Why fresh milk?
|September 14, 2010||Posted by Mabel under Info, Parenthood|
Every time I encounter an older person or a traditionalist, I go through a barrage of comments regarding Eva not taking any formula. In case you’re wondering, Eva has been on fresh milk since she turned 12 months old. At first it was semi-fresh milk and EBM (Expressed Breast Milk) but since I stopped breastfeeding, she has been on fresh milk (pasteurised). It’s been two months already and since then, things have been going great – in fact, she eats well…to the point where I wonder if she’ll ever eat me out of a home!
Anyway, my babysitter never fails to ask if fresh milk is really okay for children and other people are going on and on about the pros of formula and the cons of fresh milk. Don’t they realize that formula is made up of cow’s milk – the same as fresh milk? One major difference is that formula is often “tampered” with more than cow’s milk, thus leaving more room for error as reports on contaminated formula from China proves.
Haiz. I am starting to grow tired of the questions and comments so will share my reasons for giving Eva fresh milk instead of formula as per below. I must say that my case is unique as Eva has no problems with solids – that is also why I’m not very keen on introducing formula to my little toddler. I understand that some mummies out there opt for toddler formula for a variety of reasons and I do suggest it to friends whose children are fussy and need to gain weight. At the same time, I tell them what to expect and what to watch out for – just so that they make an informed choice, which is what this is all about – making good and sound informed choices.
Note that the reasons below are only for 100% pasteurised fresh milk (and not milk made up of water, milk solids, etc) versus formula (toddler only* – stage 2-3 onwards, I think, depending on brand):
- Value for money is higher as it comprises of just fresh milk (assuming that you buy brands that have just “100% fresh milk” as the ingredient). Definitely cheaper than formula.
- Pasteurisation or UHT is the only time anyone “tampers” with the milk so chances of contamination or “junk” showing up is less.
- Nutrients in the milk are not added or man-made. Milk already has fats, proteins, calciums, minerals, vitamins, naturally re-occuring sugars and salt. Since babies are not calves, they do not digest every single thing from cow’s milk but that is fine because toddlers need their nutrition from solids NOT milk.
- Easy to serve – just pour and hand to your kiddo!
- Pasteurised milk needs to be stored in the fridge and consumed within a certain time frame whereas UHT can be kept in pantries but the processing kills most nutrients.
- Less “recognisable” – most Asians aren’t familiar with milk or milk products and advertising companies don’t really promote fresh milk.
- Lack of knowledge can confuse consumers – skim, low-fat, full cream, fresh. Some brands exploit this and instead of using fresh milk, they use by products like milk solids in their milk instead.
- Requires parents to really put in some effort when preparing a balanced meal for their toddlers as fresh milk is NOT a one-stop solution.
- One stop solution for parents who want children to gain weight or for fussy eaters. It’s sweet and well, full of filler ingredients which are bound to make you put on weight if you take 150ml to 250ml of the stuff three to five times a day.
- More “recognisable” because of social perception towards formula as well as marketing.
- Available anywhere and everywhere – you don’t really have to hunt for it.
- Later stage formulas have sugar listed as the 2nd ingredient. Certain brands have maltodextrin (derived from corn starch) or corn syrup as well – meaning that you have more added sugar/starch. And too much sugar not only leads to a sweet tooth but it can lead to a sugar high (in other words, blood sugar is up the roof), and ultimately a hyperactive child. Note that these are processed sugars and different from fructose or fruit-based sugars which do not cause a huge spike in blood sugar.
- Flavourings like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry are often synthetic and it teaches children to prefer heavily flavoured foods over naturally flavoured ones.
- Value for money is low. Many people think that they are paying for a balanced meal when in reality, what a lot of them are paying for is cow’s milk, sugar, starch and only perhaps a minute amount (one brand lists only .5%) of vitamins and minerals. Even then these vitamins and minerals are often indigestible (ferrous sulphate (aka iron), calcium carbonate (calcium)) and can cause lots of problems if they are not broken down quickly. Others are just dangerous like soy protein isolate which is chemically produced and contains nitrates (carcinogenic) and other junk.
- More preparation time (measuring, mixing, heating water, etc) although some mummies may swear that it’s very fast to whip up.