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Should you supplement a lactose-intolerant baby?
Q: My 15-month-old son is allergic to dairy products. Some people have told me that soymilk doesn't have as many nutrients as cow's milk.

Can I give him a supplement to replace the nutrients he's not getting? He loves milk. He takes 5 ounces every three hours. But he doesn't eat many solids.
A: The biggest nutrient differences between soy and cow's milk is that soy protein is thought to be less digestible, and there is less calcium in soymilk. At 15 months, your son is getting protein from other sources and his calcium needs can be met with calcium-fortified orange juice or even a calcium supplement in pill form.

The use of soy versus animal-based foods is still controversial, but certainly there are many healthy children thriving on vegetarian, soy-based diets.

By the way, your son is drinking too much milk, and this is why his appetite for solid foods is low. You can lower him to 20 ounces per day in a cup rather than a bottle. Supplement him with a generic children's multivitamin if you want to make sure he's getting his vitamins and minerals.

Susan M. Leisner RD, IBCLC, RLC Nutritionist & Lactation Consultant