6 MYTHS ABOUT MILK POWDER THAT SINGAPORE BELIEVE
One of the most talked about yet sensitive, even taboo topics is the way the baby is fed. Should children be breastfed? Then there’s mixed feeds, formula milk, and which formula milk is best.
Amidst all the noise, what we in Singapore believe about milk powder may not be the whole truth. Here are some of the most common myths :
The more expensive the milk powder, the better it is for the child
Everyone wants the best for his or her child, so parents and caregivers are willing to pay top dollar for the best.
Unfortunately, this makes them easy to mislead. Price isn’t a reliable indicator for good milk powder, even if it appeals to the "kiasuism" in us.
A reason for the increasing price of milk powder is simply parents’ willingness to pay a premium for it. That’s why over the course of 10 years, milk powder prices have risen from an average of S$25.42 to S$56.06 – a whopping 120 percent increase.
The other reason is the many layers of middlemen, such as importers, agents, distributors, and retailers, who place milk on the shelves. At Nature One Dairy Pty Ltd, we are the manufacturer, importer and distribute the milk powder directly to the retailers.
That means you get the same high quality but at a lower cost.
Milk powder contains too much sugar for babies
Most of the carbohydrates from infant formula milk come from lactose, not sugar. Lactose is easy to digest and helps good bacteria to grow in the stomach.
Incidentally, on a sweetness scale of 1 to 100 (where 100 is table sugar), lactose is at a mere 16.
Also, companies definitely don’t go around putting sugar into Infant formula milk to make it palatable. During a recent HPB survey, none of the infant formula milk they checked contained any added sugar.
Formula milk causes constipation
To be precise, some infants have allergies to some of the proteins in milk powder. This can indeed cause constipation. However, it’s not true that all Infant formula milk causes constipation as each child reacts differently.
If your infant does exhibit such symptoms, consult with a doctor on your next steps. Otherwise, don’t worry about the constipation myth.
You should put in more milk powder, to keep your baby better fed
This is a common mistake among well-meaning parents and grandparents. They often use more milk powder than needed, on the assumption the baby will be better fed.
But using more powder doesn’t mean it’s better for your baby; there’s a limit to how much the body will absorb. Always read and follow the instructions and important notices on the packaging carefully as it will state the recommended serving size for your baby powders.
Expensive milk powder is enriched with special nutrients
There’s an advertising trend, in which some milk companies hype up basic nutrient content as if they’re added benefits.
In a recent Straits Times report, Ms Seah Peik Ching, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority's (AVA) regulatory administration group deputy director, said that "Under our regulations, there's a list of nutrient composition requirements where all the products need to contain these basic nutrients, so there's no reason for (brands) to highlight them."
Dr. Yang Linqi, a Paediatrician at Thompson Medical Centre, weighed in that the basic components of milk powder is the same- what differs is the additives such as ARA and DHA.
Even then, according to Professor William Chen of Nanyang Technological University, there is no conclusive study that shows that ARA and DHA can make a child smarter, however a joint Expert Committee of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) and the Child Health Foundation have all recommended the inclusion of DHA and ARA in infant formula.
Formula milk has to be thrown away if not consumed immediately
Here’s some good news: you can keep the milk for up to 24 hours, as long as it’s well refrigerated (But definitely throw it away, if it’s still not consumed by then!), as your baby’s health is of utmost importance.