by Rebecca Lee
Holly’s mum confessed that for many reasons, she was thinking of weaning Holly off breast milk. She said she felt a little guilty for it, despite dutifully and diligently nourishing her little girl for far longer than the average western woman. As mums do, we started talking about options after weaning. Holly is somewhat of an artiste. Her lunches and dinner often adorn the walls, floor and high chair tray. Her mum was concerned about how much was actually being ingested so at this stage, nutritionally complete formula would be an option.
Recently, RDM HQ were invited to attend a seminar about toddler nutrition and learned that there are certain elements of human breast milk that cannot be replicated to the same degree in milk formulas.
Breast milk is naturally high in prebiotics which contributes to protecting little ones from sickness and digestive issues. Professor Harsharn Gill, Head of Food Science and Nutrition Discipline, School of Science, RMIT University said prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients that bring about specific changes in the composition and activity of bacteria residing in the gut which promote health.
“Oligosaccharides, oligos for short, are commonly used as prebiotic ingredients. They occur naturally in high concentrations in goat’s milk.”
“Studies have shown that prebiotic oligos which are present in milk improve health and well-being by fostering a healthy intestinal environment from an early age,” he added.1
Professor Gill and his RMIT team have completed an extensive review of the available literature regarding goat’s milk and found that goat’s milk contains up to six times more oligos than in standard cow’s milk.2,3
“Several oligos present in goat’s milk are similar in structure to those found in human breast milk and are therefore likely to provide similar health benefits in infants. Goat milk oligos have been shown to possess anti-infection and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Professor
Goat’s milk is commonly used in many countries and is included in the infant feeding guidelines of Australia, New Zealand, the EU and England. Oli6TM Dairy Goat Toddler Formula was developed by Australian owned Goat Nutrition Australia and is manufactured here to comply with Australia’s stringent quality and safety standards. It is now available from select pharmacies and via www.oli6.com.au.
We tested out the flavour against cows milk, and cows milk formula. Whilst the grown-ups thought it tasted decidedly “goaty”, the toddlers we asked preferred the flavour over the cow’s milk formula option.
One of the criticisms of goat’s milk is that it can be higher in sodium. However when we compared
Oli6 Stage 3 to a toddler milk based on cow’s milk we found that per 100ml, the cow’s milk based formula was higher in sodium- 24.mg1 compared to KaricareToddler 26mg. Both are well within the 2.5g per day recommendation from the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH).
We are often drilled with the mantra “breast is best” but I feel like the second half of that sentence is missing. To me, “breast is best, when both mum and bub are happy”, and a happy baby is one with a full tummy.1 Raynal-Ljutovac K, Lagriffoul G, Paccard P, Guillet I, Chilliard Y. Composition of goat and sheep milk products: anupdate. Small Ruminant Research, 79 (2008), pp. 57–72
2 Urashima T,Taufik E. Oligosaccharides in Milk: Their Benefits and Future Utilization. Media
Peternakan – Journal of Animal Science and Technology 2010 (December): 189 – 197.
3 Silanikove, Leitner G, Merin U, Prosser C. Recent advances in exploiting goat’s milk: Quality, safety and production aspects. Small Ruminant Research 2010; 89: 110 – 124.