The EFSA claims it could identify “no unique role” for young-child formula in the diet of children

The EFSA claims it could identify “no unique role” for young-child formula in the diet of children

The use of milk-based 'growing-up' formula does not bring additional value to a balanced diet in meeting the nutritional requirements of young children, the EU's food watchdog has claimed.

A report published by the European Food Safety Authority today (25 October) claims scientific experts could identify "no unique role" for young-child formula in the diet of children aged one to three. It concluded they were "no more effective in providing nutrients than other foods that constitute the normal diet of young children".

The findings are contained in EFSA's 103-page Scientific Opinion on nutrient requirements and dietary intakes of infants and young children in the EU, requested by the European Commission.

The panel acknowledged intakes of nutrients such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic acid were low in infants and young children living in the EU but suggested toddler and growing-up milks were not enough to bridge such deficiencies.

"No unique role of young-child formulae with respect to the provision of critical nutrients in the diet of infants and young children living in Europe can be identified, so that they cannot be considered as a necessity to satisfy the nutritional requirements of young children when compared with other foods that may be included in the normal diet of young children (such as breast milk, infant formulae, follow-on formulae and cow's milk)," the EFSA report noted.

EFSA said it will follow up the opinion with a second - to be published in 2014 - that will provide advice to the Commission on "the essential composition of formulae".

Click here to read the full report.