Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Got Milk?

Ezra loves milk. He drinks whole milk with gusto and enthusiastically eats yogurt, cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese. I was concerned that transitioning Ezra from drinking exclusively breast milk to a combination of cow’s and my milk would be difficult, but the introduction of dairy was easy. He took a bottle of cow’s milk and never seemed to notice the difference. It is well known that breast milk adopts flavors from foods a mother has eaten. I think Ezra’s introduction to cow’s milk was easy because he’s used to drinking milk that tastes different at each meal. Cow’s milk was just one more taste. I know of several breastfed infants all of whom transitioned easily to cow’s milk. I know fewer infants who were formula-fed, but in the case of my coworker, J, introducing milk as an alternative to formula was difficult. I think it comes back to taste. Formula always tastes the same.

As the battles wage between breast and formula feeding, all this makes me think the dairy industry should get behind breastfeeding. I say this mostly in jest, but honestly it might be good for business. Garry and I, former almost-vegans (it was so hard to give up goat cheese!) now have a gallon of milk, a quart of yogurt and a wide selection of cheeses in our fridge every week. While I’m not about to start drinking milk, cooking and baking with whole milk has revolutionized my food life. I’ve discovered whole milk yogurt is delicious, whole milk makes a wonderfully creamy scrambled egg and quick breads made with whole milk seem that much sweeter. At this pace, I might have to eventually wean myself from milk!

I’m curious to know if introducing cow’s milk is easier for babies fed breast milk than formula. Admittedly, I’ve only based this idea on Ezra and handful of other infants and so far it holds true. So I’d love to hear from other parents about your experiences. Was your infant breastfed, formula-fed, or a combination of the two, and how easy was it to introduce cow’s milk? If readers know of any literature or websites that talk specifically about this idea, I’d love to hear about them. Thanks!

1 comment:

Contentedly Crunchy said...

Bean wouldn't drink milk or anything but water for a long time. His consumption of cow's milk picked up when my milk production dipped during pregnancy. However, you said you just replaced bottled of breastmilk with bottles of cow's milk - he wouldn't take a bottle, either :)