Some of the health benefits offered by goat’s milk to children are that it is a better alternative to cow’s milk, it can reduce inflammations, easier to digest, has high amounts of amino acids has more unsaturated fats, is low in cholesterol, can reduce gastric troubles, easily absorbable calcium, strengthening the immune system, etc.
Goats have been one of the oldest domesticated animals by man. Some remains dating back to Neolithic age show that goats have been here with us for many thousands of years. Some remains found in the coast of Israel support the view of early domestication of goats. In fact, in Hebrew Bible, there have been many instances where prosperous people have been defined by the possession of their goats. Not just goats, their cousins, sheep have also been domesticated mainly for their milk, meat, skin and of course their wool. Today, there are as many as 300 distinct and recognized breeds of goat.
Unlike cows which are large animals that need high amount of resources to produce milk, goats are smaller animals that consume less resources to produce milk. This makes goats, economically viable in areas where resources are scarce. Apart from the point of view of resources, goat’s milk can be less toxic in comparison to cow’s milk because of lack of harmful ingredients such as bovine growth hormones, antibiotics and chemical preservatives in milk.
Source: Img Kid
Health benefits of Goat’s Milk for kids
Here are some of the health benefits of consuming goat milk, especially for kids.
A better alternative to cow’s milk
Goat’s milk is considered as one of the best alternatives for cow’s milk. This is especially true for those who have issues taking cow’s milk such as allergies, lactose intolerance, etc.
Can reduce inflammations
Inflammations are necessary immune responses that a body makes. But, too much inflammation can actually be dangerous. Consuming goats milk reduces some unnecessary inflammations that can arise in the body.
Easier to digest
Goat’s milk when compared to cow’s milk can be easily digested. This is particularly useful for those people who have difficulties in digesting cow’s milk. For such people, goat’s milk can be a very good alternative. Goat’s milk is chemically very similar to human milk than cow milk. Due to this, it becomes easier for the body to digest all the nutrients present in goat’s milk without any issue.
Presence of higher amount of amino acids
When we speak of protein content in any food, we are referring to the amino acids that they are made up of. When we look at goat’s milk, the amino acids in goat’s milk are more than average when compared with cow’s milk and human milk at many levels.
Can reduce gastric troubles
Goat’s milk, when compared to cow’s milk can reduce gastric troubles such as colic, digestive disorders, asthma and eczema in infants and children with cow milk sensitivities. It has been noted that goat’s milk can be used as an alternate remedy against cow milk allergies or sensitivities in children.
Has more unsaturated fats
Goat’s milk has more polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats when compared to cow’s milk which has more saturated fats. This also makes it a very good choice to consume goat’s milk and avoid saturated fats.
Is low in cholesterol
Goat’s milk has less amounts of cholesterol compare to cow’s milk. This makes it a good alternative for those who want to have milk that has less cholesterol content.
Has high Oligosaccharides
Oligosaccharides are complex sugar structures and these play an important role in gut health of a person. Oligosaccharides act as food to intestinal flora or gut bacteria. These gut bacteria are friendly bacteria which help in fending off parasitic bacteria in our intestines. Oligosaccharides are produced in most mammalian milk, but it has been noted that human milk produces the most complex Oligosaccharides. The next candidate to produce Oligosaccharides of such complexity is goat. Thus, having goat’s milk can be very beneficial for good gastrointestinal health.
Calcium from goat’s milk can be easily absorbed
Though the amount of calcium present in goat’s milk may be similar to cow’s milk, but that calcium can be absorbed much more effectively with goat’s milk than cow’s milk. This applies not only to calcium, but also to other minerals such as iron and phosphorous.
Strengthens the immune system
Goat’s milk contains the mineral selenium. This mineral is useful in strengthening the immune system. Selenium helps in forming selenocystine proteins. These proteins have anti-inflammatory properties and can also help in defending body by killing foreign organisms.
Nutrition found in goat’s milk
According to the USDA, the nutrition found in goat’s milk includes
|Nutrient||Value per 100g||Nutrient||Value per 100g|
|Water||80.70 g||Energy||108 kcal|
|Protein||5.98 g||Total Lipid||7.00 g|
|Carbohydrate||5.36 g||Calcium||193 mg|
|Iron||0.10 mg||Magnesium||18 mg|
|Phosphorous||158 mg||Potassium||137 mg|
|Sodium||44 mg||Zinc||0.54 mg|
|Vitamin C||4.2 mg||Thiamin||0.065 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.355 mg||Niacin||0.417 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.060 mg||Folate||7 ug|
|Vitamin B-12||0.71 ug||Vitamin A||147 IU|
Risks of Goat Milk
One of the major risks of goat milk is that is consumed raw. Consuming raw goat’s milk can be very risky as it can contain harmful bacteria. Pasteurization or boiling it, is the best way to make the safe for human consumption. And raw milk should not be given to infants or children just because someone claims that it has numerous benefits. If you want to include goat’s milk in your child’s diet, make sure that it is pasteurized properly.
Also, do not give goat’s milk in your infant’s diet. As goat’s milk is different in nutritional composition to cow’s milk, it might not be appropriate to add goat’s milk to your infant’s diet. The nutritional difference can create problems. As your child grows older, goat milk can become more appropriate.