7 plant-based milks you’ve never heard of, mama

Banana milk is a thing, and it's pretty good, too.

plant-based milks

Over the past several years, the plant-based/non-dairy milk alternative market has experienced a boom in popularity that's led to an exodus from the once-daily-staple of cow milk. What started as a fringe market with only a handful of options–oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc.–milk alternatives have exploded to nearly a dozen different variants.

With so many choices, how's a mama to choose the right option for her growing little ones? Thankfully, it's not as difficult as it might seem.

What are plant-based milk alternatives?

There are several. Every day, it seems there's a new "milk" released to the masses. For years, the above-mentioned options cornered the market in relative uncontested fashion. But over time, other non-dairy brands sought to capitalize on trends that drove people toward giving plant-based milks a shot.

One of the most important considerations mamas should keep in mind is the health impact of these products. "Consumers are getting wise to sugar and they're asking, 'what is this doing for me?'," said Jeff Richards, CEO of Mooala. "These days, your product has to have the right nutrition profile."

Let's dive into a few of the plant-based milk up-and-comers:

1. Banana milk

As the name implies, this milk is made from bananas and water. The primary ingredient's natural sweetness makes for a beverage that lacks the added sugar and sweeteners found in other options.

Editor pick: Mooala banana milk

2. Macadamia milk

Made by soaking macadamia nuts and then blending with water, salt and additional flavors, this option features a lower water content–and fewer calories–than other inclusions on this list. You'll want to be careful of the higher fat content, though.

Editor pick: Milkadamia macadamia milk

3. Rice milk

Commonly made from brown rice, rice flour or brown rice protein, this milk is considered the least allergenic of plant milks. It has more calories than dairy milk, so you'll definitely want to monitor your child's intake if this is your milk of choice.

Editor pick: Rice Dream organic enriched original rice beverage

4. Pea milk

The newest addition to the plant-based milk category, pea milk is completely vegan and packed with protein. Also, it doesn't taste like peas so that can be a plus. It's also great for baking.

Editor pick: Ripple dairy-free original milk

5. Cashew milk

This creamy concoction is made from a mixture of cashew nuts or cashew butter and water. This beverage has significantly fewer calories than dairy milk, but also less protein and carbohydrates.

Editor pick: Elmhurst milked cashews

6. Avocado milk

Avocado milk is dairy-free, preservative-free, lactose-free, vegetarian milk that's made with oats and freeze-dried avocados. And, yes, it has a greenish tint.

Editor pick: Avocado milk

7. Chia milk

This milk alternative is primarily made from a combination of organic chia oil and protein, and contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. It's perfect for adding to smoothies, cereal, coffee or enjoying straight from the bottle. It also contains more calcium than a glass of traditional milk and zero grams of sugar.

Editor pick: Mamma Chia Chiamilk

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In This Article

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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