Cow's Milk Vs. Breast Milk
Cow's Milk Nutrients:
Cow's milk supplies a hefty dose of calcium to your toddler's diet. Many commercial milks also contain added vitamin D, necessary for calcium absorption. Although cow's milk is high in fat, don't give your toddler low-fat or nonfat milk until your pediatrician approves it. Small children need fats in their diet for proper brain development. Whole cow's milk supplies 146 calories per cup, with 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat, mostly saturated fat, 13 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein. Cow's milk does not supply dietary iron. Cow's milk contains lactose, a milk sugar that many Americans, particularly those of African American, Native American or Mediterranean descent, can't digest because they don't produce the enzyme lactase. Most children don't develop lactose intolerance before age 2, Dr. Richard Grant of Children's Hospital Boston explains. Symptoms include gas, bloating, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
Breast Milk Nutrients:
Breast milk changes over time to adapt to your growing child's nutritional needs and also varies at different times of the day. Breast milk produced in the second year of nursing supplies around 38 percent of your toddler's protein needs, if he drinks around 500 milliliters per day, or around 17 ounces per day. Breast milk also contains immune factors that help protect your toddler against illness. As he gets older and removes more milk from the breast at a time, the concentration of immune factors in breast milk increases. Breast milk contains more fat than cow's milk, including omega-3 fatty acids necessary for brain development.