Formula milk is promoted as a nutritional drink for older infants and preschoolers it is unnecessary and nutritionally deficient and the marketing practices that promote it are questionable; according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In the report, presented during the Academy conference, drinks for children aged 6-36 months are examined (in America they are marketed as “follow-up formulas”, “weaning formulas” or “toddler milks and formulas”) and it is observed that lack harmonization with standards. To date the US has no regulatory oversight to ensure that formulas for this age group meet any uniform standards.

The American Academy of Pediatrics points out that these milks are misleadingly promoted as a necessary part of a healthy child’s diet. However, “these drinks should not replace a balanced diet and are inferior to plain infant formula for children under 12 months of age, and offer no benefit over the much cheaper cow’s milk in most children over the age of 12 months old. Some children may have special nutritional needs, so it’s always best for parents to consult with their pediatrician, as with any child,” lead author and Academy Nutrition Committee member George Fuchs said in a press release.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods introduced at around six months, if mutually desired by mother and child for two years or longer. If the infant is not breastfed, it recommends whole cow’s milk as appropriate for infants from 12 months of age and provided as part of a nutritionally complete, balanced diet. It clarifies that infant and young child formula milks can be used safely as part of a varied diet for children, but do not provide a nutritional advantage to most children over a well-balanced diet that includes human or cow’s milk.

For infants under 12 months of age, it recommends providing human milk or formula, which in the US has been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration under the Infant Formula Act.

“It is understandable that families and caregivers may be confused by the different names, formulations and purported benefits of these so-called ‘formulas.’ Some of the baby drinks are high in sugar. And as if that weren’t enough, it’s usually more expensive than cow’s milk,” comments Steven Abrams, one of the authors of the report.

It is further emphasized that the marketing of these drinks should clearly and distinctly differentiate them from regular infant formula in advertising material, logos, product names and packaging and should not be placed together with infant formula on store shelves. shops.

Finally, pediatricians should complete a focused nutritional assessment of children and offer adjustment of solid food intake or vitamin supplementation as needed.