Milk Mantra: Which is better for your Baby- Cow Milk or Buffalo Milk?
With so many options available today, something as simple as choosing milk for your baby can be such a confusing and complicated decision. After your baby turns 1, cow or buffalo milk is safe for consumption by babies. Animal milk is not suitable for children under 1 year of age as their digestive system has not yet developed and since it is heavy to digest and it may affect the babies’ kidneys.
These days there is a lot of debate on milk. Animal milk vs. plant milk, buffalo milk vs. cow milk, tetra pack milk vs. packet milk, organic milk, A2 milk, and so much more. First, let us discuss cow milk and buffalo milk and weigh their merits and demerits.
Cow Milk Vs. Buffalo Milk
Cow milk has lesser fat content as compared to buffalo milk, which also makes it thinner inconsistency. This makes it easier for the baby to digest. However, because buffalo’s milk is heavier, it will keep your baby full for a longer time because it takes longer to digest.
- Water Content
Cows milk is 90% water, making it an excellent source of hydration for the body and also giving it a more liquid consistency.
- Protein Content
Buffalo milk has higher protein content. This makes it tougher for babies and the elderly to digest. Cows milk is slightly lower in terms of protein and is, therefore, easier to digest. If you do want to feed buffalo’s milk to your baby because of its high protein content, you should do so in smaller quantities.
Buffalo milk can stay for a longer time as compared due to cow’s milk due to high peroxidase activity, which is a type of enzyme. Cow’s milk can only be preserved for a day or 2.
- Calorific Value
Buffalo’s milk is higher in calories, making it a healthy option for your baby.
- Calcium Content
Buffalo milk is also higher in calcium content. Calcium is an essential mineral and is needed for the development of strong bones, teeth, and overall growth.
- A2 Milk
There is a certain variety of cows that produces milk with the A2 protein, which is not found in buffalo milk. This milk is marketed as A2 milk, and you can alternate it with other sources of milk, too, to ensure that your child gets a healthy, wholesome diet.
Buffalo milk and cow milk are available in different packaging. You can buy tetra packs, plastic packets, or you can even have the milk delivered fresh to your home. Tetra pack milk undergoes a UHT process, which is a heating process meant to give it longer shelf life, but it does decrease the nutrient value slightly. Other milk will have a lesser shelf file but will be slightly higher in nutrients.
However, these animals are injected with a number of chemicals and hormones to increase milk production. This affects the milk, too, and it is believed that this milk may be responsible for the many hormonal issues people face today. This has lead to an increase in the popularity of organic milk. Organic milk is a little more expensive than regular milk, but it is free from hormones and chemicals. There are many companies that have started the production of organic milk, and these are available in glass bottles, which are recyclable to make it environment-friendly as well.
When and How to Start your Baby on Cow or Buffalo Milk
You need to wait for at least a year before you introduce animal milk in your child’s diet. Most people prefer to start their baby with cow’s milk, as it is lighter, and gradually move on to buffalo milk to get their child used to animal milk. Babies’ stomachs are sensitive and may take time to get used to any change. Also, they may not take too happily to the change in taste. Some children may throw up, and some may get gassy, etc. Many children do not adjust to changes in the diet very easily, and it can get frustrating for the parents. But do not worry, since all children are different and their ability to digest is also different. You will need to experiment with different types of milk to see what works best for your little one. For example, if your child doesn’t react well to tetra pack milk, you can try milk that is available in plastic packets since it is lighter inconsistency. You can also start with toned milk, which has lesser fat and then move on to full-cream milk. As your baby’s stomach gets stronger, you can move onto other options. It may also happen that your baby may not develop the taste of the new milk instantly. The best way then is to start with a small portion of oats or suji made in mild to make the transition easy for your baby.
There is no thumb rule that can be followed. It is a hit and trial for all parents. All children are different, and their digestive systems are different. You know your child better than anyone else, and you know what will work best for him/ her. So, don’t worry. You will eventually figure out what works best for your baby and which milk suits him/ her best.