear to have created a genetically modified cow. Its purpose; to produce low allergenic milk whereby the major whey protein beta-lactoglobulin has been removed to undetectable quantities.
This does not guarantee the milk to be completely allergen free; however, this is incredibly exciting news for the toddler who may be diagnosed with cows’ milk protein allergy in the future.
Are we likely to see this milk in the shops any time soon? The research is still at infancy but in the meantime, milk allergy is easier to manage today than even say just five years ago.
Under the expert guidance of a dietitian, for a mum who would like to breast feed her baby with cows’ milk protein allergy, you can do so, as long as mum follows a strict milk free diet and excludes all milk proteins from her diet. Milk proteins can transfer from maternal blood stream to human milk and hence the rationales for the strict milk free diet for mum.
For the older child, there is a good range of calcium fortified milks available in the market. Starting with soy milk, you can also find these in a variety of flavours. Always select a brand that has added calcium to help meet these requirements.
For children who may also be battling soy protein allergy, nut milks such as almond or hazelnut milks are an option. You can also try pea milk, oat milk and rice milk.
A word of caution, as per the food standards authority, it is recommended that rice milk is not offered to children under 4 ½ years of age. Arsenic occurs naturally in a wide range of foods at low levels. In rice drinks, the amount of inorganic arsenic present is too high to be deemed safe for young children between 1 and 4 ½ years.
Consult your dietitian or GP for advice on suitable alternative drinks for a child requiring cows' milk protein free drinks.
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