“What? There could be up to 13 teaspoons of added sugars in my child's growing-up milk formula?”
Shocking isn't it? I was at a supermarket and a promoter highlighted this problem of numerous growing-up milk formulas posing a health risk to my children because of their high added sugar content. She told me about the "semakgula" website where I can use a calculator to see how much sugar is contained in a milk powder.
This claim of excessive sugar in milk formulas has really created a stir among mothers. It's a MAJOR issue. Nobody wants to knowingly feed their children 13 spoons of sugar. BUT, is the claim really true?
IS THE CLAIM REALLY TRUE?
Well, being curious I googled "semakgula" and found http://semakgula.org.my. Interestingly, there is information there that highlights how the claim is misleading.
You see, when you use the semakgula calculator, you key in the amount of carbohydrates contained in the milk. And then, they use that to calculate the amount of added sugar. Well, not all carbohydrates are sugars. I don't know what mathematical formula is being used but it would be nice to know if their calculation segregates out the carbohydrates that are non-sugars. If not, the results could be more than what it should be.
One thing my professor taught me at University was to be more critical about claims we hear, even results from research. Don't take everything at face value. If research was done, find out how many test subjects were involved, how they chose those subjects, how was the test carried out, what were the variables etc.... Sometimes, research can be biased. So in this case of added sugar in milk formulas, investigate how did they come to the conclusion of 13 teaspoons of added sugar and if it really is an accurate conclusion.
HOW TO CHOOSE GOOD GROWING-UP MILK FORMULA
Seek For A Good Balance
Let's face it; I don't think you will come across any formula milk that has NO SUGAR. Definitely carbohydrates are needed. It is what gives our children energy. Even if you find sugarless milk, your child will probably reject it. Remember what Mary Poppins said "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down". So let's just accept that some amount of sugar is needed to make milk a little more delicious to our children. The idea is to choose a formula milk that contains an ideal balance of nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat, proteins, DHA and etc.... Yup, the keyword is BALANCE. A good balance will contribute to the optimal growth of your children.
WHAT IS GOOD BALANCE?
A formula milk that has good balance will address the following 3 areas:
- Strengthens Immune System
You all know how terrible it is when your children gets sick. If you are concern about your children's immune system, then find a formula milk that can strengthen it. You can strengthen immunity by improving your gut's health. Some milk formulas like Mamil Gold aims to improve your children's gut environment. It has oligosaccharide mixture called IMMUNOFORTIS™ that helps increase good bacteria in your children's intestine.
- Supports Brain Development
Definitely brain development is important. Who doesn't want a smart kid? Then look for ingredients such as DHA, AA, SA and Taurine.
- Aids Growth and Development
Their little bodies are growing and so they will need proper nutrition. Choose milk formulas that include essential nutrients such as Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Vitamins. If the milk formula follows the Malaysian Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI), you can be safely assured your child will receive the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
So, don't get too hyped up about this "too much added sugar" issue that has been going on. It is a good eye-opener. Be aware of it but also, learn more about it. Do a bit of your own research so you can be smart about making good decisions for your children.