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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Formula Milk for Toddlers

For older babies, even if extended breastfeeding is considered to be beneficial, the milk companies attempt to manipulate consumers that by giving their children formula milk, they are getting something better. If you notice, all of the formula milk ads are targeted towards toddlers and preschoolers. In the US, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends whole cow's milk for children beyond one and not formula. However, in the Philippines, we have formula milk for almost everyone!
Dr. Francesca Tatad-To,* respected pediatrician-neonatologist AND breastfeeding advocate shares her thoughts on this matter. Please note that this post is for informational purposes only and this is no substitute for medical advice given after an actual examination by a board certified doctor of your particular case.
Formula is unnecessary in children who are older than 1. At this age, children are expected to have a full/complete diet which may or may not include full cream fresh milk.
Fresh milk is the standard dairy recommendation for children older than 1 who are no longer breastfed, and the American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends low-fat milk for ALL children (Except malnourished ones) older than 2.
As infant formula was originally designed to be a breastmilk replacement/alternative, children who have weaned naturally and no longer require breastmilk should not require formula either.
In most countries, formula sold is really only for babies 1 and below. It is only in countries like ours where the commercial demand is strong that formula manufacturers take advantage and try to create an even bigger demand through marketing, etc.
The average toddler formula is higher in calories than full cream fresh milk and this is not a good thing. These extra calories are usually from sugar and fat, not from any added 'special nutrients'. In fact, toddler and preschool formula is often the culprit in young children who are obese and who have poor diets. The typical caloric requirement for a toddler is 1000-1200 kcal/day and the majority of this should be coming from solid food. The recommended limit for dairy/milk intake for children older than 1 is 16-24 oz or 2-3 cups a day only. This means that a toddler taking 3 cups of milk a day will already consume 40-50% of his calories in milk, leaving 50% for food. Giving your child toddler formula almost always ensures that he/she will get more fat, sugar and calories than he/she needs.
Also, it is common for children who exceed the recommended milk intake to develop iron-deficiency anemia. This is because cow milk protein causes a little bit of bleeding in the gut and larger amounts of milk translates to bigger blood loss. Many parents don't know this but this is a common concern of well-trained pediatricians and is found in all our medical textbooks.
There is a lot more information available in books and online. If you look at the recommended Food Pyramid for children, you will see that there is no recommendation for formula here either.
Indeed, a lot of research has shown that formula (actually milk for that matter) is unnecessary in children who are older than 1. In fact, even Dr. Sears believes that milk is not necessary and experts generally believe that milk is just an easy and convenient source of calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D (if fortified).
Hopefully, Filipino moms will realize that we do not really need to purchase those formula milk to make our children healthy or smart. To be honest, being "panatag" (secure) is just an excuse to be lazy and not attempt to teach or encourage your child to have a healthy diet. As Dr. Zeka pointed out, there is no recommendation for formula in the Food Pyramid.


Furthermore, just because Nido claims to have less sugar (70g) doesn't mean it is better than the other brands or than regular milk for that matter. The 70g sugar is still extra sugar that your child will do without if you choose to give him regular milk or other foods to provide whatever "nutrients" s/he is supposed to get from Nido.
Whether or not you decide to include milk in your family's diet is your choice. But again, really, FORMULA MILK IS NOT NECESSARY. It is really high time for Filipino consumers to be educated and bust those formula milk myths.

*Dr. A.M. Francesca Tatad-To specializes in pediatrics and newborn medicine. She also serves as medical consultant to L.A.T.C.H.
*The opinion that toddler formulas are unnecessary is also shared by this American doctor.

Part I of this Post is here.

So called nutrition for Toddlers

33 comments:

AEC said...

thanks for this post Jenny! May I re-post this on my blog too? This is very timely as I have been considering what alternate milk to give my son. I'm not too keen on formula and this has determined my resolve to give milk instead of formula.

-Mandy (from N@W)

tanivillamora said...

I learned so much from reading this post. Can I share this post's link to other parents?

Jenny said...

hi N@wies! Sure, share away :) getting the information out is the best way to bust those formula milk myths and put a stop to those marketing campaigns!

anne said...

wow! learned a lot from this! thanks!

Fighting for Maia said...

Hi Jenny,

Will share din ha! Super thanks for this. I always love reading your posts. They're very informative! I was one of the unfortunate moms who wished to have breastfed longer like you did but for medical reasons had to stop :( Anyways, I still have a lot of friends who have babies so I'll help spread the word na lang :)

~Faye (N@W)

Nacho Bing said...

this is an eye-opener indeed. thanks so much, surely learned a lot. and this comes at a very good time with the coming of our 5th blessing. i'll share this as well with my fellow mommies.

Jane said...

Ugh, I shudder whenever I see those commercials for formula on TV. Especially that Lactum ad. I can see how an ad like that (with famous movie stars as endorsers, making a triangle sign with their hands like they're enlightened by aliens or something) can dupe the masses. Whenever I see that I vomit in my mouth a little.

sandory said...

thanks, I learned a lot from this post.

katty said...

All the properties of the milk are really important not only for the children but the adult too. The milk contain many vitamin, potassium, calcium and iron.This kind of properties is needed for the people.

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Trina said...

thank you so much for sharing this post. i learned a lot.:)

Lieshelgutz said...

....absolutely right:))...where planning to go for a visit in the philippines...any suggestion wich fresh milk brand is the best...co'z i know they have alot of different kind like cowhead, nestle and etc...pls. if you could help me out...thanks...

Marissa Monton said...

Hi! This post is so informative that I shared it on my FB wall :)

Jenny said...

thanks for reading ladies!! we really need to spread the word.  Apparently, a lot of pedias still recommend formula milk and a lot of moms believe their benefits even if their children are already past 1!

Jann010184 said...

is there any fresh milk especially made for toddlers in the Philippines?  

Jann010184 said...

Please suggest a brand :( thanks moms..I usually bought Nestle Fresh supposedly for me but my 3-0 daughter get addicted to it and now she does not like her powdered milk (Progress Gold) anymore. 

Jenny said...

i think it is better for your daughter to prefer the nestle fresh over the progress gold. progress gold has more sugar. fresh milk is fresh milk and there is no specific brand for toddlers, etc.

Kane Tano said...

I'm really glad I stumbled upon this post.  I was in the lookout for the best toddler milk (even compared their nutritional contents thru mims, lol).  I guess there's no need for me to worry naman pala if I'm giving my little one the right formula or not. I better let her try fresh milk with her meals. Such an eye-opener! Thanks for sharing! 

Martine said...

I've often wondered why I never felt "right" about giving my kid formula. Though I never have, there's always a "what if?" when you're a mom. I'm glad that I went with my gut, did my research, and that my child's pediatricians (both; we recently switched) agreed with my decision to breastfeed. Great job on this article, Jenny! More moms need to read this and be enlightened so that they can ask their child's pedias about switching to fresh milk and instilling good diet habits in their kids. 

Jenny said...

thanks for dropping by Kane! and yes, there is no best toddler milk.  better to give regular foods plus fresh milk :D

Jenny said...

that's why formula milk spend so much on advertising and doctors sponsorship! a recent WHO study which i just posted here- http://www.chroniclesofanursingmom.com/2012/05/watering-down-milk-code.html

explains how much influence a pediatrician has on the patient's decision to give their kids formula milk. 

Xandra Lauren Luzano said...

Hi! I'm Andy, researching a formula milk, I've been breastfeeding my son since birth, and now that he's 2 years and 6 months old, I wanted to give him more. Most people would often say he's underweight or payat compared to other children who are chubby and cute. He's still cute and active and smart. He loves to sing and dance, draw and paint http://instagr.am/p/KLyac6Spjs/

Thank you for sharing :) I know it's a few years since you have posted this but it's just in-time for me. Now I never have to worry again :D

Jayneyang said...

Thanks for the blog.really made me feel at ease that i dont have to feed my baby powdered toddler milk.btw wat do you recommend bottled ones or tetra fresh milk is fine?

Jenny said...

thanks for dropping by!

Jenny said...

any bottled or tetra fresh milk should be fine. as long as it is not Nestle :)

jayneyang said...

I tried Nestle Fresh Milk pa naman. what brand do you recommend for tetra? Cowhead?

Jenny said...

sure, cowhead, pauls, meadowfresh, alaska, any other brand. I support the Nestle Boycott kase. in case you want to read more about it, check this -
http://info.babymilkaction.org/nestlefree thank you :)

Andie said...

hi jenny, what about chocolate drinks like milo, ovaltine? Are they considered formula milk too?

karen said...

hi Jenny, i was stunned by this post. wow, really I didn't expect that formula milk is not that healthy for my 2 years old . i am using NANpro three for my daughter suppose I will change it, is soya milk okay?

Jenny said...

yes they are.

Jenny said...

best to ask your pedia. any regular milk is good - carabao, cow goats - need not be soya

Jenny said...

hi anne! that's nestle right? nestle's marketing tactics are really the most far reaching! thank you for sharing!

Jenny said...

no. any milk is ok. there is no "special milk" for toddlers. for toddlers, it is recommended that we teach or promote good eating habits

Jenny said...

thank you marissa!

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