96 Answers

“I was just wondering if anyone had some ideas on toddler formula. My 1 year old(today) has been formula feed and now looking into whether or not go with a follow on formula or switch to cows milk. I am just worried about which one and what others have done might help. I tried a follow on formula when my first was 1 but she hated it. ” What is better, follow on formula or cow’s milk?

Posted by Shani, 24/04/13

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  • Iron status of one-year-olds and association with breast milk, cow’s milk or formula in late infancy.

    Thorisdottir AV, et al. Show all


    Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]


    Unit for Nutrition Research, Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland and Landspitali, The National University Hospital of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, asavala@landspitali.is.


    PURPOSE: Studies on iron status in infancy and early childhood have shown contradicting results concerning prolonged breast-feeding and cow’s milk intake. The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between iron status among one-year-olds and feeding, with focus on the type of milk.

    METHODS: Randomly selected healthy infants were prospectively investigated until 1 year of age in two cohorts born 1995-1996 (n = 114) and 2005 (n = 140). Information on birth data, feeding and growth until 12 months and iron status at 12 months was collected. Data from the two cohorts were pooled and the infants categorized into three groups according to their predominant milk consumption at 9 months of age, that is, breast milk, cow’s milk or follow-on formula.

    RESULTS: The prevalence of iron deficiency was highest in the cow’s milk group and lowest in the follow-on formula group. According to a linear model, adjusted for gender, birth weight and exclusive breast-feeding duration, cow’s milk consumption was negatively associated with serum ferritin (SF) and formula positively, but breast milk not. Predicted SF (μg/l) = 11.652(intercept) – 5.362(boy) + 0.005 × birth weight (g) + 2.826(exclusively breastfed ≥ 4 months) + 0.027 × formula (ml) – 0.022 × cow’s milk (ml) + 0.005 × breast milk (ml). Correction for other dietary factors did not change these results.

    CONCLUSION: In this pooled analysis, cow’s milk intake in late infancy associated negatively, and follow-on formula positively, with iron status. Prolonged partial breast-feeding does not seem to be of importance for iron status. Fortified food seems to improve iron status in late infancy.

  • Cows milk is much better – naturally full of goodness :-)

  • Latest research shows after one, cows milk is better.

  • I found the toddler formulas gluggy and smelly and hard to mix. I did use it for a while, stiring in a teaspoon of Milo B-Smart to make it better but eventually just went to cows. Formula is cheaper but the prep is not worth it for me :)

  • I used to give my son half formula and combine it with cow milk. He used to have issue with cow milk though until my child care suggested a2 milk.

  • I went from normal formula to cows milk. I put pentavite into it for a few months too, and that is what the gp told me to do if I was going to put them onto cows milk

  • If she hates it, then that says more than anything anyone else can say – make the switch to cows milk, after 1 year, the formulae provide no benefit that they aren’t getting from a good diet anyhow.

  • I would switch to cows milk at this stage

  • Cows milk is fine. Our Child Health Nurse told us that follow on formula can sometimes hinder kids appetites, so they end up drinking more and eating less, which is what our oldest was doing.

  • Cows milk as long as they are having a balanced and healthy diet. If they are really picky/fussy eaters, sometimes they may need the nutrients in follow on formula, or else just give them probiotics and vitamins.

  • They didn’t have follow on furmula with my first 3 kids and I didn’t see the need for my 4th I think it is just a rip off

  • Cows Milk and a healthy diet provides all the nutrients needed for a one year old so formula is not a neccessity. But it is personal choice as always. Some people like to use it just to boost any nutrients they may be lacking

  • I have always switched to just cows milk, without any probs. never bothered with follow on formula.

  • I will be giving my bub cows milk when she turns 1. I think follow on formula’s are a bit of a marketing poly.

  • I never even considered follow on formula. My son just started off having a small amount of cows milk on his weetbix, or mixed in with his formula from about 10 months onwards. This is what my family gp said would be the best way to introduce it, and he also told me that the follow on formula is just a gimmick. Yes it has ‘extra’ vitamins and nutrients, but if your child isn’t eating junk food all the time, then they will be getting everything they need from their food :)

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