Is Dairy good for Children?

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

I treat patients every day and I always recommend dropping dairy.  Most of my patients easily understand that dairy is not the perfect food for any adult, since in nature, milk is only produced by mothers for their babies. However, when it comes to children, it’s much more difficult to fathom that milk and dairy products are harmful, thanks to our conditioning.

I recently had an interview with Dr. Madhuri Vaidyeswar, a homeopath from Bangalore who runs ‘Mitra for Life’, a non-profit organisation that’s building a community of families with autistic and special needs children; it has currently impacted over 500 families across India. Like many others, Dr Madhuri had been sceptical about stopping dairy for children, but when she explored further she saw amazing results. She wanted to bring this concept to the families that she was working with and therefore invited me.

Over the years I have seen many children, with all kinds of serious ailments including allergies, skin diseases, type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases, cancers and of course even autism improve with whole plant based diets. So many parents tell me that their child’s health improved dramatically after cutting out dairy. But sadly for every child whose health improves this way there are thousands of others getting sick because of the milk that they are forced to consume.

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Watch Dr Nandita Shah’s interview with Dr Madhuri Vaidyeswar to understand more about the impact of dairy on your child’s health.

We have created a whatsapp group of parents with special needs children who want to try this. To get on this email

Date-Nut-Seed Shake 

This delicious shake is high in calcium thanks to the sesame seeds. This is a great replacement for your child’s glass of milk.


  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds – raw, organic, unpolished
  • 6 – 8 almonds
  • 6 – 8 dates, pitted
  • 1 cardamom /⅛ tsp cinnamon /4 – 5 strands of saffron (for flavour)
  • ¾ cup drinking water


In a small blender, blend sesame seeds, almonds and the flavouring together, until it forms a powder. Then, add the dates and blend until you obtain a thick paste-like consistency. Add some water if required, to make it smoother. Add more water to obtain the consistency of a shake. Transfer to a tall glass and serve.

Serves 1 

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Diseases Caused by Dairy in Children

Every mammal produces milk for her young with nutrients in perfect proportions for her own species. When we consume dairy milk in the form of milk, curds (yogurt), butter, cheese, buttermilk, ghee, paneer, ice cream or any other product, we are aiming for health but unwittingly inviting disease. Contrary to popular beliefs protein and calcium deficiency need not occur on a diet devoid of milk.

Read on to understand how dairy causes various disease in children. 

1. Colic

Infants on breast milk often manifest colic. This is because the mother is consuming dairy. Stopping all dairy for the mother often stops this colic and infants of mothers on plant-based diets rarely suffer from colic.

2. Colds, coughs, tonsillitis and asthma

Milk is mucous forming and tends to cause upper respiratory tract infections. These become a rarity after stopping all dairy. 

3. Ear infections

These are often connected to upper respiratory infections. A dairy free diet helps resolve these quickly.

4. Skin diseases

Many childhood eczemas and skin diseases resolve on a plant-based diet and vitamin D supplementation if needed.

5. Glomerulonephritis and kidney diseases

Here too, a plant-based diet makes a huge impact on recovery. Animal proteins are toxic to the kidneys.

6. Auto-immune diseases

Dairy, and other foreign proteins are the major causes of many cases of auto immune diseases.

7. Hyperactivity and mood issues

Switching to a dairy-free, plant-based diet has a huge impact on the state of mind of adults and children alike. Dairy is full of stress hormones because of the intolerable conditions that dairy cows are made to endure.

8. Obesity

Childhood obesity has become very common due to the amount of dairy consumed these days. Milk contains growth hormones which promote growth in both height and weight.

9. Hormonal issues

Milk is naturally full of hormones since it’s the fluid produced by a female mammal. This can lead to hormonal issues like premature puberty, hypothyroidism, hirsutism, gynaecomastia etc

10. Childhood Cancers

The milk protein, casein, is a known carcinogen. Milk also contains growth hormones that promote cancers. Childhood and adult cancers can be prevented to a large extent by ditching dairy.

11. Autism

Casein can also worsen autism symptoms by causing inflammation in the gut.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Deepa Ballal, a freelance writer based in Dubai.

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