Calcium and a dairy free diet
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Calcium and a dairy free diet.

Estimated reading time 7.5 minutes.

Firstly, I would like to say that I am breastfeeding Ariel. I was determined to breastfeed and suffered for the cause. I am so glad I persevered. Breastfeeding is excellent for many reasons. I will try and breastfeed for 2 years to help Ariel develop her jaw/facial structure which is so important with her low muscle tone and small mouth.

Human breast milk is Mother Nature’s PERFECT FORMULA for baby humans. Even dairy industry scientists would not be foolish enough to debate this UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED FACT. In her wisdom, Mother Nature included 33 milligrams of calcium in every 100 grams of human breast milk.

When I say to people that Ariel has a dairy free diet most people seem to hear “I am going to deprive my daughter of calcium”. The world today is brainwashed into thinking you need to have dairy food to get your required calcium. The power of the dairy industry is huge but that is a whole other subject I won’t go in to (for those of you who don’t know I am an ethical vegan).  There are plenty of healthy foods that contain calcium. All we need to do is work out is how much calcium we need and what we need to eat each day to get it. So Simple!

Firstly though I would like to give a few reasons on why Ariel is dairy free.

1. Some research in the USA has shown that most children with Down’s Syndrome are lactose-intolerant, and do better on a milk-free diet.

2. Children with Down syndrome tend to have relatively narrow nasal passages. As a result, some children may be more prone to coughs and colds than other children. It is known that milk products increase the production of mucous, which can increase nasal congestion and the tendency to bronchial infections. Doctors in Germany have reported that post-mortem examinations performed on people with Down’s Syndrome brought to light many cases of advanced bronchial infections which had not been previously diagnosed. Basically the whole skeletal structure of the mid-face and of the throat area behind the mouth tends to be rather cramped so that drainage of normal mucous secretions is compromised. This leads to mucous pooling and stagnating in the nasal passageway and this provides a focus for infection. Once infection sets in yet more mucous is produced and a vicious circle results. As a general rule as children get older the situation improves as the airways behind the nose and mouth widen. There are nevertheless some adults who continue to have problems.

3. Many children with Down Syndrome have difficulty with constipation. Cow’s milk can be very constipating even in normal people.

4. I am vegan therefore will live and eat in a way that does not cause any harm to another living being.

At this point I want to add that when Ariel was born she had to go into special care. She was tube feed my expressed milk but also supplemented with a dairy based formula. During the first month when we got home, Ariel suffered from quite severe congestion. Since I only fed her breast milk from then, the congestion cleared. Ariel has not had a single sniffle since. She is never sick, and since I myself gave up dairy, neither am I. I was on a steroid based nasal spray for a hideous post nasal drip. It has completely cleared and I am breathing easy!

Our GP and Paediatrician know about Ariels diet.

Our GP is mainly concerned about Ariel getting enough calories. My solution is coconut cream , nut butters and Avocado. She is the size and weight of a average baby her age. Check out her arms lol  Ariel sitting and laughing

Our paediatrician is concerned about her vitamin b12, and checks her levels in her bloods at our 6 monthly check ups. She has perfect levels 🙂

So back to the calcium. How much do we need and where are we going to get it?

For calcium, beans, dried figs, sweet potatoes, and green vegetables, including collards, kale, broccoli, mustard greens, and Swiss chard, are excellent sources. Fortified soymilk and rice milk and calcium-fortified juices provide a great deal of calcium as well. In addition, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, excluding animal proteins, and limiting salt intake all help the body retain calcium.

The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, in Baby and Child Care (the United States’ best selling book, other than the Bible, over the past 50 years), after recommending that no one consume cow’s milk and cataloging a host of ills associated with milk consumption (heart disease, cancer, obesity, antibiotic residue, iron deficiency, asthma, ear infections, skin conditions, stomach aches, bloating, and diarrhea), concludes:

“In nature, animals do not drink milk after infancy, and that is the normal pattern for humans, too. …Children stay in better calcium balance when their protein comes from plant sources.”

Dr. Spock recommends human mother’s milk for baby humans, as nature intended.

Calcium requirements for a 1 year old toddler is 320mg for breastfed and 500mg for those not breastfed.

Food Product

Serve size = 1 serve of calcium (250mg)

Breast milk 700mls

Soy formula 400mls

Soy milk with added calcium 200mls or 1 cup

Rice or Oat drink with added calcium 200ml or 1 cup

Soy yoghurt 200g or 1 regular tub

Soy cheese 125g – 400g (varies)

Almonds 100g

Tahini 75g

White sesame seeds 400g

Boiled spinach and raw parsley 150g

Broccoli 5 cups

Tempeh 1 1/2 cups

Kale 2 cups cooked

Blackstrap molasses 1Tbs

Chia seeds 50g

Quinoa 2 1/2  cups

Figs 1 Cup

Sweet Potato 4 Cups

Baked Beans 3 cups

As you can see it is very easy to get the daily requirements of calcium and not eat the baby cows milk. My baby and I am extremely healthy. I jog every morning and am a working mum. Ariel is thriving. If you want any more info on the food we eat please do not hesitate to ask. I truly believe this is one of the reasons we are never sick!

me and ari




I am not a medical doctor and before embarking on any major change in diet or exercise you should conult your local physician.





  • Ray
    Posted at 05:27h, 22 December Reply

    Hi Raylene, we met a good few years back when you visited Paris in Dubai. Just found yr blog and read through it all. … Ariel is just the most beautiful girl and I can see why you would be so proud… your blog is amazing and I look forward to Ariel’a updates.

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 06:23h, 25 December Reply

      Hi Ray
      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for you kind comments. It really touched my heart! I hope you are well! I’m hoping to return to visit Dubai again one day!

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