If you’re looking for alternatives to breast milk or formula, do not exclusively use almond milk. While it may seem like a great idea at the time, it’s actually really not. In Spain, one mom fed her 11-month-old only almond milk, which resulted in the baby contracting scurvy.
While scurvy is rare in developed countries, it still exists, and can happen to kids with restricted diets. According to the Pediatrics journal, as reported by the Washington Post, doctors at Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe de Valencia stated that “plant-based beverages are not a complete food” and can make infants ill.
So, what exactly is scurvy, and how is it caused? It can be contracted as a result of a vitamin C deficiency, which almond milk loses during its preparation process. Vitamin C helps manufacture collagen in the body, which promotes growth. Symptoms of scurvy can include lethargy, bleeding, depression, formation of spots on arms and legs, and partial immobilization.
That being said, having small amounts of almond milk is not harmful to infants, but the milk must be supplemented with fruits, formula, or breast milk. Otherwise, the side effects can result in severe nutritional problems, and even death, according to the study:
“When plant-based beverages are the exclusive diet in the first year of life and not consumed as a supplement to formula or breastfeeding, it can result in severe nutritional problems.”