Every parent would place their kid’s growth and development at top priority. They understand that good nutrition is key for their kid to grow strong and be active for their learning experiences.
The importance of lactose in milk
For young kids, dairy is a significant component of their balanced diet. Milk and other dairy products like cheese and yoghurt are key sources of nutrients including lactose.
What benefits does lactose offer?
Lactose is your kid's friend or enemy?
Not all tummies are the same, some digest lactose well, some don’t. For kids who digest lactose well, the lactose they consume is digested with the aid of the lactase enzyme. Lactase breaks lactose into simpler components for our body to absorb and use.1 However, those with insufficient lactase enzymes have lactose maldigestion. Depending on how much lactose one can tolerate, some kids with insufficient lactase will not experience symptoms while some may have stomach cramps or aches, bloated feelings, gassiness and watery stools.1
Provide nutrition with a lower level of lactose
Young kids are generally able to digest certain amounts of lactose, which varies depending on their tolerance level.3 It is recommended that lactose be taken in small amounts at a time, consuming up to 24 g lactose/day.4 You can provide nutrition from milk with lowered lactose so he/she doesn’t have to miss out on the benefits of lactose. Enfagrow A+ Gentlease with 360° DHA PLUS is designed for children between 1-3 years old with delicate tummies and provides balanced nutrition.
Facts about lactose sensitivity in children
Most children have normal lactase activity
Lactase amounts may decrease as children get older5. It’s good to know what to look for in case a child develops sensitivity later in life.
Certain ethnicities are more prone to lactose sensitivity.
This includes children of Asian, Hispanic, African American, or Native American descent.
Lactose-sensitive children experience discomfort if they consume milk or dairy product that contains lactose.
Your child may face digestive discomfort such as diarrhea, gassiness, abdominal bloating, pains or cramps between 30 minutes-2 hours after consuming lactose6.
Degree of lactose sensitivity can differ between children.
Some children have only a mild sensitivity, easily managed by adjusting the amount of lactose ingested from milk or dairy products. Consult your doctor for medical advice.
Switching milk formulas may help your child’s digestion issues.
If you suspect lactose sensitivity, ask your doctor about switching milk that is lower in lactose and contains easy to digest proteins.
Lactose sensitivity in early childhood does not mean he/she will have the condition for life.
Many children eventually outgrow lactose sensitivity5 when the body is able to produce sufficient lactase levels.
Visiting the clinic
If you think your child might be lactose-sensitive, see a doctor. Many suspected cases of lactose sensitivity turn out to be other simple digestive issues that are easily managed with milk that contains lower lactose level and easy to digest proteins.
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- Schaafsma G. Lactose and lactose derivatives as bioactive ingredients in human nutrition. International Dairy Journal. 2008;18(5):458-65.
- Zamberlin Š, Antunac N, Havranek J, Samaržija D. Mineral elements in milk and dairy products. Mljekarstvo/Dairy. 2012;62(2).
- Lukito W, Malik SG, Surono IS, Wahlqvist ML. From'lactose intolerance'to'lactose nutrition'. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;24:S1.
- Wahlqvist ML. Lactose nutrition in lactase nonpersisters. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;24(S1):s21-5.
- Changing genes; losing lactase. Gut. 2003 May; 52(5): 617–619.