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Milk Recommendations for Babies of Different Age Groups

Milk Recommendations for Babies of Different Age Groups

As your baby grows, so will their nutritional requirements. During the first two years, up to 75% of each meal is dedicated to brain development. Breast milk can provide your baby with all of the nutrition they need to grow and develop from the first hour of life until they are 6 months old. They don't need anything else during this time - no water, tea, juice, porridge, or other foods or fluids.

It’s important to know when to introduce your baby to different types of milk. For kids of various ages, there are various recommendations regarding milk consumption. Breast milk is the ideal option for infants. Infants should be breastfed for at least the first six months of their life, and then other formulas can be introduced, advises the World Health Organization (WHO).

Calcium, protein with high nutritional value, vitamins from group B (primarily B2), vitamins A, and D are all found in large quantities in milk and dairy products. Both in childhood and adulthood, inadequate milk and dairy product consumption can have a negative impact on health. Read on to learn which type of milk is ideal for your baby as they grow up.

Why Milk Is Important For Infants

The nutrients in milk are essential for the growth and development of babies and children. Reasons include:

  • Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth.
  • Protein, for growth and energy.
  • Vitamin A, for eyesight and immune function.
  • Vitamin B12 is for the production of healthy cells.
  • Iodine regulates metabolism.
  • Magnesium, for muscle function.
  • Phosphorus, for energy release.

Milk has a lot of calories, which supports your baby's rapid physical and mental development. DHAs, an essential fatty acid found in breastmilk and formula, have been associated with improved IQ and brain function.

Milk is essential for your child's health and energy levels in addition to helping them get the nutrients they need. It also helps to keep them hydrated. In addition, it's a good source of comfort because many babies enjoy breastfeeding or a bottle of milk as part of a relaxing bedtime routine or when they're feeling sick.

Milk Recommendations for Infants of 0-6 Months

The choice of whether to breastfeed exclusively, use formula, or combine the two is very personal. It's possible that you won't always be able to breastfeed or that you won't know whether giving your baby formula in addition to breast milk is healthy for your baby.

  • Breast Milk
  • The WHO recommends exclusively breastfeeding newborns for the first six months of life, after which you should continue up to the age of two, or as long as you and the baby choose, while also providing supplemental nutritious foods.

    Breastfeeding has a number of advantages for both mom and baby, despite the fact that it is not simple or convenient for everyone. Breastfeeding gives infants the complete nutrition and hydration they require and adjusts to their changing needs. It also helps prevent infection and build a strong immune system, and it's an affordable, practical way for mothers to feed their babies wherever and whenever they're needed.

  • Infant Formula Milk
  • Infant formula is the only suitable substitute for breast milk in the event that breastfeeding is unsuccessful or if you decide not to breastfeed. If that’s the case, for the first six months, your baby should only be fed infant formula.

    If breastfeeding is not an option for you and your baby due to your veganism or vegetarianism, be sure to seek professional medical advice on what milk to feed your child. According to NHS recommendations, a baby's primary beverage during the first year of life should be breast milk or infant formula.

    Milk Recommendations for Infants of 6-12 Months

    Your baby will begin to eat more solid foods around the time they are 6 months old, which will inevitably cause their desire and need for milk to gradually decrease. If you breastfeed, your child will naturally adjust how much they eat based on the other foods they have consumed throughout the day.

    Goat milk or other substitutes can be introduced to the diet by being used in cooking, but they shouldn't be served as the primary beverage to replace breast or formula milk.

  • Breast Milk
  • For the first six months and up to two years after birth, the WHO advises mothers to only give their babies breastmilk. A mother's breastmilk provides all the nutrition and hydration he or she needs, is easily digestible, absorbable, and helps build immunity.

  • Infant Formula
  • This is only recommended if breastmilk is not suitable or available. Choose a nutritious formula that meets all the baby's nutritional needs, and note that during warmer weather, additional water may be needed.

  • Goat Milk
  • Goat milk can be added to cooking or solid foods as early as 6 months of age. In addition to being a good source of calcium, it also contains iodine. In any case, it should not be used as a main drink before 12 months.

    Milk Recommendation for Child of 12-24 Months

    Your child will begin eating larger, more frequent meals after turning one year old, and they will start getting the majority of their nutrition from sources other than milk. However, as your baby eats a wider variety of foods, their need for breast milk will decrease.

    The WHO does recommend that babies continue to be breastfed for up to 2 years and beyond. Your baby will likely no longer require formula milk after the first year. Goat milk and other substitutes can now be given to your baby as a more frequent beverage.

  • Goat Milk
  • Fresh goat milk shouldn't be introduced as the primary beverage until one year old. Their nutrient profiles are comparable to those of cow's milk, so they are safe to offer after a year as long as they have been pasteurised. While some people may choose to substitute goat milk for cow milk due to allergenic concerns, it is generally regarded as being safe and allergen-free.

  • Soya Drinks & Other Milk Alternatives
  • Plant-based milks, such as soy, oat, almond, and other nut milks, can be served or used in cooking as a component of a healthy, balanced diet. You should be aware that they shouldn't be used as a direct substitute for goat milk in your child's diet because they don't have nutritional value that is comparable to that of goat milk and not all brands fortify with the same nutrients.

    Milk Recommendation for Child of 2+ Years

    Children will start to adopt a more varied, balanced diet after the age of two and may rely less on milk as a source of nutrients. You can modify how much milk you give them based on their diet throughout the week since it is recommended that children between the ages of 1-3 consume between 350 and 400 ml of milk which also means three daily servings of dairy foods.

    If your child's diet doesn't include dairy, you might want to think about how you can make up for any nutrients they might be lacking.

    To Conclude

    The full development of each child's potential as a person depends on them receiving adequate nutrition during infancy and the early years of life. It is common knowledge that the first two years of life are a "critical window" for fostering the best possible growth, health, and behavioural development. Diets for infants and toddlers should be well-balanced, including the amount and type of milk consumed. Recommendations for milk supply should be met at home, where the child spends the majority of the day, and should be tailored to the child's age.