Breast milk needless to say is definitely the best possible milk for the baby during the first or a couple of years but if this is difficult there are many alternatives; but which one would you pick?
In days gone by, babies were given watered down “carnation milk”, “condensed milk” or cow”s milk; some added “Pentavite” for vitamins, some failed to. Research shows that these particular usually are not the most effective choices for babies and may even do harm.
Today in 2010, our company is lucky enough to have infant formula which has been researched, modified and tested and continues to be researched to offer milk closest to living breast milk. It is actually commercially synthesised therefore it is going to never reach the premium standard of natural breast milk but at least it needs to be better than what our ancestors used.
Up to age 12 months an infant requires an infant formula for optimum digestion and nutrients.
There are many types and brands of milks listed underneath the age types 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 6 months and solid food has become introduced then it is not absolutely required to use.
Cow’s milk based infant formula – This really is commercially modified cow’s milk to resemble breast milk and it is appropriate for most babies. It is not suitable when babies use a cow milk protein allergy, lactose intolerance or have parents who want to stay away from animal based foods. Some milks have finally been further enhanced with added docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Omega – 3 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 the protein comparable to cow’s milk but forms a softer non clustered curd. These facts can make goat milk formula easier to digest for many babies. It really 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 have similar protein content to cow’s milk. It has lactose. During processing the protein is isolated without its cofactors needed for digestion and metabolism and therefore will not be the ideal choice for babies.
Lactose free infant formula (LF)- This milk is generally cow milk based and has no lactose. This formula may help babies who are suffering 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 that has been thickened using either carob bean gum or maltodextrin (enzymatically produced from any starch but usually corn or wheat). This thickened milk is for babies who have difficulty keeping milk down. Depending on the thickening agent used this milk may not really appropriate for babies who are lactose or wheat intolerant.
Protein modified cow milk infant formula (HA)- In this milk the cow milk protein has become broken down to make it easier for babies to digest and is also a different milk for babies that have a primary chance of dairy allergy. Tend not to use if a baby has already been exposed to dairy through breast milk or another 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 with 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 the most common on the market, is closest 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 any 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 one to use is yours. Babies require full fat milk until a minimum of two years old.
Goat milk features 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 more rapidly digested, therefore may be helpful for an infant with reflux or frequent positing. It is usually not tolerated by individuals who have a cow milk protein allergy.
Cow milk is a nutrient dense food when ingested in their raw organic form (breast milk or unpasteurised milk) but unfortunately nutritional vitamins are lost today using the pasteurisation and homogenisation process (heating it making it better for us!) There is also a difference in milk created from relaxed cows grazing in open fields of grasses and flowers to some mass produced commercially fed cow located in overcrowded cement floor stalls. Milk just is not the same milk as years past. Lactose free cow’s milk is additionally available.
Soya milk is made from soya beans and has the equivalent level of protein to cow’s milk it is therefore not tolerated if allergic to cow milk protein. Research shows that processed soy can prevent the absorption of essential nutritional vitamins like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. The commercial processing involved with isolating the protein in soya beans leaves the natural digestive and metabolism cofactors, deeming soya milk often difficult to digest.
Rice milk is made of brown rice, has no lactose and is also usually fortified with minerals and vitamins, and is also higher in carbohydrate and lower in protein and calcium. An appropriate milk alternative when cow, goat and soy milks must be avoided.
Oat milk is manufactured out of whole oats which makes it higher in fibre than other milks. It is usually calcium fortified and naturally sweet.
Toddler milk is marketed for toddlers one year to 3 years. Yes, it includes added nutrients and iron but when a toddler’s weight loss program is adequate than the milk is unnecessary. It can be helpful for any poor eater since it increases iron drsdus their dietary plan which will increase their appetite as well as supplying a well-balanced level of nutrients. Tend not to give a lot more than the desired milk intake because it is NOT a substitute to food.