June is Dairy Month, but for those who avoid dairy for health or ethical reasons, the month has also been declared Diary Alternatives Month. This is the ideal time for your aging parent to explore new alternatives to dairy milk, as well as products that utilizes these alternatives in the place of dairy milk. This can help make the switch from dairy to non-dairy smoother and far more enjoyable.
There was a time when the only alternative to dairy milk was soy milk. While the soy option still stands strong in the market, there are several other options as well. Each is good for some things and not as good for others, so it is important to do some experimenting to find the ones that are right for your aging parent.
Rice milk. This light milk alternative contains just 120 calories and has 1 gram of protein per cup and tastes extremely different than milks based of various nuts. Closer in taste to more traditional dairy milk, where it differs is in consistency, which is far more watery than traditional milks.
Coconut milk. A rich and creamy option often transformed into a cream, coconut milk has just 70 calories and only 7 grams of sugar despite being very sweet and due to the higher healthy fat content, a thicker alternative than most others. With just a hint of a flavor that reminds one of nuts, it is a popular choice for creamer in coffee as well as for cereals and recipes that usually use milk.
Flax milk. Not as common as many of the other milk alternatives, flax is a popular kind with those who are very heart health conscious, as it contains tons of Omega 3. With just 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, it is light on the sweetness and a little thin texturally, but what it lacks in those it makes up for in nutrient qualities.
Soy milk. The original popular alternative to dairy milk, soy actual beats out other non-dairy milk in protein with 11 grams a cup. With 130 calories, it is a little more heavy in that regard, and a chalky taste and texture can be a turn off for some. An excellent milk to cook with, its rich taste tends to meld very well with other flavors, and the protein makes for a great base for protein shakes. Since it is made from soy, it is a safe option for those with nut allergies.
Hemp milk. Another less common option, hemp milk is made from the hemp seed, contains 3 grams of protein per cup, but also 140 calories and 14 grams of sugar. A bit watery, hemp milk has a nutty like flavor that makes it a go-to choice for creamers as well as for cooking.
Cashew milk. This indulgent-tasting option is similar to its popular cousin Almond milk, and contains just 60 calories with 7 grams of sugar. Sweet, and a bit creamier than some other alternatives, it has minimal nut like flavor, making it ideal for drinking plain or with cereals.
One of the most helpful services of an elder care provider is helping your aging parent get the nutrition that they need to stay healthy and strong. This can include shopping together, experimenting with new ingredients, and cooking together, as well as aiding in meal preparation, serving, and even eating assistance.
For more information about how the caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 858-454-9339. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable senior care in La Jolla, CA, and the surrounding communities.