How Much Formula Should My 5 Month Old Be Drinking Toddler Formula Vs Cows Milk

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Toddler Formula Vs Cows Milk

I’ve been doing a lot of research recently on which milk is best for babies, as many mums seem to worry about whether their little ones should be drinking cow’s milk, low fat milk or infant formula after their first birthday.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the baby and to continue breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age. So I guess if you’re breastfeeding your baby then the cow’s milk issue is none of your business, that’s one less thing to worry about, YES!

Australian producers and importers of infant milk 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. Basically the code and the agreement prevent the advertising of formula for babies 12 months and under in Australia. The reason for this agreement and its advertising restrictions is to protect breastfeeding.

However, these restrictions do not apply to toddlers who follow formulas. Thus, by labeling infant formula as “gold” or “formula,” marketing companies are able to advertise infant formula simply by association. This may be one of the reasons for such heavy advertising of infant formulas.

Belinda Contomina, medical reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald (06/09/07) quotes a Sydney pediatrician, Dr Patricia McVeagh, as saying: “Unfortunately advertising affects the vulnerability of parents… Nutritionally there is no need for toddlers milk in healthy children, and it is much better 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 picky eaters and children who may be deficient in iron and calcium due to their restricted diet. And while there are other ways to combat the hustle and bustle, there are times when real life takes over and the demands of work, other children, partners, etc. they can make infant formulas convenient.

During my research, I was surprised to find that the National Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents have recommended that all children in Australia over the age of 2 consume reduced-fat milk. This is because the saturated fat in whole milk builds up in the arteries over time, increasing the risk of heart disease, and because reduced-fat varieties of milk generally contain more calcium than full-fat milk.

On the other hand, infants between 12 – 24 months need full fat milk and while soy milk should not be offered to babies under 12 months, lactose intolerant toddlers over 2 years of age can be offered soy milk containing calcium added.

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 healthy and strong. It’s cheaper than formula, it’s easily available if you’re out, it’s great on cereal, and it’s something you won’t have to wean your child off of as they grow. So why complicate matters by using infant formula if you don’t have to?

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