Breast milk obviously is definitely the absolute best milk for your baby during the first one or 2 yrs but if this is not possible there are many alternatives; but which would you pick?
In days gone by, babies received watered down “carnation milk”, “condensed milk” or cow”s milk; some added “Pentavite” for vitamins, some failed to. Research has shown these usually are not the very best options for babies and can even do harm.
Today during 2010, we are lucky enough to have infant formula that has been researched, modified and tested and continues to be researched to provide milk nearest to living breast milk. It really is commercially synthesised therefore it is going to never get to the premium standard of natural breast milk but at least it must be better than what our ancestors used.
Up to age of 12 months a child requires a child formula for maximum digestion and nutrients.
There are lots of 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 and not 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 essential to use.
Cow’s milk based infant formula – This is commercially modified cow’s milk to resemble breast milk and it is appropriate for most babies. It is far from suitable when babies use a cow milk protein allergy, lactose intolerance or have parents who would like to steer clear of animal based foods. Some milks have recently been further enhanced with added docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Omega – 3 fatty acids and prebiotics and probiotics for more 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 using the protein much like cow’s milk but forms a softer non clustered curd. These facts can make goat milk formula much easier to digest for many babies. It really is more rapidly digested therefore can be helpful to get a baby with reflux.
Soy based infant formula – This milk is commercially made from the soya beans that have similar protein content to cow’s milk. It has lactose. During processing the protein is isolated without its cofactors required for digestion and metabolic process therefore will not be a good choice for babies.
Lactose free infant formula (LF)- This milk is normally cow milk based and has no lactose. This formula may help babies who suffer from excessive wind, explosive poos and unsettled sleep patterns due to 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 made for babies that have difficulty keeping milk down. Depending on the thickening agent used this milk may not be appropriate 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 making it easier for babies to digest and it is an alternative milk for babies who have a primary risk of dairy allergy. Do not use when a baby had been exposed to dairy through breast milk or some other formula.
Protein free infant formula – An extensively hydrolysed 100% whey protein specialty formula for babies using a diagnosed dairy protein or soy allergy. Medical supervision is required for babies about this formula and then in Australia is simply available by script.
Casein dominant or whey dominant infant formula -Whey and casein would be the proteins found in milk. Whey dominant formula is easily the most common on the market, is nearest breast milk and digested quicker than casein based. Very hungry babies are viewed to accomplish better on casein dominant formula.
After one year the gut of the baby is mature enough to advance onto cow’s milk or even an alternative such as rice milk, oat milk, soy milk, goat milk or toddler milk. These milks are certainly not natural or organic but deciding on a which to utilize is yours. Babies require full fat milk until at least 2 years old.
Goat milk features a similar protein in a comparable quantity to cow’s milk but forms a softer, non clustered curd and contains slightly less lactose, possibly making it easier to digest. It is actually more rapidly digested, therefore may be helpful for 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 actually a nutrient dense food when ingested in their raw organic form (breast milk or unpasteurised milk) unfortunately nutritional vitamins are lost today with the pasteurisation and homogenisation process (heating it to really make 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 some mass produced commercially fed cow residing in overcrowded cement floor stalls. Milk just will not be exactly the same milk as years past. Lactose free cow’s milk is also available.
Soya milk is made from 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 avoid the absorption of essential nutritional vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. The commercial processing associated with isolating the protein in soya beans leaves out the natural digestive and metabolism cofactors, deeming soya milk often hard to digest.
Rice milk is manufactured out of brown rice, has no lactose and is usually fortified with vitamins and minerals, and is higher in carbohydrate and lower in protein and calcium. The right milk alternative when cow, goat and soy milks must be avoided.
Oat milk is made from whole oats which makes it higher in fibre than other milks. It is almost always 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 diet is adequate than the milk is unnecessary. It can be helpful to get a poor eater as it increases iron drsdus their dietary plan that can enhance their appetite as well as supplying a healthy level of nutrients. Usually do not give greater than the necessary milk intake as it is NOT a substitute to food.