What Is a Good Substitute for Milk When Eating Cereal?
Cereal with milk is a quick and healthy way to start your day. Top your cereal with fresh or frozen fruit, a handful of raisins or dried cranberries, and some slivered almonds, cashews or walnuts to add variety and improve the nutritive value of your breakfast. Substituting low-fat or fat-free milk with one of the several non-dairy beverages is especially suitable if you suffer from lactose intolerance, have milk protein allergies, or are a vegan who prefers not to drink cow’s milk.
Alternatives to cow’s milk include soy, almond, rice, oat, coconut and hemp milk. To make them comparable to cow’s milk, most milk substitutes are enriched with several key nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B12 and D. These milk substitutes also retain the nutrients inherent in their base ingredients.
A serving of enriched soy milk, usually made from organic soybeans, provides as many calories and as much calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A as a serving of 1 percent low-fat milk. Although soy milk provides more iron and vitamin B-12, its vitamin D content is lower than that of reduced-fat milk. Additionally, soy milk contributes fiber, a component that is absent in cow’s milk, and contains isoflavones, which may decrease the incidence of some cancers, lower cholesterol and prevent osteoporosis. Although soy milk is a good choice for most people, people with soy allergies must avoid it.
Rice milk is a unsweetened, enriched beverage made from brown rice that is naturally free of lactose, gluten and cholesterol. A serving of rice milk provides as much calcium and vitamin D as a serving of soy milk, but provides fewer calories, less phosphorus and less vitamin B12, and lacks fiber and iron. Although it is suitable for adults, rice milk’s low protein content makes it an unsuitable milk substitute for children younger than 5 years.
Made from almonds and enriched with nutrients, almond milk can replace cow’s milk in cereal. Unsweetened almond milk provides 30 calories per serving, and has as much calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E and B12 as soy milk, but it is lower in iron and phosphorus content. Almond beverages also do not provide any fiber and a serving contains just a small amount of protein.
Coconut and Hemp Milk
Coconut drink, made from coconut cream, is enriched to provide calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin A. Although it is not a rich source of protein, most of the 60 calories per serving of coconut beverages come from readily metabolized medium-chain fatty acids. Hemp milk is another substitute you can use when eating cereal. Made from shelled hemp seeds, a serving of unsweetened, enriched hemp seed milk is comparable to other non-dairy milk substitutes in terms of nutrient content, but is low in protein.
As an alternate to regular milk, oat milk contains more calories than reduced fat milk due to the higher carbohydrate content of oats. Oat milk provides half the protein and as much fiber as a serving of soy milk, while containing a slightly higher amount of calcium. Other less common options include hazelnut milk and a non-dairy beverage made from 7 grains that include oats, brown rice, wheat, barley, triticale, spelt and millet
*** Beer is NOT a good substitute ***