Breast milk obviously is the very best milk for your baby during the first one or two years but if this is not possible there are more alternatives; but which one do you choose?
In days gone by, babies received watered down “carnation milk”, “condensed milk” or cow”s milk; some added “Pentavite” for vitamins, some did not. Research shows these usually are not the most effective selections for babies and could even do harm.
Today in 2010, our company is lucky enough to have infant formula that has been researched, modified and tested and is still researched to provide milk nearest living breast milk. It is commercially synthesised therefore it can never make it to the premium standard of natural breast milk but at the very least it needs to be better than what our ancestors used.
Up to the age of 12 months a child requires a child formula for optimum digestion and nutrients.
There are many types and brands of milks listed beneath the age kinds of starter (1), follow on (2) or toddler (3). ‘Starter’ and ‘Progress’ formulas are complete food substitutes but ‘toddler milk’ is like a vitamin in milk form and never a food substitute. ‘Progress’ (2) formulas have added iron and nutrients for increased development and growth requirements however if the ‘starter’ formula is much better tolerated after six months and solid food continues to be introduced then it is not absolutely necessary to use.
Cow’s milk based infant formula – This really is commercially modified cow’s milk to resemble breast milk and is appropriate for most babies. It is really not suitable when babies possess a cow milk protein allergy, lactose intolerance or have parents who wish to steer clear of animal based foods. Some milks have recently been further enhanced with added docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Omega – 3 essential fatty acids and prebiotics and probiotics for added immunity and digestion. Research is ongoing for even further refinements.
Goat milk based infant formula – This commercially modified goat milk contains slightly less lactose than cow’s milk with all the protein comparable to cow’s milk but forms a softer non clustered curd. These facts can make goat milk formula simpler to digest for a few babies. It is more rapidly digested therefore can be helpful for a baby with reflux.
Soy based infant formula – This milk is commercially created from the soya beans which may have similar protein content to cow’s milk. It has lactose. During processing the protein is isolated without its cofactors necessary for digestion and metabolic process and therefore will not be the ideal choice for babies.
Lactose free infant formula (LF)- This milk is generally cow milk based and contains no lactose. This formula may help babies that suffer from excessive wind, explosive poos and unsettled sleep patterns as a result of lower bowel pain.
Anti Reflux infant formula (AR)- This may be a cow milk based formula which has been thickened using either carob bean gum or maltodextrin (enzymatically derived from any starch but usually corn or wheat). This thickened milk is made for babies who may have difficulty keeping milk down. Depending on the thickening agent used this milk may not really ideal for babies that are lactose or wheat intolerant.
Protein modified cow milk infant formula (HA)- Within this milk the cow milk protein has been broken down to really make it easier for babies to digest and it is an alternate milk for babies who have a primary chance of dairy allergy. Tend not to use in case a baby was already exposed to dairy through breast milk or some other formula.
Protein free infant formula – An extensively hydrolysed 100% pure whey protein specialty formula for babies with a diagnosed dairy protein or soy allergy. Medical supervision is necessary for babies about this formula and then in Australia is simply available by script.
Casein dominant or whey dominant infant formula -Whey and casein are the proteins found in milk. Whey dominant formula is the most common on the market, is nearest to breast milk and digested quicker than casein based. Very hungry babies are thought to do better on casein dominant formula.
After twelve months the gut of a baby is mature enough to succeed onto cow’s milk or an alternative including rice milk, oat milk, soy milk, goat milk or toddler milk. These milks are not natural or organic but deciding on a which one to make use of is yours. Babies require full fat milk until at least two years old.
Goat milk has a similar protein in a comparable quantity to cow’s milk but forms a softer, non clustered curd and possesses slightly less lactose, possibly making it simpler to digest. It is actually more rapidly digested, therefore may be helpful to have an infant with reflux or frequent positing. It is almost always not tolerated by anyone who has a cow milk protein allergy.
Cow milk is a nutrient dense food when ingested in their raw organic form (breast milk or unpasteurised milk) unfortunately nutritional vitamins are lost today using the pasteurisation and homogenisation process (heating it making it better for all of us!) Additionally there is a difference in milk created from relaxed cows grazing in open fields of grasses and flowers to a mass produced commercially fed cow residing in overcrowded cement floor stalls. Milk just is not exactly the same milk as years past. Lactose free cow’s milk can also be available.
Soya milk is made of soya beans and contains the equivalent quantity of protein to cow’s milk it is therefore not tolerated if allergic to cow milk protein. Research indicates that processed soy can stop the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. The commercial processing involved with isolating the protein in soya beans leaves the vlxwtj digestive and metabolism cofactors, deeming soya milk often hard to digest.
Rice milk is made from brown rice, has no lactose and is usually fortified with nutritional vitamins, and it is higher in carbohydrate and lower in protein and calcium. The right milk alternative when cow, goat and soy milks have to be avoided.
Oat milk is made from whole oats rendering it higher in fibre than other milks. It is almost always calcium fortified and naturally sweet.
Toddler milk is marketed for toddlers one year to 3 years. Yes, it contains added nutrients and iron however, if a toddler’s eating habits are adequate then this milk is unnecessary. It can be helpful for a poor eater as it increases iron to their diet that can enhance their appetite as well as supplying a healthy quantity of nutrients. Do not give a lot more than the required milk intake as it is NOT a substitute to food.