Dairy isn’t for everybody. From allergies to living a vegan lifestyle to downright dislike, more families are looking for dairy-alternatives. Finding a replacement beverage for your family can be tricky. Flavor, consistency and sourcing are all factors that influence what non-dairy drink is right for your family. Luckily, today, there are many options to choose from in a variety of flavors and styles.
While soy milk has been one of the most widely known animal-milk alternatives for many decades, increasing concerns over high levels of soy consumption as well as the diminishing availability of non-GMO soy have lessened its popularity. Though soy milk can be a great non-dairy beverage, you should consider your own family’s needs and health concerns when choosing soy.
Another well known dairy substitute is almond milk. I’m a big fan of almond milk for making smoothies and as a dairy substitute in many recipes. With its mild nutty flavor and smooth, light consistency, almond milk is a very popular alternative. You can easily find organic, non-GMO almond milk which is a huge relief for those of us who prefer organic food for our families. Almond milk is also available in different flavors, like chocolate and vanilla, making almond milk a kid-friendly alternative.
And in recent years, several more non-dairy alternatives have become well known and widely available. Oat milk, hemp milk, rice milk, cashew milk and, my personal favorite, coconut milk (which is especially good as a paleo and vegan coffee creamer), are all fortified with vitamin D and calcium, and often many more vitamins and nutrients, to ensure your family stays healthy and strong.
Each of these milks has its own distinct flavor and richness. There’s no telling which one will be right for your family until you try them. Testing and tasting each of these diary alternatives can be a fun family activity. So make an event of it, with score cards or secret ballots, and encourage them to try something new!