Because of their rapid growth and development , young children (1-3 years of age) have nutritional requirements which differ quite markedly from those of older children and adults, however, the current toddler diet is not sufficient to meet these needs.
Dietary Protein is essential for the supply of nitrogen and amino acids to synthesize body protein for muscles, organs and as the foundation of tissues. Too much protein may be a risk for the development of obesity.
Vitamin D & Calcium are essential to bone health, key for children as they have a high rate of skeletal growth.
Iron, in the form of hemoglobin, delivers oxygen to the growing organs. Iron is also required for brain development, i.e. the formation of myelin and neuronal growth. Iron deficiency in early life is linked with developmental and behavioral problems.
Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones regulating metabolic activity and growth, Zinc is essential for the structure or action of many enzymes that have a metabolic function, e.g. in cartilage growth. Vitamin A is needed for growth, immune function and vision.
Cow’s milk-based formulas are the vast majority of commercial formulas. Most milk-based formulas have added iron, which the AAP recommends, the parents should use only iron fortified formula unless advised otherwise by the primary health care provider. The caloric density of formulas is 20 kcal/oz (0.67kcal/ml). A relatively high-fat and calorically dense diet is needed to deliver adequate calories.
Cow’s milk is low in iron, in vitamin D and in EFA and it’s high in protein and contains sugars.
However, growing up milk provides a high level of Iron to prevent Iron deficiency anemia, an optimal level of Vitamin D to maintain bone growth also the essential fatty acids for brain development.Also, it is low in protein to prevent obesity and it is without sugar to prevent excess of weight and tooth decay. Growing up milk contains Prebiotics, scGOS/lcFOS (9:1) that mimics the structure of HMOs and this Prebiotic mixture has clinical evidence proving beneficial effect for healthy digestion: Increased beneficial bacteria, Decreased Pathogens and Faster Gastric Emptying/Increased Stool Frequency/Softer Stools.
Dr. Qais Azar