‘Toddler milk’ a waste of money for parents, say health officials

The Daily Telegraph
Jane Hansen

Dr Karleen Gribble, from Western Sydney University School of Nursing and Midwifery, said toddler milks feed on parent’s insecurities but they were nothing more than glorified milk powder.

“Toddler milk is powdered milk with a few vitamins and minerals added, there is nothing magic about them and there is no need for a specialised product that is five times more expensive than powdered milk or fresh milk,” Dr Gribble said.

According to a new Australian study, milk-based formula sales for toddlers have almost doubled in the past few years despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) maintaining they are both unnecessary as a breast milk substitute and displaced what parents have traditionally fed toddlers over thousands of years.

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) also endorses feeding cows’ milk from 12 months for toddlers who are not breastfed.

Dr Phillip Baker, from the Australian National University and lead author on the paper that was published in Public Health Nutrition Journal, said the growth of toddler milk market across South East Asia, including Australia, was 40 per cent up on 2008 figures and expected to grow another 30 per cent by 2018.

“The infant and follow-up formula categories are predicted to account for most of world volume growth in 2014—2018,” the study states.

The advertising of infant formula is banned under the voluntary and self-regulated Manufacturers’ and Importers’ Agreement (MAIF) so as not to discourage breast feeding in babies, but toddler milks, which share brand identities with infant formula, are heavily advertised in Australia.

Critics considered toddler market adverting the “Trojan horse” to sidestep the laws to access the infant formula market.

Read more: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/toddler-milk-a-waste-of-money-for-parents-say-health-officials/news-story/bb27fb02d26bf9059f056dd3167ecf04