A recent study from the NYU College of Global Public Health and the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that the so-called nutritional benefits of transition formula and toddler milk are misleading. You’ve seen them in the baby or kid food aisles at the grocery store. And they come with claims, benefits and doctor recommendations. But are these “drinks” really all that they’re supposed to be? Check out what recent research on the subject found.

Nutrition is a tricky subject. At least for parents, it is. The other mamas are telling you one thing, then your grandma tells you another. And then your kiddo’s daycare teacher says something else. Oh, and on top of it all you a zillion labels, ads and IG “sponsored posts” thrown at you to deal with. So it’s no surprise that parents of toddlers are confused when it comes to “transition formula” and “toddler milk.”

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This confusion is at the root of this recent study, published in the journal Preventative Medicine. Researchers reviewed how policies and regulations in the U.S. support the truthful labeling of these drinks. Lead study researcher Jennifer L. Pomeranz, JD, MPH, assistant professor of public health policy and management at NYU College of Global Public Health, said, “Our study builds on previous research demonstrating that manufacturers’ marketing practices may undermine the diets of very young children.”

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that toddlers age one and up drink cow’s milk along with a healthy diet of nutritious foods. WHO even goes as far as calling toddler dinks “unnecessary” and “unsuitable.”

When the study researchers evaluated the product labels on these drinks they found claims that weren’t completely true. Pomeranz notes, “All product labels made claims related to nutrition and health, and many made claims about expert recommendations that may lead caregivers to believe these products are necessary and healthy. In fact, they are not recommended by health experts, as there is no evidence that they are nutritiously superior to healthy food and whole milk for toddlers.”

What do you think about this research and toddler drinks? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

—Erica Loop



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