Friday, December 2, 2011

How To Choose The Right Milk For Our Children

As most of you have already known, my little Jordan has turned 1 recently. He is a big boy now and he has started to take more solid food such as bread and tofu. But still my wife and I are aware that our baby needs to drink a lot of milk in order for him to grow tall and healthily. Therefore we will always ensure that little Jordan only drinks healthy growing up milk for it is his main diet. If you have read my previous post on 3 sugary facts about children growing up milk, you would have known that it is getting harder for us to differentiate what is sugar and what is carbohydrate in our babies' milk right?

Little Jordan is now a big boy. :)

Our children need carbohydrates in their diet but not from added sugars. Initially yours truly me was also confused about the facts of sugars in our babies' growing up milk. Fortunately I stumbled upon Dr. John Monro's presentation where he explained in great details about sugars and added-sugars in our food labeling. Dr. Monro claimed that all added sugars are mostly factory products of chemical and  enzymatic starch digestion. Sounds very synthetic and unhealthy, isn't it? Worse still all the sugars that we consumed will be rapidly converted into sugars *gasp* in our body!

Effects of Added Sugar in Malaysia's Children Growing Up Milk

Besides that I have also discovered that in Malaysia, the added sugars into our children's growing up milk will actually lower the protein content by 100g. So when we, the misinformed parents want to give our babies more protein we are directly increasing their added sugars intake by 3 to 4 times! At the end of the day out child might end up eating a lot of added sugars every day. No way I am allowing this to happen to my little Jordan. I am sure you want to prevent your children from consuming all these added sugars right? The question is what can we, as parents do?

If more than 11-12g per serving, there is added sugars!

First thing first we need to understand our Malaysian Labelling Guildelines for growing up milk. Do you know that in Malaysia all sugars including sucrose, corn syrup, glucose syrup and maltodextrin are declared as carbohydrates? Hence it is best for us to "see" the carbohydrates in our children's growing up milk as sugars. Moreover we also need to know that the standard natural lactose level in milk is about 11-12gm per serving. Anything above this level is a good indication of added sugars in our children's growing up milk. So it is very important for us to check and read the labels!

4 Ways on How To Decode The Label
  1. Identify the added sugars: The usual added sugars are sucrose, corn syrup solids and glucose syrup solids.
  2. Bear in mind that fibres are not declared carbohydrates, whereas sugars are part of carbohydrates.
  3. Remember that a typical serving of milk contains 11-12 g of carbohydrates per serve.
  4. Anything more than 11-12 g of carbohydrate per serving is a good indication of added sugars.
It sounds like I am really obsessed with the added sugars in our children's growing up milk huh! I can't help it because if I am being ignorant, little Jordan will be guzzling gallons of those added sugars until he became obese. Coincidentally I have also discovered Professor Davies' presentation on the importance of energy balance in children's diets. In his presentation, he clarified the role of sugars in our children's lives. He emphasized that if we were to lose the ability to "balance" our intake and expenditure of sugars, our body weight will increase of decrease dramatically.

Jordan~boy wanna "mam mam"?

Little Jordan has started to eat the food that we are eating.

Do you know that our pre-school children should not take more than 7 teaspoons (38grammes) of added sugars every day? If our little ones consume more than that, the sugars will only contribute calories but not the nutrients that they needed. These unwanted calories are also known as "empty calories". The more empty calories our children consume, the more unhealthy they will become in the end. This will cause them to have excessive sugars in their body.

Yahoo! The milk that Jordan boy is drinking is without added sugar.

All those unwanted excessive added sugars found in our children's diet will ultimately lead to overweight and obesity. I am sure you agree that more and more children these days are obese right? In fact, we Asian has the largest number of obese children. Damn! What a shambolic record we are holding. I really can't bring myself to think that my little Jordan will become obese. I don't want my baby Jordan to have health problems later in his life! NO WAY!
Our little ones should drink only the healthy milk. :)

Parents! We must understand that our children's growing up milk has been specially formulated to provide our children with all the essential nutrients. Truth to be told, a glass of our children's growing up milk contains more nutrients than a glass of fresh milk. What we don't need in our children's growing up milk is the excessive added sugars in it. So we parents should choose the right milk for our little ones to drink. We must always read and check the labels of the milk that our children are drinking. Don't take this for granted!

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