Watchdog said some brands have less calcium and more sugar than cow'sSpecialist toddler milk contains more iron and Vitamin DBut Which? said nutrients can be obtained from normal diet By Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs Editor Published: 19:50 EST, 20 August 2013 | Updated: 04:05 EST, 21 August 2013 Parents of toddlers are wasting more than £500 a year on specialist children’s milk, despite ordinary cow’s milk being healthier and cheaper, say consumer watchdogs.
The milk is marketed as providing all the nutrients needed by children aged one to three, with some brands adding iron and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote growth.However, consumer group Which? has found that some brands have less calcium and more sugar than cow’s milk. Which? found some brands of specialist toddler formula have more sugar and less calcium than cow's milk The study found mums waste up to £500 a year buying formula when cow's milk is cheaper and healthier It added that although toddler milks do contain more iron and vitamin D than ordinary milk, such nutrients can be obtained from a normal diet and a multivitamin supplement.
A spokesman said: ‘A daily recommended serving of most toddler milks doesn’t meet the calcium requirements of a one- to three-year-old, unlike a 300ml serving of cow’s milk.’ Conventional milk has 122mg of calcium – important for growing bones and teeth – per 100ml, while products from Aptamil and Cow & Gate have just 86mg per 100ml. The Hipp Organic Combiotic Growing Up milk powder has 7.
9g of sugar per 100ml, while full fat cow’s milk has just 4.7g. Government advice says children can safely drink cow's milk from the age of one The Government recommends giving children aged six months to five years a multivitamin containing vitamins A, C and D. It also advises that toddler milk is unnecessary because children can safely drink cow’s milk from the age of one.
However, 46 per cent of parents buy powdered or ready-made milks from manufacturers such as SMA, Aptamil, Cow & Gate and Hipp. In calculating the cost, Which? used SMA’s recommended daily consumption of 500ml of its ready-to-drink toddler milk, which worked out at £1.63 a day or £593.53 a year. The Government advises that children should drink 300ml a day of full fat cow’s milk, at 17p a day or £62 a year.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: ‘When so many household budgets are severely squeezed, parents could be saving hundreds of pounds on toddler milks that the Government says are unnecessary. ‘Ministers should make their advice much clearer and introduce guidance on the ingredients of toddler milks, including the level of sugar and calcium.’ However, Roger Clarke, director of the British Specialist Nutrition Service, which speaks for manufacturers, said: ‘Toddler milks contain around half the amount of protein in cow’s milk, 60 per cent less sodium and less saturated fat than cow’s milk.
’A spokesman for Hipp Organic said: ‘The only form of sugar in Hipp Organic Combiotic Growing Up milk is lactose, naturally occurring milk sugar. No other sugars are added.’See Also: Aerosmith Milk Cow Blues
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