WHOLE MILK – It’s all about whole milk for your baby, no matter what kind you drink. Why? Your baby is born with a full complement of nerves and about half of the brain cells he will need for his life. But, those nerves aren’t ready yet. They have to be coated with a layer of fat called myelin in a process called myelination. This coating provides the same function as the coating on your speaker wires. It keeps the exposed wire from getting crossed and shorting out over other wires or pieces of metal or whatever. Until this cover is on the nerves, they can get shorted out just like bare wire. The myelin cover is made almost entirely of fat. Whole Milk is full of just the right kind of fat. By using whole milk you are helping your baby develop their nervous system faster and better, and that is exactly what you want.
DHA & Omega-3 – Our OB/GYN said it while we were pregnant. It isn’t conclusive yet, but all the literature points to DHA being incredibly helpful for developing your baby’s brain and eyes. Don’t wait for the data to be “conclusive.” It’s good enough now. Get milk with DHA added. Omega-3 isn’t as important, but also helps with brain and eye development, and it also helps with myelination (Omega-3 is a kind of fat). So, get whole milk with DHA & Omega-3.
Organic – Speaking of inconclusive research… But, know this: the dairy and cattle industry lobby is very powerful in this country. It’s one of the most influential lobbies in Texas, Iowa and New Hampshire. If you don’t know anything about politics, that’s the 2nd largest state (38 electoral votes), and the first and second states to hold presidential primary season elections.
You will never hear anything bad from the government about milk or beef unless there is a nightmarish irrefutable smoking gun. You don’t care about politics, you care about your baby. Undefeated Daddy isn’t about going all crazy on the organic front and you won’t see constant recommendations for it here, but when it comes to milk, get the organic.
Not only will your baby not get any of that bovine growth hormone, but she’ll also get better quality milk. Don’t believe me? Do this. Check the cartons of milk in your dairy case at the grocery store. They have the expiration dates printed on the top. Bend down and get a good view of the dates. See how long until the organic milk expires versus how long until the regular milk expires. I’ve seen organic milk with expiration dates 3 or 4 weeks out, regular milk seems to expire next week, or two if I’m lucky. The only way milk lasts longer is if it is fresher when it hits the shelf. You don’t have to drink organic milk, but your baby should.
Cartons – Vitamins (especially Vitamin D) are destroyed by light, so those containers you can see through are out. Buy in cartons and you won’t have this problem. As an added bonus it is easier to shift around six cartons in your refrigerator than it is to try and move around three gallon jugs.
SUMMARY – So, where does this leave us? Well, Horizon sells Organic Whole Milk with DHA and Omega-3 added. That’s your milk. To save money, check those expiration dates and look for sales. Also, see if there is a store brand that meets your needs. The King Soopers chain in Colorado sells Simple Choice Whole Milk with DHA that is a dollar, or so, cheaper than the Horizon milk. Your baby could be going through 4 cartons a week. If the milk doesn’t expire for 3 weeks and it’s on-sale for a dollar off, load up as much as will fit in your fridge.