Types of Growth Formulas: Choosing the right one

Feeling a little overwhelmed? It’s common to stumble upon a wide range of information and therefore have many questions ranging from what to feed your child to when, where and how. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. There are many studies that back this up, if you wish to learn more about it click here. After the first year, you can start introducing solid foods or even growth formulas. But what should you look for when choosing it?

  1. Type: There are 3 main types of growth formula, either cow milk protein-based formula, soy-based formula or protein hydrolysate formula. You should consult your pediatrician when considering the type of growth formula since he or she may be informed of allergies and potential side effects for your little one regarding a specific type.
  2. Preparation: Growth formulas can be prepared using a powdered formula, concentrated liquid formula and ready-to-use formula. Choose the one that’s the most convenient for you and fits your current budget.
  3. Important components:
    1. Carbohydrates: One of the main sources of energy for your little one. Most growth formulas use some of the following carbohydrates: lactose, maltose, sucrose, glucose, maltodextrin, glucose syrup or dried glucose syrup.
    2. Probiotics and Prebiotics: They help the absorption of neuronutrients and strengthen the immune system of your little one.
    3. Vitamins: These are present in almost every growth formula, some of these vitamins include folic acid, thiamine (B1 vitamin), riboflavin (B2 vitamin), niacin (B3 vitamin), biotin and pantothenic acid.
    4. Iron: Essential mineral for the development of your little one since it is the one in charge of transporting oxygen in the blood. It is also the main producer of hemoglobin.     
    5. DHA: DHA is omega-3 fatty acid found naturally in certain foods like fish that aids in cognitive and visual development. Some growth formulas include this key ingredient.
    6. No Added Sugar: You will avoid modifying your child’s sweet food preferences and promote healthy habits.

When choosing a growth formula that contains some of the key ingredients we mentioned, such as Nestlé ® Excella Gold ®, make sure to talk to your pediatrician to know which may suit your child best.

Sources:

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/

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