As parents, you want only the best nutrition for your little one’s development. Breast milk is a vital source of nutrition as soon as a baby is born. And even once your baby stops breastfeeding, milk continues to be an essential part of their diet throughout the toddler and school age years. While some parents switch to fresh cow’s milk after their child turns one year or stops nursing, others prefer to buy growing up milk powder.
But is growing up milk really essential for your toddler?
Growing up milk powder: Yes or no?
Growing up milk powder, designed for kids aged one to three, is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It also usually has higher levels of iron than other formula milk powders.
There are many toddler milk brands in the market, most of which promise only the best nutrients for growth and development. But is this milk option the best for your toddler? What do the experts say?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that mums continue to breastfeed until their babies reach the age of two or older while introducing other nutritious foods. They maintainthat breast milk is still the best source of nourishment in a growing child’s “progressively diversified diet.”
They also believe “follow-up formula is unsuitable when used as a breast-milk replacement from six months of age onwards.”
Though not always a required addition to a child’s diet, growing up milk powder can “compensate for nutritional deficiencies” that can occur when transitioning babies to certain solid foods.
Some paediatricians will even recommend certain types of growing up milk powder if a child, say, has to gain weight.
Why do some think growing up milk powder is unnecessary?
Some parents believe fresh cow’s milk is more nutritious because it contains less sugar than many toddler formula milks. Some types of growing up milk powder may contain up to 7.9 grams of sugar per 100 ml, while full fat cow’s milk only contains 4.7 grams. But many growing up milk powder manufacturers have since addressed these concerns, making sure their sugar content is significantly lessened.
They have also made efforts to provide key nutrients: vitamin D, vitamin A, iodine, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. These can help compensate for certain nutrition deficiencies in children.
Either way, it’s always good to consult your paediatrician when choosing the best milk for your fast-developing little one. And if possible, breastfeed for as long as you can, as your breast milk will change to accommodate your growing child’s changing nutritional needs.
Do you think growing up milk is good for your little one? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: National Center for Biotechnology Information, The Guardian, World Health Organisation (WHO), Times Live