When a kid reaches the age of 1, some parents remove strict restrictions from the children’s menu to make a baby used to adult dishes as soon as possible. As a rule, milk formula disappears first from the diet and it’s replaced by a whole cow or goat milk. Another common mistake is that parents continue to feed a one-year-old baby with age-inappropriate formula. However, infant formula after 6 months (stage 2) is designed for 6-12 months. After a year, it can no longer fully satisfy the child’s need for nutrients. Only formulas after 12 months (stage 3) meet such requirements. Let’s find out what are the most common facts you need to know about toddler formulas.
For both bottle and breastfeeding children, it’s important to have milk formula in the diet because it will help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies and promote comfortable digestion. Therefore, even after a year, infant formula should remain on the child’s menu. According to statistics, kids after a year often suffer from anemia. 30% of them are found to be deficient in iron and calcium. Almost 50% of children lack polyunsaturated fatty acids that affect the development of the brain and sensory organs, as well as vitamins B1, B6, C, and D – active participants in all metabolic processes in the body.
Reaching the age of 1, a baby begins to speak and walk, and its memory and coordination of movements are actively developing, so a vitamin imbalance can cause a lot of health problems. However, there is a way out – 3 stage formula designed for babies aged 1 to 3 years performs the same function as vitamin and mineral supplements.
Whole Cow Milk vs Toddler Formula
A 3 stage formula is also made to partially replace milk in the baby’s diet. Recent studies have shown that whole milk should be introduced into the children’s menu carefully. Everyone knows that up to 1.5 years it is not recommended to give a kid cow or goat milk. The main reason is that both are low in vitamins and minerals. In addition, cow’s milk contains an excess amount of protein. It takes a lot of fluid to process it, which greatly increases the load on the kidneys.
There is less protein in goat milk, but there are still not enough useful substances in it. Even if on the packet there is a specific label, it doesn’t mean it is suitable for a kid’s immature digestive system. Even though some manufacturers enrich the composition of the whole milk with vitamins A, C, and lactulose, it’s not enough. The advantage of the toddle formula is that there is a balanced amount of valuable substances and an amount of protein.
Way of Starting Toddler Formula
For babies older than 12 months, the stage 3 formula is suitable and once a kid reaches a year and a half then, you should switch to stage 4. Stage 2, intended from 6 to 12 months, is not suitable for a one-year-old baby because it will not satisfy the nutrition needs.
A baby older than a year should be gradually weaned from the bottle and taught to drink formula from a cup. Milk formula in the second year of life ceases to be the main liquid product in the baby’s diet. It can be left as the last feeding at night or given for an afternoon snack and before bedtime, that is, leave 1-2 feedings with the formula per day. Toddler formula should be included in the total amount of dairy products that a baby receives per day. The norm at this age is 500-600 ml per day.
Peculiarities of Toddler Formula
The protein composition is already minimally adapted and is practically the same as in animal milk. The proportions of whey and casein protein fractions are very different from the ratio of substances in breast milk and formulas for the first year of life. It’s approximately 25:75. If parents select between whole milk and third-stage formula, it is best to choose formula because it’s special baby milk, which, unlike regular milk, is additionally enriched with the necessary amount of useful substances in the right combination and an easily digestible form for young children.
Pros and Cons of Toddler Formula
- it meets the age needs
- it’s easy to digest than whole milk
- all formulas are passed strict quality control
- difficulties with diluting
Elements in the Toddler Formula
Even though the content of 3 stage formula is less adapted, it still includes such important components as:
- taurine which is essential for the normal development of the central nervous system and liver
- nucleotides that play a key role in many biological processes
- omega-3 and omega-6 support the functioning of the brain and nervous system
- lecithin facilitates the absorption of fats in the intestines
- zinc, selenium, manganese, carotenoids, and vitamins C and E are antioxidants that protect the child’s body from infections and external adverse factors
Do Toddlers Need a 3 Stage Formula?
There are many debates about whether it’s necessary to use the toddler formula. According to AAP, there is no need to supply the kid’s diet with formula. However, the European Union endorses the use of toddler formulas as an additional source of nutrients. You can find out more about using toddler formula here organicsbestshop.com/blogs/organicsbestclub/toddler-formula. In any case, all kids are unique and before making any changes to the menu, you should visit a pediatrician beforehand.