Poster of the joint statement by DH and nine health-care professional bodies

(Published 02/2013)

Recommendation on Formula Milk Feeding for Young Children

Breastmilk is the best natural food for your baby. From children's nutrition and health perspective, we have the following recommendations for parents feeding their babies with formula milk:

Children under 1 year: can switch to other brands of formula milk

  • Newborn to 6-month-old babies -- No.1 Formulae marketed are very similar in composition as required by the Codex Standards.  If you have difficulty securing the brand currently consumed by your child, you can switch directly to another brand.
  • 6 to 12-month-old babies -- They have started taking complementary food, you may give them either No.1 Formula or No.2 Formula of any brand, although there is currently inadequate scientific evidence to suggest the use of No. 2 Formula.
  • Cow milk is not suitable for babies under 1 year old.

Children aged 1 year or above: your child can drink cow milk

  • Milk is only a part of their balanced diet and a convenient source of calcium. A daily intake of 360- 480 ml of milk largely satisfies the calcium requirement of young children. You can also give them other calcium rich foods like tofu, green leafy vegetables, yoghurt and cheese.
  • You can let your child drink pasteurized fresh milk, UHT milk or full fat milk powder. These are less expensive. There is no nutritional reason to switch to No.3, 4 Formulae. Children under two years should take whole milk, between 2 and 5 years take low-fat milk and those above 5 years take skimmed milk.

Expectant Mothers and Breastfeeding Mothers:
Do consider exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first six months, then with the introduction of complementary foods and continue to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond.

For more information, please visit the Family Health Service, Department of Health website.