Formula or cow’s milk – what’s really best for toddlers?

25 Mar 2015
UQ needs 80 healthy toddlers from the Brisbane area for the study

A University of Queensland research team is seeking Brisbane toddlers for a study to find out if toddler formulas really offer improved health benefits.

The Growing Up Milk “Lite” (GUMLi) study by researchers at the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre in UQ’s School of Medicine aims to determine if growing-up milk formulas can improve the body composition, nutrition, brain development and general health of toddlers, compared with normal cows’ milk.

The study is being done in collaboration with New Zealand’s University of Auckland as part of a broader three-year research program focussing on nutrition in toddlers aged from 12 to 24 months.

Centre director Professor Peter Davies said 80 healthy toddlers from the Brisbane area were needed to participate in the study.

“There is much debate about the advantages or otherwise of toddler milk, or growing-up milk,” Professor Davies said.

“Good nutrition early in life is one of the key determinants of later good health, and we know that many pre-school children are not receiving an optimal diet.

“Nutrition during the toddler years is just as critical as in infancy, and this international study could lead to better understanding of the nutritional, growth and health outcomes in children during the second year of life.

“We’re hopeful Brisbane parents will be keen to get involved in the study to help us improve our understanding of toddler nutrition and to see if these growing-up milks really offer advantages.”

He said GUMLi had a lower energy content than other formulas on the market.

Study participants will be randomly allocated to consume either cows’ milk or GUMLi, which is a product that complies with Food Standards Australia New Zealand guidelines with regards to manufacturing standards and complies with food safety requirements, including allergy management.

To participate in the trial, Brisbane-based parents should contact the GUMLi research, 0428 093 998,

Media: UQ Children’s Research Centre deputy scientific director Dr Rebecca Hill, +61 7 3365 5351; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Media Manager Bernadette Condren, +61 7 3346 5309,