What milk substitute to give to young children allergic to cow’s milk protein?

Updated on: Jan 5, 2016

After the age of 12 months, it is possible to start offering milk substitutes such as soy milk, if the milk protein allergy is still present.

Some pediatricians recommend to continue offering hypoallergenic commercial preparations when the baby’s growth has been affected in the previous months. Otherwise, we can start offering milk substitutes if the allergy is still present. The main beverages are those made of soy, almond and rice.

Note that because goat milk proteins resemble those of cow’s milk, goat’s milk is not recommended for children who are allergic to cow’s milk protein.

Soy milk is the best alternative if there is no allergy to soy from a nutritional standpoint, because it contains almost as much protein, calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. In case of a soy allergy, nutritionists or allergy specialists should be consulted. Hypoallergenic commercial preparations adapted to the age and needs will likely be recommended.

The nutrient composition of different alternative beverages available on the market differs from that of cow’s milk. A nutritionist will assess the nutritional needs of the developing child and advise in order to avoid nutrient deficiencies.

To learn about the nutritional composition of different vegetable drinks, see the forthcoming publication.


Bhatia, J., Greer, F. (2008). Use of soy protein-based formulas in infant feeding. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. Pediatrics, 121:1062-8.

Santé Canada. (2012). La nutrition du nourrisson né à terme et en santé: Recommandations de la naissance à six mois.



Allergie Québec. (2014).

Doré, N. et Le Henaff, D. (2014).Mieux vivre avec notre enfant de la grossesse à deux ans, guide pratique pour les mères et les pères.


In collaboration with the Dispensary workers

Content that may interest you


Follow us




Slide Slide Slide Slide Slide