The breast milk is the best food for the baby because it provides all the nutrients it needs and protects the child against diseases. As it grows, food is incorporated into its diet, normally this occurs after 6 months with complementary feeding. It is important to know when each food should be introduced, among them, one of those that generates more doubts is milk.
In the first year of life, the infant takes breast milk or infant formula (starter formula and follow-on formula). Cow’s milk should not be introduced as the main milk supply before 12 months, although it can be added in small quantities.
From one year on, if the child does not breastfeed, the question arises between offering him the continuation formula that he took up to 12 months, cow’s milk or growth milk.
Expert groups recommend that in addition to milk, the child older than one year have a healthy varied diet.
As can be seen in table 1, in general growth milks contain 1 to 2.1 g of protein / 100 ml, far from the 3.1 g / 100 ml of cow’s milk. Excess protein in the first years of life is associated with later obesity, hence the importance of milk being able to contain less protein. As for polyunsaturated fatty acids, the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic and sometimes DHA are added to the growth milk, which is an added value.
The amounts are less than those of follow-on formula or human milk, but are much higher than cow’s milk. These fatty acids are important for their role on immunity and psychomotor development. On the other hand, growth milks provide the nutrients iron and vitamin D in amounts similar to the follow-on formula and much more than cow’s milk.
In summary, after one year of life, if it is not possible to continue breastfeeding, growth milk will be chosen on many occasions , although in some cases cow’s milk will suffice or it will be necessary to continue breastfeeding. continuation formula. Pediatric assessment of nutritional needs and the type of diet the child follows will help make the decision.
For this reason, associations such as ANDI have insisted that the children’s diet industry must have the most exhaustive nutritional and safety controls throughout the food chain, because its consumers are a vulnerable group.