Photo by Shutterstock

Breastfeeding has gained new ground in recent years, making a comeback thankfully, after years of many parents buying into the “formula is just as good as breast milk” myth. However, now that breastfeeding rates are slowly climbing back up, milk manufacturers have needed to find a new way into parents’ hearts and wallets. Thus, a variety of toddler specific milk products have sprung up. But don’t get lured into buying “toddler milk” for your tot because you’re told your growing child needs it or that it’s more nutritious than other beverages on the market! This is far from the truth.

Most toddler milk is sold as a powder — as cow’s milk fortified with vitamins, minerals and plenty of questionable additives. Plus, these milks are often sweetened with sugar, fake flavoring and corn syrup — making them less than ideal food for a growing toddler. According to Quartz, companies have been pushing these milks hard based on their health benefits, with industry-funded research that may or may not be based on fact. Furthermore, independent studies haven’t confirmed company findings.

baby formula, toddler milk, healthy toddler, toddler formula, formula bans, formula marketing, healthy kids

Some of the new toddler milks include products like Gain “IQ Growing-up milk,” Danone’s Aptamil, Nestle’s Nido “pre-school milk,” and others. Most health-care professionals note that formula makers have become pretty darn savvy by creating this new toddler milk market after being banned from over marketing their baby products to parents in the United States and elsewhere. Agnes Marie Tarrant, an infant-feeding expert and associate professor at the University of Hong Kong tells Quartz that these formula companies have, “Perfectly targeted the millions of parents of only children in China [because] these parents are more apt to buy special products for conditions like being a “picky eater,” which tend to naturally resolve themselves over time.” Tarrant further notes that these milk products are specifically made for and targeted at, “neurotic parents.”

In Asia, the marketing of these products is far more aggressive than in the USA and they’re being touted as miracle foods, capable of turning toddlers into over-achievers. Beyond the added flavors and sugar, the main problem with toddler milk is that health experts almost universally agree that the typical healthy tot doesn’t need any special food or drink, as long as they’re eating a healthy diet. This is a tough pill to swallow for some parents, especially parents of picky eaters, but toddler milk is still unnecessary.  Check out the tips below if you’re concerned about proper toddler nutrition and don’t want to waste your cash on sugary, expensive toddler formula.

+ Source