Blog: The real ‘clever milk’

Catherine Sleep | 8 February 2006

Browse the dairy section of a UK supermarket today and you’ll notice a plethora of new milks. What once was a commodity product is now sophisticated and increasingly high-end. Bedtime milk, goat milk, soy milk, organic milk, clever milk…. Clever milk, what’s that?

St. Ivel advance contains Omega-3 essential fatty acids and just to make it easier for time-pressed parents, they’ve hung a big purple “Clever Milk” tag around the carton neck. Cunningly, they’ve persuaded child development guru Professor Robert Winston to pose with a bottle of it alongside some text advising parents of the benefits of Omega-3. Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that St. Ivel has managed to bag the URL www.

It’s true we need to increase uptake of Omega-3 in the national diet, and there is anecdotal (emphasis on the ‘anecdotal’) evidence to suggest that Omega-3 may improve learning and concentration in some children. But this is not enough to justify the ‘clever milk’ tag. After all, at least one milk is far more deserving of it – breast milk.

Breast milk is free, it’s convenient, it perfectly matches the nutritional needs of an individual baby. It helps avoid allergies and passes on important antibodies to protect from infection. It becomes more watery in hot weather to aid infant hydration, and adjusts supply as the infant ages and gets more nutrition from other sources.

Now that really is clever.

Robert Winston looking wise


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