There is a common notion that “food before one is just for fun” . Food plays an important role in the first year of life from both nutritional and developmental perspectives. Here we un-pack the when, what and why of introducing solids.Read More
Mini-meals, mid-meals, snacks, smoko. Call it what you will, there is an important place for structured eating between main meals for toddlers and young childrenRead More
Growth charts are a confusing aspect of parenting for many. Here we explain the “in’s and out’s” of growth charts; provide tips for accurate measurements and identify “Red Flags” when it comes to a child’s growth and weight monitoring.Read More
Iron is an important nutrient. It plays a key role in many of the bodies’ functions including growth, development and appetite regulation Simply put, if iron levels are low children and may find it difficult to concentrate, difficult to learn to their potential and difficult to eat the right types and amounts of food their young body needs.
Here we explain risk-factors for iron-deficiency as well as provide tips for preventing deficiency and eating an iron-rich dietRead More
Our clients and followers would already know that we’re big advocates for filling lunchboxes with “Glow Foods”, “Grow Foods” and “Go Foods”. This simple concept ensures that the main food groups are added and also helps kids to understand basic concepts of health eating. Here’s a step-by-step guide on HOW to put this concept into actionRead More
Wholemeal and wholegrain; freekeh and farro; sorghum and spelt; chickpea and brown pasta. What on earth do these words mean; are they a healthy choice and is the social-media fuss worthy? Here we explain a few key points and what to look for when buying grain and cereal based products.Read More
Good oral health is important for good nutrition and good nutrition is important for good oral health.
Here we provide information about good oral health and provide tips on how you can help your kids to have a healthy mouth.Read More
Food is often used to reward a positive behaviour or encourage kids (and adults) to act in a particular way. Doing so can in the short-term leave kids confused about healthy eating and in the long-term set up poor relationships with food.
Here we “unpack” a few important points about food when used as a reward and offer tips and ideas for avoiding them.Read More
Healthy eating (and just eating in general) can be a major concern for parents who’s child requires medications for ADHD. A common side-effect of these medications is a very low-appetite which can bring about short-term and long-term nutrition concerns. Here we provide some tips on helping a child with a low appetite and discuss ongoing management through dietetic support.Read More
Paediatric and Disability Dietitian's work with a wide range of clients to help them be their nutritional best. This A to Z guide gives a snap-shot of some of the things we help our clients with.Read More
Positive experiences in the early years can set the foundations for children to grow into confident, happy and healthy eaters for life. Here we explain a bit about eating for kids and give some of our top tips for setting your kids up to become happy and confident eaters.Read More
The start of “Smart Eating Week” has got me thinking; when working with infants, children and adults with special needs what do I consider to be “Smart Eating”? To me “Smart Eating” mean to me......Read More
For many kids the struggle to eat vegetables is real. Here we unpack a few reasons why this might be and give you tips on how to prevent and manage this issue, particularly in the early days of feeding.Read More
Balancing nutrition and the pleasure of eating can be difficult for those with swallowing problems.Read More
The importance of time spent in growth monitoring can not be measuredRead More
We must move away from the term of failure and instead describe the situation for what it is.Read More
Does the dairy fridge of the supermarket send you head into a spin? Then there is the long-life section of milk and milk alternatives. How the heck do you decide what is “right” for your child when the choice seems to expand on a weekly basis? Is Almond milk ok for my toddler? What’s the latest when it comes to the skim milk versus low-fat milk versus full-cream milk debate? So many questions, here’s hoping you can gain a few of the answers here.
What is the difference?
Compared to cow’s milk, plant and legume based milk products (e.g. rice, coconut and soy) naturally contain a lower volume of protein and smaller range of vitamins and minerals. Legume (i.e. soy) based milks have the most similar protein and energy content to cows milk and often have added vitamins and minerals. Nut and seed (e.g. Almond and coconut) milks tend to have a very low energy and protein content. Many brands do not include added vitamins and minerals and essentially some brands are little more than water with a small amount (about 5-10%) of the said ingredient.
When it comes to the difference between breastmilk (or formula) and cow’s milk, each contain a similar calorie and protein content. Breastmilk and formula have the added bonus of a wider range of vitamins and minerals than cow’s milk and that are essential for infants. As a child starts to eat a wider range of food (usually around 12 months) they get the extra vitamins and minerals from their food and do not require the extra vitamins and minerals from breastmilk or formula.
What milk and when for kids?
Breastmilk (or formula if unable to breastfeed) is recommended as the sole source of nutrition for the first 4-6 months of life. This is recommended to continue until at least 12 months of age together with solids. From 12 months and assuming a child is eating a wide-range of foods, full-cream milk as a drink can be introduced and formula ceased. Breastfeeding can continue as long as a mother desires so long as the child doesn’t “fill-up” on milk and avoid eating solids. Reduced fat milk or lower energy milks such as the rice, coconut or skimmed soy varieties are not recommended at this time. These milks have a low energy content and potential to not meet the caloric requirements of fast growing little humans. Unless a child has a diagnosed food allergy, cow’s milk is recommended for at least the first 5 years of life. Full-fat varieties until 2 years of age then reduced fat thereafter. If non-animal milk is a family’s preference then soy milk with added vitamins and minerals is the next best choice.
What to look for if buying a cow’s milk alternative
If you prefer to buy a cow’s milk alternative aim for a beverage that contains:
- Added calcium- check the nutrition panel and aim for > 120mg per 100mL
- Adequate protein- check the nutrition panel and aim for at least 3g per 100m
- A little bit of fat- check the nutrition panel and aim for 2-4g per 100mL
- Different brands contain different ingredients so best to check the label and compare products. Most organic brands do not have added calcium
What about raw milk?
Pasteurisation is a process that heats milks to a temperature that kills bacteria that can cause disease or even death if consumed by humans. Children and pregnant women are particularly at risk of getting sick from these bacteria. Even good food hygiene procedures won’t stop these bacteria from causing harm. Milk that isn’t pasteurised is called Raw Milk. Raw milk is not permitted to be sold in most States but sometimes can be found from alternative food suppliers. Raw milk is certainly not recommended to be consumed by infants, toddlers or children and it safest for all to avoid.
In summary, there are many things to think about when you’re in the milk section of a supermarket. When it comes to kids, the message of cow’s milk, full-cream until 2 years and reduced fat thereafter remains true.
If you're struggle to untangle nutrition myth's versus facts, if your child has food allergies or doesn't fancy drinking milk we can help. Connect with us today www.ambrosiadiet.com.au/contact-us