In a pinch you might consider giving your baby evaporated milk, but is it safe?
When it comes to the health of our child, we often wonder what foods and drinks are the healthiest and safest for our baby. There are so many products out there that we are told to avoid and so many others that we are told work wonders. So what is true?
When it comes to your baby’s health, growth and development, some parents often wonder if they can replace regular whole milk with evaporated milk. The answer to this is no. While evaporated milk is healthy and perfectly fine for a child over one year of age to consume, it should never replace your child’s intake of whole milk.
Evaporated milk is regular every day milk that has had the majority of its water removed. Doing this makes it better for travel and gives it a longer shelf life. Out of the can (yes, can) evaporated milk is extremely thick and creamy, and most people need to add the water back in to it in order to drink it. While some people swear that it contains the same health benefits as fresh whole cow’s milk, it does not.
Until your child is one year old, he or she gets the most nutrients from breast milk or formula. As infants, breast milk and/or formula is the best way for our children to ensure healthy growth and development. No other food or drink can replace the essential vitamins and nutrients found in either drink, and you should never replace your child’s intake of either with another beverage.
Can I Give My Baby Evaporated Milk? Answer: No.
After your child’s first birthday, he or she can start having whole cow’s milk. Whole cow’s milk contains the essential vitamins, minerals and fats that your child needs for healthy growth and development throughout their toddler years. Children under one year of age should never be given whole cow’s milk because it is too hard on their digestive systems and could cause some major stomach upset.
It’s No Replacement
While evaporated milk is fine for your child (over one year of age) to consume every now and then, it should never replace their intake of actual milk. Evaporated milk does not contain the same amount of essential vitamins, minerals and fats as whole cow’s milk and will not benefit your child in the same way. Most evaporated milk is extremely thick and creamy, and in order for a small child to enjoy, would have to be watered down. This dilution does not make evaporated milk any healthier to consume.
Go With Whole Milk
When it comes time to switch your child from breast milk or formula to milk, whole cow’s milk is always the best choice. Even if your household drinks a lower-fat version of milk, it is essential that your child consume the fats found in whole milk. Believe it or not, but the more healthy fats your child consumes, the more beneficial it is for their growth and development.
If your child suffers from any dairy allergies or lactose intolerance, evaporated milk is also not a good choice for your child. Evaporated milk is still milk, just minus the water, so it still contains dairy products that could be harmful to your allergic or intolerant child. Diluting evaporated milk with water does not remove the dairy.
Remember, whole cow’s milk is always the best choice for your child over one year of age. Before then, your child’s main source of nutrients comes from breast milk and/or formula. When your child has celebrated his or her first birthday, you can safely switch them over to whole cow’s milk. Whole cow’s milk is essential to your child’s growth and development because it contains the best source of vitamins, minerals and fats that your child needs.
What It Actually Is
Evaporated milk is simply milk without the water, but even with the water added back in, it should never replace your child’s intake of fresh whole cow’s milk. It does not contain the same amount of vitamins, minerals and fats and is not as beneficial to your child’s health. Evaporated milk is perfectly safe for you child over one year of age to consume, as long as he or she does not have any dairy allergies or suffer from lactose intolerance.
As always, if you have any questions about evaporated milk, feeding it to your child, or making the transition from breast milk or formula to whole milk, it is always best to consult with your child’s doctor. He or she is able to discuss your concerns and answer your questions in more thorough detail.