WHERE DOES MILK FIT INTO THE PIC­TURE?

Your Baby & Toddler - - New­born -

Q:I’M STILL BREAST­FEED­ING MY 7-MONTH-OLD AND WE’VE STARTED ON SOLIDS, BUT WHEN CAN I IN­TRO­DUCE COW’S MILK TO MY BABY?

A: Breast­feed­ing up un­til one year is an amaz­ing start in life for your lit­tle one so keep go­ing if you can! You can start to in­tro­duce full cream cows’ milk from one year of age if your child is eat­ing a var­ied, well-bal­anced diet (in­clud­ing all the food groups). It can be used in cook­ing and bak­ing from 10 months of age.

If your child is al­ler­gic to cows’ milk or just doesn’t like cows’ milk, there are al­ter­na­tives that you can use, such as soy, al­mond and co­conut milk. But th­ese need to be en­riched with cal­cium, vi­ta­min D and other vi­ta­mins. For­ti­fied plant-based bev­er­ages differ from cows’ milk as they are lower in pro­tein and fat lev­els and higher man­ganese lev­els. Plant-based bev­er­ages are not rec­om­mended as an al­ter­na­tive to breast­milk, in­fant for­mula or whole cows’ milk in the first year of a baby’s life.

Be­low are some coun­try-spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions for the var­i­ous plant based bev­er­ages: Aus­tralia: For­ti­fied soy drink or cal­cium-en­riched, full fat rice and oat drinks may be used af­ter 1 year of age un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a health­care pro­fes­sional. Al­ter­nate sources of pro­tein and vi­ta­min B12 need to be added to their diet. Canada: Soy, rice, al­mond and co­conut bev­er­ages aren’t rec­om­mended for in­fants in the first 2 years of life as al­ter­na­tives to breast­milk, in­fant for­mula or whole cows’ milk. New Zealand: For­ti­fied plant-based bev­er­ages are suit­able for tod­dlers if sup­ple­mented with vi­ta­min D, B12, ri­boflavin and cal­cium. Th­ese can be used if the diet pro­vides suf­fi­cient pro­tein and en­ergy from other sources. U.K: Full-fat, for­ti­fied, unsweet­ened soy milk can be used af­ter 1 year of age as part of a well-bal­anced, var­ied diet. Rice milk was not rec­om­mended for tod­dlers and young chil­dren due to po­ten­tially high lev­els of ar­senic.

SPEND TIME WITH YOUR BABY AND CHILD­CARER WHILE THEY ARE EN­JOY­ING BABY-LED WEAN­ING

Joie Mimzy Snacker High Chair in Ab­stract Ar­rows, R1 300, Baby City, Baby Boom, Ba­bies “R” Us

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