Tuesday 25 January 2022

Why Cow’s milk is not Recommended for Infants


Milk is something that a lot of us find unclear and confusing how it fits into the diets of our little ones. It is not always easy to know the kind of milk needed or suitable at each stage during the early years of life.

Reasons why cow’s milk is not recommended to infants

  • Protein: cow’s milk has a lot of protein. The digestive system of an infant is not adequately developed to handle the high quantity of protein (casein and whey). Too much protein can stress their kidneys which aren’t developed enough yet. The protein can also irritate the intestinal lining, which can cause bleeding. This can lead to blood loss in their stool.
  • Iron: Cows’ milk is low in iron. This can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. Iron deficiency can lead to developmental delays.
  • Fats: Cows’ milk does not have the right kind of fat needed for baby’s growth.
  • Vitamin C: Cows’ milk is also lacking in vitamins C and E. vitamin C is needed for iron absorption and to build the immune system
  • Sodium and potassium: Cow’s milk is high in sodium and potassium much more than what their kidneys can handle.
  • Calcium: it is high in calcium. High content of calcium inhibits the absorption of dietary nonheme iron.

While feeding milk is not advice, milk-based products such as yoghurt are acceptable because of its probiotic content


When to introduce cow’s milk

Once a baby is more than a year old, cow’s milk instead of breastmilk or formula can be introduced. The milk should be whole milk, this is because the fat included is good for the child’s brain, which is very important for development in the first 2 years of life.

To start off, it can be mixed with breastmilk, formula or boiled and cooled to allow a smooth transmission. You can also consider mixing it in other foods of choice. Allow for few days to check for any case of lactose intolerance.

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