Anyway, I don't give my son milk (he's 2) but he really wanted some rice milk today--and drank it right down. Have you read anything that would give cause for concern about Rice Dream milk?
Okay, I am NOT a nutrition expert, or a dietitian or anything like that so make sure you talk to a physician and do your own research before you take my advice :)
Rice milk, isn't milk or related to milk. It is a carbohydrate product and doesn't contain any of the protein, fat, or vitamins and minerals that milk contains. So if you aren't giving your child cow or goat milk, you need to make sure your child is getting enough fats, proteins, and calcium from other sources. Remember also that vitamin D and A are added to all commercial milks, so you want to make sure that your child is getting those also. Most people can get enough vitamin D from the sunshine during the summer months, but in much of the country some need to supplement during the winter months.
Young children especially need a LOT of fat in their diet. If you look at breast milk, it is almost 50% fat as is infant formula. Fat, especially saturated fat, is essential for healthy brain development in children and infants. I think that the USDA guidelines to reduce fat at the age of two needs to be revised. A high fat diet is perfectly healthy for children beyond the age of two if they have a diet that is VERY low in processed foods, and high in whole natural foods. My two year old is not skinny, but far far far from fat (as can be confirmed by anybody who has seen her in person Michelle, comment LOL) She still eats a lot of butter, coconut oil, whole milk, etc... If she starts to show signs of gaining weight in an unnatural way, then I'll look at her diet again, but for now she is fine on a higher fat diet.
I would like to discuss raw milk, but in my state it is legal for pet consumption only. So I encourage you to check out the real milk website and make an informed decision on milk.
If you are concerned about the hormones and chemicals in milk, I encourage you to buy organic milk! We will not drink milk, or eat dairy products that are not from organic cows. I will not feed my children, or myself foods that could be loaded with extra hormones! I've got enough hormone issues in my body, I don't need to compound it.
I've got mixed feelings on soy milk. I think that soy can be a valuable additive to our diet, but needs to be used like all things in moderation. I don't like commercial soy milk, and much prefer homemade soy milk. I'll make up a batch of soy milk in the next few weeks and post about it then!