Kids Who Drink Nondairy Milk Grow Shorter

Almond milk is good for you, not your kids

We all have fond childhood memories of donning white dairy mustaches and blowing bubbles into glasses of chocolate milk. And despite our mothers' disapproving glances, it was something they always let us get away with—after all, milk is supposed to help you grow big and strong, right? Well, not if you're a kid drinking only almond or soy milk, a recent finding suggests. 

A new study, conducted by St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, is suggesting that giving your kids nondairy milk will actually stunt their growth. The research, conducted over the span of seven years, monitored Canadian children ranging from ages two to six. One portion of the group drank exclusively cow's milk and another group exclusively nondairy milk, while the remaining kids drank either both cow's and nondairy milk or no milk at all. The study's findings? According to CNN, each cup of nondairy milk drank per day was associated with a height that's 0.4 centimeters shorter than average.

"For example, a 3-year-old child consuming three cups of non-cow's milk relative to cow's milk was on average 1.5 centimeters shorter," Dr. Jonathon Maguire, the study's lead author, says.

For now, the research hasn't concluded whether this height difference will follow kids into adulthood, or if they'll eventually catch up. However, critics are arguing the analysis didn't take into account the kids' diets, and that height isn't necessarily an indicative factor of a child's overall health and well-being.

Either way, it doesn't seem like the debate of dairy versus plant-based milks is dying down anytime soon.