Toddler milk formula: Your questions answered
Mums and Dads, are you looking for a milk formula for your (not-so-) little one? With a wide array of choices, how do you ensure which is the right one for your child? If you have some burning questions about this important topic, follow this two-part video series for expert advice on providing your child with proper nutrition from the milk he or she consumes.
As parents, we are always on the lookout for the best baby products for our children, especially when it comes to their nutritional and developmental needs. Now that your little tot is recommended to take formula milk, the question that comes to mind is – which kind of milk should you choose for your toddler?
We spoke with Dr Tan Zhen Han, a paediatrician at SBCC Baby and Child Clinic at Bukit Panjang Plaza, to have a deeper understanding of milk consumption and a child’s nourishment. Watch the video below to learn about the factors that you should consider when choosing formula milk.
Read more about a child's nutrition needs and formula milk on page 2
4 things parents should know about the milk your child consumes
1. Formula milk VS fresh milk
According to Dr Tan, parents can give their one-year-old cow’s milk or toddler formula milk on top of solids, as it provides a complete source of energy for your child.
Growing toddlers below the age of two need healthy fats, crucial for their overall development. Therefore, start your one-year-old on whole milk if your child:
- is at a healthy weight
- has no family history of obesity, high cholesterol, or heart disease
However low fat milk is recommended for a child*:
- who’s overweight or at risk of being overweight
- with a family history of obesity, high blood pressure, or heart disease
In comparison, formula milk can be a good and balanced choice for:
- fussy eaters
- toddlers who are still trying out solids
It is also more energy dense and contains vitamins, iron and essential fatty acids that are vital to your child's growth and development.
2. What’s the recommended milk intake range for toddlers?
As milk is a main source of calcium, the Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends a daily intake of1:
- 750ml of milk for kids aged 1 to 3
- 500ml of milk for kids aged 4 to 6
However it’s not advisable for milk to be the primary food source for toddlers and older children. To give children the best nutrition that they need, milk should supplement a well-balanced diet that includes grains, vegetables, fruits and protein. Excessive milk intake should also be discouraged as it replaces a child’s appetite for other wholesome foods.
3. Concerns about bowel movements
While children on formula milk tend to have more solid stools, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are constipated.
Other factors that come into play include:
- bowel movement schedule
- consistency and appearance of stools
Due to its composition, formula milk with added prebiotics promote healthy digestion and may consequently lead to softer stools and increase stool frequency.
4. Formula milk choices
- Regular cow’s or goat’s milk based formula
Most baby formulas are cow’s milk-based, fortified to provide balanced nutrition, make it easily digestible or provide specific nutrition benefits. Minerals such as iron and calcium amongst others are vital for a baby’s growth and development.
Goat’s milk-based formula is also available but babies with cow’s milk allergy should refrain from taking it, as both share similar milk proteins*.
- Soy based formula
Soy based formulas are free of cow’s milk protein and lactose. Your doctor may recommend this kind of formula if you’re vegan, or if your child is allergic to cow based milk formula*.
- Specialty formula
This milk formula is designed for children requiring special formulation, such as babies with low birth weight*.
Friso Gold's improved formula using the LockNutri process™
Did you know that overheating destroys natural nutrients? Friso is committed to providing optimum nutrition to your kids and that’s why this new technology allows milk protein to be preserved in its natural form by using mild heat during the production process.
This means that junior is able to absorb all the goodness with every sip that he takes. Your child will not only be in good health but will also have the energy, nourishment, and ability to experience each day to the fullest, ready to take on life’s adventures.
*You should discuss your child’s nutritional needs, including choice of low-fat or non-fat milk products, as well as the types of milk formula with your paediatrician.