Formula vs cow milk for babies

Jes 16 Comments

After the comparison of the price for different brands of formula milk, I started asking why toddlers have to continue drinking formula milk. I understand that for babies below 1 year old, they cannot digest cow milk due to the high amount of proteins. Formula milk is designed to have similar proteins as breast milk, high irons and AA/DHA which is more suitable for infant development and easy digestion.


The myth is that formula contains more nutrients than cow milk.

Cow milk actually has higher proteins and calcium than formula milk. Formula also contains more sugar than cow milk. However, cow milk do contains lesser amount of iron, Vitamin A, C and D. Luckily, these nutrients are easily found and absorbed in solid food. If your child is eating enough of solid food, there is no need to drink formula milk. Cow milk is more than sufficient and with the high amount of calcium, it will be a great source of vitamins to grow of strong bones.

"Many parents are also unaware that they can make the switch to cow's milk after their children turn one." -Straits Times.

Before making the switch, I was also doubtful like all parents. After all, none of the parents in my infant care are drinking cow milk. Even my parents wanted me to continue with formula milk because they think that formula has more nutrients.

With a vaccination coming up, I asked the nurses and the PD. Both said that switching to cow milk is a good idea. If the child is eating well, then I can go ahead to change. With the professional approval, I can't wait to change formula to cow milk.

Recently, my child has started choosing to take more solid food instead of drinking milk. She prefers to eat on her own and her milk consumption has dropped. During infant care, she has 3 bottles x 180ml of formula on top of a bowl of solid food in the afternoon. After 18 months, when she will be 'promoted' from infant care to Playgroup, the daily schedule is to have 2 solid meals and only 1 bottle of milk. Thus, the weaning off milk is a good thing. The nutrients from solid food will also complement well with the nutrients from cow milk.


Not to forget, cow milk is also much cheaper than formula. However, if formula milk was proven to be better for my child, I would never want to save the extra dollars. I, like all parents, would want to give the best to my child. The cheapest brand for formula milk which is Friso, cost $86 for a 1.8kg which requires 5 scoops for 180ml. A common brand of cow milk is Nespray instant milk powder. At 1.8kg, it cost around $35 and only requires 2 scoops for 180ml milk.

A 180ml bottle of cow milk ($0.19) actually cost 6 times lesser than formula milk ($1.19)!

After letting my child sip a few cups of fresh milk, I tested it out with a few bottles of cow milk. Thankfully, all is well, I have now decided to switch fully to cow milk. She is now 15 months. If your child prefers the taste of formula or has any medical conditions, the PD will advise you to continue with formula milk.

Don't be mistaken, there is no harm in continuing on with formula milk. For me, I just think it makes no sense to continue feeding her with formula milk when it has less calcium, more sugar and yet more expensive.
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Jes

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16 comments:

  1. great article! just a quick question. is there any difference between feeding Nespray instant milk powder vs those fresh milk off the fridge?

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    1. Hi Ang,

      Great question, I also asked myself the same thing and this is the article that provided the answers (http://www.livestrong.com/article/313491-are-there-nutritional-differences-between-fresh-milk-and-powdered/). Overall, fresh milk is definitely better but milk powder has longer shelf life and is easier to bring outdoors!

      Thank you for dropping by!

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  2. thanks for your reply. i didn't just "drop by" your blog. im just a silent reader of yours. :) keep up the good work.

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    1. Hi Ang,

      Woah, thank you for telling me this, it makes me happy to know I have you as my silent reader. I try my best but I am running out of topics to write, haha! Hope to see your comments again soon :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Jes

    Running out of topic? Let me help u a little :p

    Maybe u can share based in daily nutrients requirements of toddler, if drinking fresh milk, how much more to top up solid food to get the minimum requirement of each nutrient? And some common example of solid food that can easily meet that shortfall. Examole

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  4. Sorry, accidentally press publish while typing half way. --- (continue) example, banana, etc.

    :)

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    1. Hi FD,

      Hahaha that's so helpful of you. But you tekan me ah, so difficult topic and I think best left to experts! I think if toddler is hungry then just feed accordingly, wahaha. Ok la, I shall do more research and try my hand on it.

      Thank you and let me know if you have other (easier) topics! :P

      Delete
  5. Fortunately i no need to pay you salary. Haha.

    Are you still employed full time? Don't know why, i think you are ready for a 2nd child. Let us know soon. Hehe

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    1. Hi FD,

      You visit my blog already giving me advertisement money :)

      Employed by SnackFirst considered ma? Quit my job already but no time to blog about it. What?!! Why you got divinity about such things... maybe physically I am ready but financially very challenging. You should know very well!

      Delete
  6. Hi,

    It's me again! Recently, I've tried switching to fresh milk for my 1 year old too! May I ask if you feed your little one cold or warm?

    Regards

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ang,

      Nice to hear from you again! Glad you tried to switch too. Sometimes I leave them on the counter for around 10 minutes before I give it to her. So it's not super cold but colder than room temperature. Other times I microwave the milk to make them warm before I feed her. I try not to heat them up most times because heat kills some nutrients. Hope this helps, and feel free to ask more :)

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  7. Thank you for your reply! Which brand did you go with? We tried dairyfolks and it's really delicious!

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    1. Hi Ang,

      Oh our family love Greenfields, best thing is no sugar or other ingredients. Sometimes we also take the chocolate milk, which is less healthy, haha! Your brand sounds good too, probably will try for my next purchase. Florida's orange juice is also a tasty choice for kids :)

      Delete
  8. For children, Meiji Fresh and Adults, Skim Milk from Fairprice house brand. Not sure if Skim milk would do go in long run.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      I think if the child is not overweight, there is no reason to switch to skim milk since they need the fats for growth and development.

      Furthermore, there has been some discussions about low fat food, as more sugar might be added to get the same flavour, and also people tend to replace the lack of fat content with other sugary food. It's still a source of contention but for me, I still like my whole milk. Thanks for sharing! :)

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