Milk is very important for babies because their body will grow by 50% when they are about 1 year old and add 75% if they reach age 2. They will grow physically and their brains will continue to grow rapidly. Studies show that a baby’s brain will grow by 3 times in the first 2 years of life, and this is almost 85% of the adult brain size! Therefore, adequate nutrients are very important during this phase.
There are various types of baby formula milk in the market that can confuse parents. What is the most suitable milk for your baby? What needs to be avoided? What is lactose free milk and other formulated milks for babies with allergies?
After 1 year of age, the child should get the necessary nutrients from solid foods. However, milk is still a good source of minerals such as calcium and vitamins, especially vitamin B12. That’s why the World Health Organization (WHO) encourages all mothers to breast feed their children up to 2 years or longer. In addition to providing essential nutrients for growth, breast milk can also enhance your child’s immunity. However, after 1 year old, the parent has an alternative milk option. Learn 4 myths about milk that parents need to know before deciding the best milk for their child.
Formula milk is better than full cream milk
Reality: For children over the age of 1 with balanced nutrition, formula milk will not benefit from full cream milk.
Formula milk for children over 1 year (Level 3 and above) is called enhanced milk. Producers of this formula milk market it as ‘specially designed milk to satisfy your spoiled nutritional value’, and create an impression that is more special than other milk.
The child should have nutrients from the food, but when he is full of formula milk, he or she will not have any appetite for other foods, and may lack important substances later.
So, the European Food Security Authority (EFSA) said formula milk was not a requirement for a balanced diet. In conclusion, full cream milk is sufficient and can meet the nutritional requirements of the child when taken with balanced diet.
Fresh milk is better than UHT milk
Reality: The benefits of both are almost the same. Full cream milk can be given to children after they are 1 year old. It is available in 3 forms and with different lifespan but do not have any nutrient differences.
Heated at very high temperatures for a while to kill all bacterial pathogens and spores. Resistant period: 6 – 9 months when not open and must be stored in the refrigerator after opening.
Heated at lower temperatures for longer periods. Shorter durability which is about 2 weeks when not be opened and must be stored in the refrigerator after opening.
In the form of dry flour after water has been evaporated out of it.
Hypoallergenic formula milk or special formula is better for my baby
Reality: Specific formula will not give nutrition or additional benefits to a well-developed child.
It is only advised by doctors for children with medical problems. Babies with certain allergies or medical problems may require a specific formula. But before deciding to give a specific formula to a child, talk to your child’s specialist first.
There are many specific formula brands on the market today but generally they can be classified into the following 5 categories:
- Soy-based formula – Originating from plants, is very useful for allergic children.
- Lactose free formula – Typical for baby’s stomach that cannot accept lactose.
- Extensively Hydrolysed Formula (EHF) or Partially Hydrolysed Formula – This formula contains proteins that have been processed for easy digestion. It is also good for infants with severe inflammatory bowel disease. Normally used for babies with colic, but not recommended for infants with allergies.
- Hypoallergenic formula – for babies with milk allergies or other allergic history. Although soy-based formula is not 100% hypoallergenic, some babies can still receive it.
- Anti-regurgitation formula – for infants with GERD problems and easy to throw up. This formula is thicker than usual and will last longer in the stomach.
My child is allergic to formula and cow’s milk
Reality: Most babies will take time to adjust. Allergy is a common thing but most babies also need a longer time to adjust.
If there is blood or mucus in your baby’s stool, this is an allergy sign. Other signs include skin rashes, mouth or blemishes, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
Bring your child to see your doctor immediately if you are uncertain. If your baby is really allergic, he needs to switch to a soy-based formula or lactose free formula. Remember, do not make a simple diagnosis and change your baby’s milk at your own will.
Full cream milk is better than all kinds of formula milk on the market for children over 1 year old. And the more expensive formula does not mean it’s better for children. Besides that, parents should totally avoid giving your child the evaporated milk as it is full of fat which often fat from vegetables. Other than that almonds, rice, and coconut milk are all free from lactose but only suitable for adults. So, avoid them until they are older.