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Toddler Formula Vs Cows Milk
Lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on which milk is best for toddlers because a lot of moms seem to worry about whether their little ones should be drinking cow’s milk, fat milk, or infant formula after their first birthday.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of a baby and that breastfeeding should continue until at least 2 years. So I guess if you’re breastfeeding your toddler then the formula vs. cow’s milk thing has nothing to do with you, that’s one less thing to worry about, YAY!
Australian manufacturers and importers of infant formula have entered into a voluntary agreement that adheres to the principles of the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Essentially the code and the agreement prevent formula for babies 12 months and under from being advertised in Australia. The reason for this agreement and its advertising restrictions is to protect breastfeeding.
However, these restrictions do not apply to toddlers and follow formulas. So by labeling infant formulas as “gold” or “formula,” marketing companies can promote baby formula simply by association. This may be one of the reasons for such heavy advertising of infant formulas.
Bellinda Kontominas Medical Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald (06/09/07) quotes Sydney pediatrician Dr Patricia McVeagh as saying “Unfortunately the advertising preys on the vulnerability of parents… There is no nutritional need for infant formula in healthy children. , and there is much more good to have 600 milliliters of cow’s milk or a cow’s milk product such as cheese or yogurt.”
While many nutritionists will tell you that formula is the equivalent of junk food, I guess to be fair, it has its place. It can supplement the diet of fussy eaters and children who might miss out on iron and calcium due to their restricted diets. And although there are other ways to combat fussiness there are times when real life takes over and the demands of work, other children, partners etc. can make infant formula handy.
During my research I was surprised to find that it is recommended in the National Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents that all children in Australia over the age of 2 consume reduced fat milk. This is because the saturated fats in full-fat milk accumulate in the arteries over time increasing the risk of heart disease, and that the reduced-fat milk varieties generally contain more calcium than the full-fat milks.
On the other hand, toddlers between the ages of 12 – 24 months need the full fat milks and while soy milk should not be offered to babies under 12 months, toddlers over 2 years old with lactose intolerance can be offered soy milk that contains. added calcium.
So at the end of the day keeping things simple is usually the best way to go. Cow’s milk is great for babies, it contains everything they need to grow up healthy and strong. It’s cheaper than formula, readily available if you’re out and about, it’s great for cereal and it’s something you won’t have to wean your toddler off as they get older. So why complicate things by using infant formula if you don’t have to?
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