At the age of 12 months, your little baby will reach, or will reach so many interesting developmental milestones. His vocabulary grew rapidly; he stood up and might even have taken a few steps, and he was very nice with a spoon when he ate food, big boy. This is also the age when you can start introducing cow's milk into his diet – before that, a small system is not mature enough to handle cow's milk, because it is very concentrated in protein.
For parents who wonder how to overcome the transition from formula milk or milk to cow's milk, rest assured that it doesn't have to be difficult. Many parents prefer a gradual approach and slowly adding milk to formula milk, increasing the amount over time. According to Dr. Nina Byrnes, GP and author of Your Health Matters, it's not a case of stopping one and starting another.
"You can give cow's milk and formula milk, you can give milk and cow's milk. They don't have to automatically switch from one to the other, and often, it doesn't suddenly on the first day grow old that they suddenly stop taking formula milk, "he said.
Dr. Byrnes is a nutrition ambassador for Connacht Gold, who recently launched MÓR Milk (connachtgold.ie), which is specially formulated for children aged one to 12 years, and enriched with iron, prebiotic fiber, and vitamin A, C , D, E and zinc.
Unlike other countries – such as the US, where fortification of flour with folic acid is mandatory – Ireland does not have a strong tradition of strengthening food. They are available, however, with the most common examples being breakfast cereals, cereals, milk and juice. In general, medical experts believe that fortified food is a good idea.
"Even though in an ideal world, we will all get everything, get five days and eat extensive food, in fact, that doesn't always happen, especially with toddlers who can be fussy eaters and harder to get all the nutrients in, I really think MÓR Milk is a good idea, because it really provides a little extra vitamins and minerals, "he said.
He added that constipation and iron deficiency can be a common problem in young children and that the latter can have a significant effect on children's growth and can cause behavioral problems. Ensuring that your child gets enough vitamin D can also be a concern.
"It's almost impossible to get enough vitamin D in your own food. Sunlight is your best source and we are too far north to get enough sunlight," Dr. Byrnes said.
The HSE guidelines suggest giving your child a glass of milk on three main meals a day, starting from one year later. This is around 600ml or one pint of milk a day in total. Drinking more of this can reduce your child's appetite for solid food, and can also stop your child from eating the various types of food needed to provide a nutritional balance for this very important time in their development and growth. HSE also recommends not giving low-fat milk to children under the age of two.
In recent years, food allergy problems have been the point of discussion, but cow's milk protein allergy is not widespread.
According to the Irish Food Allergy Network (ifan.ie), the prevalence varies from 2pc-7.5pc; and between 75pc and 90pc children will grow before the age of five or six years.
"I am not a big fan of cutting milk unless there is a genuine reason for doing it," Dr. Byrnes said. "I often say to parents with small babies who have symptoms that show it [dairy allergy], to cut it for eight weeks, and they know it quickly, because the baby gets better or not, and if there is no change, it's not dairy products. This is less common than we think. "
Children aged one to five years, must consume three servings of milk per day, because calcium is very important for bone growth. This can be provided with portions such as yogurt cartons, a portion of cheese the size of a matchbox or a glass of 200 ml of milk. Making changes from formula or breast milk is a change for babies in terms of their digestive system and taste. Not all children may like to drink milk, but there are ways to avoid this.
"The great thing about milk is that the nutrients in it are not denatured by cooking," Dr. Byrne said.
He suggested that there are many ways to get milk into a child's diet, such as pancakes made with milk, milkshakes, smoothies, macaroni cheese or scrambled eggs with milk.
"I like to eat children's food," he said.