It can take up to a year for a baby’s digestive system to fully develop. Cow’s milk is more difficult for infants to digest than breast milk or formula.
According to studies, the high protein and mineral content of cow’s milk may strain your baby’s developing kidneys. Additionally, cow’s milk is deficient in iron, vitamin C, and other essential nutrients for infants. “Cow milk protein can irritate the lining of the digestive system, resulting in blood in the faeces, which can cause iron-deficiency anaemia in some newborns,” warns Dr. Aruna Kalra, Senior Gynaecologist and obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, adding that cow’s milk does not provide the healthiest fats for growing children. However, infants above the age of one should be given cow’s milk as part of a balanced diet that includes cereals, fruits, vegetables, and meat. Dr. Aruna clarifies some questions regarding cow’s milk.
When To Introduce Cow’s Milk?
It can be given to babies once they reach the age of one, but only in little doses. To begin, it can be combined with breast milk, formula milk, or boiling and cooled water to ensure that the newborn has a smooth transition. You may begin by hiding it in other foods that your child enjoys to see if he can digest it without issue.
A 1:3 blend of cow’s milk and breast milk can be made. This means that the combined milk will be one part cow’s milk and three parts breast milk. You can gradually raise the percentage of cow’s milk while decreasing the percentage of breast milk. The toddler will eventually be given just cow’s milk. It should be given at least an hour before feeding time. This enables children to get the nutrition they require from milk without compromising their appetite for other foods.
How Much Cow’s Milk Does A Toddler Need?
After a gradual introduction, a one-year-old can be given around 1-1.5 cups of milk daily. You might also serve a dairy version of this, such as yoghurt or cheese.
It is good for babies because it includes a lot of calcium, which is essential for the formation of strong bones, teeth, and muscle growth. It contains Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
Milk is also abundant in protein, which aids in the growth of your child. It also contains carbs, which give your child the energy he or she requires throughout the day. A calcium-rich diet for children provides benefits such as stronger bones, lower blood pressure, and a healthy heart.
Soy milk or cow’s milk: what’s better for you?
These both packed with nutrients and health benefits for you. Compare their nutrient composition and your needs before you choose. Here’s how the two stack up against each other.
Soy Milk Nutrients
Soy milk is made by crushing soya beans. A cup of soy milk provides about 5 g of total fat, 4 g of carbohydrates, 30 mg of sodium and 7-8 g of protein. It is rich in vitamin B-6 and has 10 per cent magnesium, phosphorous and riboflavin, and contains 25 per cent of your daily requirement of thiamine. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, 10 of fiber and 8 per cent of iron as well.
The high concentration of protein in soy milk helps in the growth and maintenance of organs and muscles. It is heart healthy because about 25 g of soya protein daily can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and unlike cow’s milk, it contains virtually no cholesterol and saturated fat. It is perfect for the lactose intolerant. Those watching their waists, opt for soy milk as a cup contains just 50 calories.
Cow’s Milk Nutrients
A cup of whole milk contains about 10 g of carbohydrates, 5 g saturated fat, 35 mg daily value of cholesterol, 125 mg of sodium and 8 g of protein. Milk contains no fibre. Unlike soy milk, cow’s milk contains 30 per cent of the daily value of calcium. It also has 25 per cent of the daily value of vitamin D. A cup of whole milk contains about 150 calories.
The calcium in cow milk is great for teeth and bones. The vitamin D is good for your skin. Whole milk has a lot of calories but skim milk has only 90 calories a cup. It’s good for your heart too. Research says milk and milk products like yogurt and cheese are associated with lower heart disease risks. The protein in cow’s milk is better for muscle gain.