There’s nothing like mother’s milk to meet the nutritional needs of your baby till he becomes 6 months-old. After that though, complementary foods must be added to his diet for more wholesome nutrition. By the time he is two, your little one should be able to consume the same meals that everyone else in the family enjoys. However, the importance of milk as an exceptionally nutritious food doesn’t decrease even when your baby becomes a toddler. And since he grows rapidly during this phase, you might wonder if you should give him growing-up milk. So, before deciding, learn more about low sugar growing-up milk and whether it is needed for your baby or not.

What is growing-up milk?

Growing-up milk refers to milk-based drinks with added vitamins and minerals and low protein levels. This is intended for children between the ages of 12 and 36 months. Growing-up milk is not a necessity, but can compensate for nutritional deficiencies during the transition from breast milk to family food. This may be particularly beneficial for infants born in families with poor dietary habits. For example, children born in families following a strict vegan diet might miss out on certain nutrients that growing-up milk can provide.

Growing-up milk is formulated by diluting low fat cow’s milk, to lower the protein concentration, to reach infant-friendly levels. The cow’s milk fat may also be partially replaced by vegetable oils to increase the concentration of essential fatty acids. This may also lead to the addition of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, while maintaining other vitamin and mineral levels.

Is growing-up milk needed?

Infants often tend to consume less dietary fibre and more of proteins, carbohydrates, salts and potassium. Their diet might also be lacking in the required micronutrients. For example, an infant may not get adequate iron, vitamin D, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. In such a case, low-sugar growing-up milk is one way to meet these deficiencies, but it is not the only way. Giving your baby fortified cow’s milk, cereal-based foods, small servings of meat and fish or supplements can be more effective.

Carbohydrates in growing-up milk

Growing up milk almost always contains some amount of added sugars. And sugars are easy-to-digest carbohydrates. While carbohydrates are a great source of energy, if not utilised, they can cause unhealthy weight gain.

Even breast milk contains a certain amount of sugar. However, what should be noted is the type of sugar. Breast milk contains lactose, which is easy to digest and helps the good bacteria in your baby’s intestines to develop. Compared to other types of sugar, it does not increase the blood glucose level by much.

In conclusion

Growing-up milk isn’t really a necessity for your child, but can be provided in moderation, especially if his diet is lacking in vital micronutrients. Also, you should focus on giving your child well-balanced meals every day. This alone should meet all of his nutritional needs and help your baby to develop at the right pace.

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