Breast milk needless to say will be the best possible milk for your baby during the first or a couple of years but if this is not possible there are more alternatives; but which would 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 very best choices for babies and could even do harm.
Today during 2010, we are lucky enough to have infant formula which has been researched, modified and tested and continues to be researched to supply milk nearest to living breast milk. It really is commercially synthesised therefore it will never reach the premium standard of natural breast milk but at the very least it needs to be better than what our ancestors used.
Until age twelve months a child requires a child formula for maximum digestion and nutrients.
There are many types and brands of milks listed under the age categories 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 rather than a food substitute. ‘Progress’ (2) formulas have added iron and nutrients for increased development and growth requirements but if the ‘starter’ formula is way 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 suitable for most babies. It is not suitable when babies have 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. Scientific studies are 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 much like cow’s milk but forms a softer non clustered curd. These facts can make goat milk formula easier to digest for many babies. It is actually more rapidly digested therefore can be helpful to get a baby with reflux.
Soy based infant formula – This milk is commercially produced from the soya beans which may have similar protein content to cow’s milk. It includes lactose. During processing the protein is isolated without its cofactors necessary for digestion and metabolic process therefore will not be a great choice for babies.
Lactose free infant formula (LF)- This milk is usually cow milk based and has no lactose. This formula may help babies who are suffering from excessive wind, explosive poos and unsettled sleep patterns because of lower bowel pain.
Anti Reflux infant formula (AR)- This is usually 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 perfect for babies who may have difficulty keeping milk down. Depending on the thickening agent used this milk may not be ideal for babies that are lactose or wheat intolerant.
Protein modified cow milk infant formula (HA)- In this particular milk the cow milk protein has been broken down to really make it easier for babies to digest and it is an alternative milk for babies who have a primary chance of dairy allergy. Do not use if a baby has already been in contact with dairy through breast milk or some other formula.
Protein free infant formula – An extensively hydrolysed 100% whey protein concentrate specialty formula for babies having a diagnosed dairy protein or soy allergy. Medical supervision is needed for babies about this formula as well as in Australia is only available by script.
Casein dominant or whey dominant infant formula -Whey and casein are definitely the proteins found in milk. Whey dominant formula is easily the most common on the market, is nearest to breast milk and digested quicker than casein based. Very hungry babies are believed to do better on casein dominant formula.
After one year the gut of a baby is mature enough to progress onto cow’s milk or an alternative such as rice milk, oat milk, soy milk, goat milk or toddler milk. These milks are not natural or organic but deciding on a which to use is yours. Babies require full fat milk until at least 24 months 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 easier to digest. It really is more rapidly digested, therefore may be useful for an infant with reflux or frequent positing. It will always be not tolerated by individuals who have a cow milk protein allergy.
Cow milk is actually a nutrient dense food when ingested in the raw organic form (breast milk or unpasteurised milk) but unfortunately minerals and vitamins are lost today with all the pasteurisation and homogenisation process (heating it to really make it better for people!) Additionally there is a difference in milk produced from relaxed cows grazing in open fields of grasses and flowers to a mass produced commercially fed cow living in overcrowded cement floor stalls. Milk just will not be the identical milk as years past. Lactose free cow’s milk is also available.
Soya milk is made of soya beans and has the equivalent amount of protein to cow’s milk it is therefore not tolerated if allergic to cow milk protein. Research shows that processed soy can stop the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. The commercial processing involved with isolating the protein in soya beans leaves out the natural digestive and metabolism cofactors, deeming soya milk often challenging to digest.
Rice milk is made of brown rice, has no lactose and it is usually fortified with nutritional vitamins, and is also higher in carbohydrate and lower in protein and calcium. An appropriate milk alternative when cow, goat and soy milks need to be avoided.
Oat milk is made of whole oats rendering it higher in fibre than other milks. It is usually calcium fortified and naturally sweet.
Toddler milk is marketed for toddlers 12 months to three years. Yes, it includes added nutrients and iron but when a toddler’s weight loss program is adequate then this milk is unnecessary. It can be helpful to get a poor eater because it increases iron drsdus their diet plan that can improve their appetite as well as supplying a balanced amount of nutrients. Tend not to give a lot more than the desired milk intake since it is Not just a substitute to food.