Powdered milk ‘formulas’ for toddlers are lacking in nutrients, warns American Academy of Pediatrics

Powdered milk products for infants older than 6 months or toddlers 12 months and up might not live up to the claims on the packaging, a new report states.

Although these products are often lumped in with infant formula, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is warning that they do not offer the same nutritional benefits and should not be used as a replacement for human milk or cow’s milk.

“Older infant-young child formulas (OIYCFs) can safely be used as part of a varied diet for children, but do not provide a nutritional advantage in most children over a well-balanced diet that includes human milk (preferred) and/or cow milk, and these products should not be promoted as such,” the researchers wrote in the report, which was published in the online journal Pediatrics on Oct. 20. 

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“OIYCFs have no specific role in routine care of healthy children and are more expensive than cow milk.”

Additionally, these toddler beverages have been criticized as “having components considered to be unnecessary or potentially detrimental,” including high or low protein levels, higher sodium content and added sweeteners, the AAP wrote in a press release.

Infant formulas must meet certain nutritional requirements to feed babies from birth through 12 months of age, according to the Infant Formula Act.

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When it comes to formulas for older children, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not enforce any specific requirements, as the AAP stated in its press release.

“As a result, composition of these drinks is unregulated by the FDA and their promotion is typically characterized by misleading claims,” George J. Fuchs III, MD, FAAP, a lead author of the report, stated in the release.

The researchers claim that these products are often advertised as “the next stage or next step” for toddlers — which could confuse parents or lead them to replace breastfeeding or baby formula with powdered toddler milk products.

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Fuchs also calls for companies to clarify the difference between powdered milk for toddlers and “medically necessary pediatric formulas,” the latter of which are nutritionally complete.

The researchers call for these products to be labeled as something other than formula, such as “toddler drink” or “toddler beverage,” and for them to be displayed separately from formula in stores.

Also, pediatricians should educate families about the nutritional limitations of powdered milk formulas for toddlers, the researchers advised.

Fox News Digital reached out to the study author for comment, and also requested statements from several manufacturers of powdered milk formulas.

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The AAP recommends that mothers continue breastfeeding their infants while supplementing with appropriate foods starting at around 6 months of age until or beyond 2 years old. 

Babies who are not breastfed should receive “standard infant formula” along with “age-appropriate solid foods” starting at 4 to 6 months of age, per the AAP.

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https://www.foxnews.com/health/powdered-milk-formulas-toddlers-lacking-nutrients-warns-american-academy-pediatrics