Kacey Witte, co-founder of Growth Spurt Nutrition, is making the case for toddler formula made from goat’s milk. According to Witte, Growth Spurt Premium Goat Milk Toddler Formula – which launches online through the company’s website this month – has numerous health advantages and uses full cream goat milk powder, which the company claims is a closer natural composition to human breast milk.
“Our whole goal is to get as close to breast milk as possible and also alleviate some of these allergies,” Witte told FoodNavigator-USA.
Just how prevalent are cow’s milk allergies in infants and toddlers? According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS), it is estimated to affect around 7% of babies under the age of 1 and is found in greater numbers when transitioning out of breastfeeding.
Other research suggests adverse reactions to cow’s milk are much more prevalent and that up to half of all cases of reflux in children under 1-year-old may be due to a cow’s milk allergy.
While there is usually light at the end of tunnel and a good chance a child will outgrow a cow’s milk allergy by the age of five, says NHS, the adverse reactions to cow’s milk protein bring about a lot of discomfort (symptoms include skin reactions, stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea) and stress for babies and parents alike, noted Witte.
What makes goat’s milk an easier protein to digest? According to Witte, cow’s milk is known to contain high levels of Alpha s1 Casein protein, the main allergenic trigger for children with a
cow’s milk allergy. Levels of this protein in goat’s milk are about 90% less, making it much less allergenic, he said.
With goat’s milk, according to Witte, smaller fat globules and levels of medium chain fatty acids mean a larger surface-to-volume ratio and faster and easier digestion, much like with breast milk. Plus, claimed Witte, the goat milk proteins denature in the stomach, and form a much softer curd than cow’s milk allowing for easier digestion than with cow’s milk.
Hitting the nutritional benchmark of breast milk
According to a recent study, goat’s milk naturally contains 14 prebiotic oligosaccharides, five of which are also found in human breast milk and shown to play a significant in anti-infection properties.
These prebiotics also aid in healthy gut development and digestion for babies, claimed Witte.
In order to match the nutritional profile of breast milk even more closely, the company has fortified its formula with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid)– long-chain polyunsaturated acids to promote eye and brain health which can also be found in breast milk – and Bifidobacteria probiotics to further aid in digestion.
The formula also contains over 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, D, E and calcium.
Expanding market awareness for goat’s milk
Goat’s milk and goat’s milk formula are well known in Europe where the trend largely originates and where more brands are competing for market share, but in the US, consumer awareness is quite low, noted Witte.
“It is definitely harder to source, and a lot of people just don’t know about it,” he said,
Through its direct-to-consumer launch this month of its 14.01-ounce container of powdered goat milk toddler formula ($23.99), and a number of partnerships in the works for 2021, Growth Spurt aims to capture the white space opportunity in the toddler formula category.
FOOD FOR KIDS SUMMIT 2021
Tune into our webinar on Meeting Children’s Nutritional Needs, from Foods to Supplements on Wednesday, Nov. 18th!