4 essential things to check when shopping for toddler formula

toddler girl drink milk bottle

If you’re a mum who’s reached the toddler formula aisle at your local supermarket and struggled with the array of choice, you’re not alone! Here’s what you need to look out for.

Formula ingredients vary wildly, and in a study commissioned by Munchkin it was found that even though 41 per cent of Australian mums believed ingredients were an important part of choosing formula, only 24 per cent could name more than three ingredients in the formula they bought.

It’s understandable. There are so many options out there, it’s hard to know where to start, let alone how to understand the ingredients list. We talked to Mandy Sacher, a leading paediatric nutritionist and founder of Wholesome Child, to find out some of the most important things to look for when you’re choosing the right formula for your toddler.

Where does the milk come from?

Given most formulas are made from 65 per cent milk and milk byproducts, milk quality is extremely important. Sacher advises parents do their research and “… look for a formula that is produced using a high-quality, GMO-free milk to ensure a balance of naturally occurring nutrients.”

Munchkin Grass Fed formula is a great option. The milk used comes from cows fed a 100 per cent grass diet, which means the nutritional value of their milk is higher than cows fed on GMO grains or corn. It’s also formulated with calcium, Vitamins A, E, C, B12, niacin, DHA and iron to support healthy growth.

Is the formula fortified with a probiotic?

little girl drinking milk from glass

When children are breastfed, they get the benefits of good bacteria, which is important for their health. Formula fed children can have those same benefits, provided their formula is fortified with probiotics or prebiotics, organisms that help maintain a healthy gut or microbiome.

Sacher explains, “A healthy microbiome is the cornerstone of good health in young children. A formula supplemented with probiotics helps maintain a healthy microbiome in toddlers, proliferating their stomach with beneficial disease fighting bacteria.”

How is the formula sweetened?

You probably wouldn’t hand your toddler a lolly with every meal, but you might be surprised to find that many formulas use sugars like sucrose, glucose, dextrose or corn syrup solids – the very things used to sweeten lollies – as sweeteners. Sacher says, “Lactose (milk sugar) is found naturally in breast milk and is the ideal sugar for baby humans. It fuels growth, and the growth of beneficial bacteria in their guts.”

Sacher advises that parents check that formula ingredients list lactose as the only sweetener, rather than the other baddies listed above.

Remember, every child is unique

Boy and girl drinking milk

It doesn’t take many days of parenting to realise that every baby is different. One might prefer pats on her bottom to fall asleep, another the quiet hush of a white noise machine, and another still might prefer not to sleep ever! Children’s food needs are equally varied. According to Sacher, “Some babies require hydrolysed formulas or goat milk due to cow milk allergies or intolerances.”

She says it’s important to trial any formula to make sure it suits your child and his needs. And if things don’t seem quite right, Sacher says, “Seek the advice of a trained medical professional.”

Munchkin Grass Fed Toddler Milk Drink is made with milk that comes from cows fed a 100 per cent grass diet, which incidentally is a cow’s natural diet. Supplementing a cow’s diet with GMO foods like corn and grain negatively impacts the nutritional value of the milk.

The toddler milk is sweetened with naturally occurring lactose, and it’s fortified with prebiotics to help maintain healthy gut bacteria.

To find out more about feeding your toddler a balanced diet, check out our post on picky toddlers, or our interview with Mandy Sacher on the benefits of grass-fed formula.

(This is a sponsored post for Munchkin Grass Fed – Nature. Nurture. Grass Fed.)

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