The restriction on the advertising of so-called starter formula - those offered from newborn - created a need for companies that manufacture these products to expand their market and create other products that could be advertised.
Of this need the so-called continuation milks arose, that recommend offering the baby from 6 months of age, with the start of complementary feeding, and growth milks for the baby, designed as an alternative to cow's milk for children between 1 and 3 years of age. But is this type of formula necessary for the baby?
The composition of the starting milks tries to approach in the best possible human way, to breast milk, since this is the best food for the baby. However, and despite the fact that it continues to be so when reaching 6 months of age, or even one year of age - in fact the WHO recommends prolonging breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age- infant feeding companies suggest that there is a need to switch from starter milk to follow-on milk, and later to grower milk. We tell you why this need is not true:
- The WHO already stated in 2010 and again in 2013 that neither follow-up nor growth milks are necessary nor do they represent any benefit for the baby relative to breast milk or starter milk if formula-fed. In fact, if we assume that the most similar to breast milk is the initial one, there are even fewer reasons for the change, although certainly these milks tend to be cheaper and with the change families can find some relief in the cost of breastfeeding. baby feeding.
- Compared to breast milk, the current composition of the Follow-up milks have a higher protein intake than recommended for the correct development of the child, in addition to a lower intake of essential fatty acids, iron, zinc and vitamin B.
- The composition of growth milk generally includes vitamins, minerals (mainly iron) and pre and probiotics that cow's milk, its great competitor in this age range of babies, does not contain. Nevertheless, also contains added sugars -or even artificial sweeteners- and / or cereals, which make it sweeter, to make it more attractive to the little ones. In many cases, flavorings are also added, which are nothing other than artificial products reminiscent of the original flavor, cocoa being the most popular.
The Consumer Organization and the European Food Safety Agency endorse this information and acknowledge that healthy children who eat a balanced diet do not need special milk such as continuation or growth. From one year on, the child can drink cow's milk or vegetable milk, depending on the option chosen.
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