Follow-up milks or laits de croissance: what the food industry doesn’t want you to know
Toddler follow-up milks are considerably more expensive than cow’s milk. For a family of limited means, do the increased costs for these laits de croissance justify their purchase?
If you ask the health experts, the answer is: no.
The food industry is big business and this secret, that your toddler could flourish fine on regular cow’s milk (or a substitute like goat’s milk or fortified soy milk) is kept in whispers.
Things may be changing in the near future in regards to marketing these more expensive follow-up milks to parents.
Is follow-up milk necessary for a toddler’s proper growth and health?
If a toddler has an extremely limited diet for various reasons, including being a very picky eater (I have met some of them in my years of nutrition consulting with toddlers and their parents!) than maybe a follow-up milk is a good insurance for getting the vitamins and minerals a growing child needs.
But for a large majority of toddlers these follow-up milks are not necessary. The increased costs for these milks could be used towards buying higher quality meats, fruits and vegetables for a toddler’s diet.
My views on this can be read more in this article published here, called “Are Growing Up Milks a Dietary Must For Your Child?”
Rules for follow-up milks may be changing in the future
The questions on how growing up milks and other specialty drinks (including infant formula) are marketed in the EU have recently been reviewed by the European Union committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Read the press release on the final results of the EU review here. Rules on how infant formula can be advertised and marketed have changed to support breastfeeding. For follow up milks, a review has been asked by a scientific organization called the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), who will judge the efficacy of laits de croissance. If these milks are seen as not necessary, the EU Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will take further action.
Here is an article on what the infant group is asking the EFSA: “EFSA Should Review Growing Up Milks”
Best practices for toddler’s milk
My views on toddler’s milk can be read in the article I wrote on “Growing up Milks” . I do not believe the increased costs of these milks justify their purchase. Too many parents on a limited income could benefit by using the money to buy better quality food for their toddler and use regular cow’s milk to drink. A toddler could also be breastfed through the age of two years old for their milk source. My children were allergic to cow’s milk and we substituted with soy and rice milk. (Note rice milk is not complete proteins and a toddler’s diet must be nutritionally dense with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D).
If you have any questions on this subject let me know. I get emails from parents wondering about follow-up milks. (One in my inbox now I must answer 🙂 )
Hope this answers your questions about what is happening in Europe. Feel free to add a comment or feedback below.