Our Experts

What Do the Experts Say?

We have a deep bench of physician and nutrition advisors at Switch4Good who help us hone our thinking and guide our education and advocacy work on the dangers of dairy consumption—especially for children. Here are some highlights, cherry-picked from our award-winning Switch4Good Podcast—but there are many more episodes available here.

How can children consume adequate nutrients, such as calcium and protein, without dairy or other animal products? Dahlia Marin (Registered Dietitian, Certified Gastrointestinal Nutritionist, Pediatric Gut Health Specialist) explains how children can get all the nutrients they need when following a properly planned, whole foods plant based diet. For some kids, especially picky eaters, supplementation may help meet their goals and fill in any missing gaps, but this is true regardless of their dietary pattern.

Did our ancestors drink milk? Leigh Ettinger (Board Certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology, and Obesity Medicine) discusses how historically, humans did not consume dairy products. We only started domesticating cows and goats ten to twelve thousand years ago, and records suggest Neanderthals had stronger bones than us. Many modern cultures still do not consume dairy, and they do not suffer health consequences.

Some ill effects from dairy are less obvious or well known, even to healthcare providers. James Loomis (MD, Board Certified in Internal Medicine) discusses how removing dairy products can reduce asthma and allergy symptoms and lead to improved breathing.

Calcium is important at all stages of life, and dairy naturally has a high content. However, Brenda Davis (Registered Dietitian) comments on how dairy products are not required to meet calcium needs in children. Foods such as dark leafy greens (kale, bok choy, broccoli), nuts and seeds (almonds, chia, tahini), and fortified foods (calcium-set tofu, fortified non-dairy milks) are high in calcium and can be incorporated in kids’ diets in a wide variety of ways.