10 Things to Look for When Choosing Milk for Your Kid...And the ingredients you should be wary ofCREATED WITH WYETH NUTRITION PHILIPPINES
As your family grows, grocery shopping becomes all the more challenging. Every parent puts much thought into choosing the right products for their kids. Milk is perhaps one of those constant items in your cart right now, but do you really know what’s in that can or carton?
Here are the top ingredients to look for—and which ones to be wary of—when buying milk for the kiddos.
What to look for:
Short for docosahexaenoic acid, DHA is a synthesized version of an essential fatty acid. Some studies suggest that added DHA has some positive effects on visual function and brain development.
Research suggests that arachidonic acid, or AA, is good for the development and performance of the nervous, skeletal muscle, and immune systems.
An antioxidant that is good for eyes, lutein reduces the risk of chronic eye diseases. Since the human body doesn’t naturally produce lutein, including it in your kids’ diet can help protect their eyes and maintain good eye health.
It is needed for the body to produce thyroid hormones essential in brain development. According to the World Health Organization, iodine deficiency is one of the main causes of brain damage and can affect the cognitive and motor development in children.
It is essential in the formation of hemoglobin, a component in the blood which distributes oxygen throughout the body. Research says children with low levels of iron have problems concentrating and paying attention in class and often feel tired and weak.
6. Vitamin A
It helps not only in the developing of eyes and maintaining their health, but also in repairing tissue and bone, maintaining healthy skin, and boosting the immune system.
It plays an important role in promoting normal growth and helps in keeping the immune system healthy.
It aids in metabolism, which is the process by which the body converts the food you eat into energy the body needs.
A type of B vitamin, biotin plays an essential role in energy production. It works with certain enzymes in the body for fat and protein synthesis, and for carbohydrate metabolism.
It helps in the development of healthy muscles, normal body growth, and metabolism.
What to be wary of:
Just as there are beneficial ingredients in some milk products, there are also potentially unhealthy ingredients found in them you should be on the lookout for:
1. Type of Sugar
Lactose and sucrose are both types of sugar. Dr. Lotis Francisco, a certified food scientist, explains that lactose or milk sugar is the sugar naturally found in milk, while sucrose or table sugar comes from sources such as sugar cane and sugar beets. "Sucrose is much sweeter than lactose," she says, adding that it's better to limit the intake of this type of sugar. "Too much of said sugar type may help develop chronic diseases, like diabetes. It can also raise the risk of obesity when consumed too much."
2. Main Milk Ingredient
Different formula milk brands have a different main ingredient. Identify this in your child’s milk by spotting the first listed ingredient on the label. You'll see some milk brands have non-fat milk powder as the main ingredient while some have hydrolyzed cornstarch.
Each ingredient has its respective function. Non-fat milk powder eliminates unnecessary fatty acids and keeps the other milk components like lactose. Meanwhile, "hydrolyzed cornstarch functions as a thickener, as well as an alternative source of carbohydrates, in the form of glucose, when ingested," explains Dr. Francisco.
"Unlike non-fat milk powder, it does not provide essential and important nutrients to support a child's proper growth and development," she adds. "With hydrolyzed cornstarch, your child’s milk would only look and feel like regular [milk, but] is much sweeter than the recommended."
It always helps to do some extra research when buying food for your kids whether you’re a first-time parent or otherwise. Fortunately, you can rest well knowing that there are products out there to help make your job easier.
Keep in mind that a healthy diet supplemented by milk can help contribute to your child’s growth. And your child being safe and healthy is just one of the many simple joys any parent could ask for.
Promil® FOUR is a powdered milk drink for children over 3 years old and is not intended as a breastmilk substitute. To know more about Promil® FOUR, visit its website.
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