Formula vs cow milk for babies
by Jes @SnackFirst on Jan 16, 2018
After the comparison of the price for different brands of formula milk, I started asking why toddlers have to continue drinking formula milk. I understand that for babies below 1 year old, they cannot digest cow milk due to the high amount of proteins. Formula milk is designed to have similar proteins as breast milk, high irons and AA/DHA which is more suitable for infant development and easy digestion.
The myth is that formula contains more nutrients than cow milk.
Cow milk actually has higher proteins and calcium than formula milk. Formula also contains more sugar than cow milk. However, cow milk do contains lesser amount of iron, Vitamin A, C and D. Luckily, these nutrients are easily found and absorbed in solid food. If your child is eating enough of solid food, there is no need to drink formula milk. Cow milk is more than sufficient and with the high amount of calcium, it will be a great source of vitamins to grow of strong bones.
"Many parents are also unaware that they can make the switch to cow's milk after their children turn one." -Straits Times.
Before making the switch, I was also doubtful like all parents. After all, none of the parents in my infant care are drinking cow milk. Even my parents wanted me to continue with formula milk because they think that formula has more nutrients.
With a vaccination coming up, I asked the nurses and the PD. Both said that switching to cow milk is a good idea. If the child is eating well, then I can go ahead to change. With the professional approval, I can't wait to change formula to cow milk.
Recently, my child has started choosing to take more solid food instead of drinking milk. She prefers to eat on her own and her milk consumption has dropped. During infant care, she has 3 bottles x 180ml of formula on top of a bowl of solid food in the afternoon. After 18 months, when she will be 'promoted' from infant care to Playgroup, the daily schedule is to have 2 solid meals and only 1 bottle of milk. Thus, the weaning off milk is a good thing. The nutrients from solid food will also complement well with the nutrients from cow milk.
Not to forget, cow milk is also much cheaper than formula. However, if formula milk was proven to be better for my child, I would never want to save the extra dollars. I, like all parents, would want to give the best to my child. The cheapest brand for formula milk which is Friso, cost $86 for a 1.8kg which requires 5 scoops for 180ml. A common brand of cow milk is Nespray instant milk powder. At 1.8kg, it cost around $35 and only requires 2 scoops for 180ml milk.
A 180ml bottle of cow milk ($0.19) actually cost 6 times lesser than formula milk ($1.19)!
After letting my child sip a few cups of fresh milk, I tested it out with a few bottles of cow milk. Thankfully, all is well, I have now decided to switch fully to cow milk. She is now 15 months. If your child prefers the taste of formula or has any medical conditions, the PD will advise you to continue with formula milk.
Don't be mistaken, there is no harm in continuing on with formula milk. For me, I just think it makes no sense to continue feeding her with formula milk when it has less calcium, more sugar and yet more expensive.
Like me on Facebook to be updated on more family issues. You may also like to compare the prices for diapers.This post first appeared on SimplyJesMe. Jes is the co-founder of SnackFirst and also the blogger on SimplyJesMe.