updated 4 Feb 2012, 03:37
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Tue, Dec 06, 2011
The New Paper
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Is it okay to change toddler's formula?


Does frequently switching brands of milk powder hamper the development of a child?

For my 19-month-old boy, due to the changing prices of milk powder, I have bought different brands of milk powder whenever a brand was promoted at the different malls we frequent.

He doesn't seem to mind the change in the taste of the milk though.

- Mrs Cecilia Chin, 28, marketing executive


At least you're switching because of price and not just flitting to whichever brand claims to help you raise a baby genius in the quickest time.

Considering you sound like you've been doing this milk-formula switcheroo for some time now, you'd have noticed if anything was greatly amiss.

And here's the good news.

Ms Kanita Kunaratnam, a dietitian and manager at the Health Promotion Board, told us that ingredients in various cow's milk-based formulas (for children over 12 months) are similar.

There's no evidence to suggest that changing formula is a bad thing.

But anyone who has a child that's on a special infant formula (for example a soya-based one) should consult the doctor before making a change.

That said - and here's something too many parents don't often put into practice - use common sense.

Not all formulas are mixed the same way, so read the instructions properly.

Likewise, don't mix and match the scoops between brands. Some scoops are bigger than others.

Finally - and here's the delightful part - monitor your child's bowel habits.

You don't have to give it the full CSI treatment, but just take a bit more notice of the frequency, consistency and colour of the stools during the times you switch formulas.

You'll definitely notice if the frequency is up and the consistency is different.

If changes occur, consult your doctor.

If you're still concerned about the type of formula, Ms Kunaratnam suggests buying those that carry the Healthier Choice logo.

They're lower in fat and sugar while being higher in calcium than other regular growing-up formulas.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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