A new formula for toddlers is getting slammed by parents and pediatricians. Chocolate and vanilla flavored formulas, to be exact.
While some say it's a sweet idea to get toddlers to drink milk for others, it's leaving a sour taste in their mouths. It's called Enfagrow Premium, manufactured by Enfamil. The milk-based powder comes in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla.
Enfamil says the formula is tailored to toddlers who are 12 - 36 months who are transitioning from breast milk or infant formula.
Enfagrow contains Omega-3 fatty acids, twenty-five nutrients and antioxidants. However, a single serving, or four scoops of powder, also contains something else: added sugar.
In the chocolate formula, a single serving contains 19 grams, of four and a half, teaspoons of sugar. Some of that is lactose, which is milk sugar and when naturally occurring, is fine. But some of that is sucrose, added sugar which doesn't need to be there. The problem is, you can't tell from the label how much is lactose and how much is sucrose.
"It's a baby milkshake," says Dr. Robert Lustig, an expert in pediatric obesity at UCSF. He says these new products are unnecessary and ill-advised, and that the use of them will only lead to toddlers who crave sweets.
American kids are already starting out pretty early as overweight. "We have an epidemic of obesity in 6 month olds in this country," says Dr. Lustig.
The maker of the product says the flavoring and sweeteners are added to make the taste acceptable to toddlers. They say if toddlers like the taste, they're more likely to drink milk, which leads to a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Lustig's response: Kids 6 to 24 months are picky because their growth curve slows, and that's normal. They eat less because they need fewer calories.