Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Myth: It's OK to give your infant cow's milk if you run out of formula.

Answer: Busted!

Cow's milk is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children under 1 year old. Infants fed whole cow's milk don't get enough vitamin E, iron and essential fatty acids. They also get too much protein, sodium and potassium. These levels may be too high for the infant's system to handle. Also, the protein and fat in whole cow's milk are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be fed breastmilk or iron-fortified formula during the first 12 months of life.

For more information, review Feeding your newborn on the MissouriFamilies website.

Contributor: Damaris Karanja, MA, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Louis County, University of Missouri Extension,

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