Ask Dr. Marla: Powdered Milk vs. Whole Cow’s Milk

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We are moving to Canada from Europe with our one-year-old baby. She drinks powdered milk (but doesn’t have any allergies). Do you know anything about powdered milks in Canada? Here in Europe she drinks Milupa Aptamil but as far as I know from a search on the Internet there is no such milk in Canada.

A. According to my research, Milupa Aptamil is not marketed in Canada. Typically at one year of age, babies start on pasteurized whole cow’s milk (3.25% butterfat). Skim milk is inappropriate as it does not provide the essential fatty acids. It also has a very low energy density and an infant would have to drink a large volume to meet his or her energy needs. According to Health Canada, there is a possible risk of slowing growth as well as developing an essential fatty acid deficiency when partially skimmed milk makes up a significant portion of an infants’ daily food intake. I am not sure why you prefer powdered milk. Should you prefer to use powdered sources, however, there are companies that produce powdered formulas that are appropriate for one-year plus, such as Enfamil, Similac, Good Start and Nurture. These selections will often provide more iron than homogenized milk does. You might also consider contacting Aptamil in Europe to ask about equivalent brands in Canada, or bring an empty container to a pharmacy here in Canada and ask which brand is most equivalent. Welcome to Canada!

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Published in October, 2010.

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