One of the things I noticed on local TV in Indonesia is the ferocity of formula commercials – specifically the toddler formula – not the baby kinds.
While I was waiting to renew passport last week – out of boredom – I counted these commercials being aired on TV. 10 different formula commercials within an hour of a morning show. Shocking!
Not only on TV, parents are being constantly bombarded with formulas through magazines & newspaper ads also at the supermarkets. I’m not talking just formula for babies but mainly for toddlers.
This may have been a ‘normal’ practice in Indonesia for years on end now but I just never notice it before I became a mom.
Whenever I went to the groceries, on my way to pick up UHT Milk for Lil’ A, I always – and I mean ALWAYS being stopped by these formula associates offering me to try their magic-vitamins-loaded-formula-that-will-make-your-child-a-genius! Usually, I managed to politely decline them but there were times when I was just being a smart ass and challenged them in their knowledge about these formulas by telling them regular milk will make my son just as smart!
He’s been on UHT milk since we first got here and Lil’ A loves it, we tried a local pasteurized brand once but it gave him an upset stomach. He doesn’t really like chocolate milk, thank God! It was harder in China when the whole milk scandal exploded in 2008 – we had to buy imported UHT Milk from New Zealand there.
Sometimes I wonder if these formula fed babies/toddlers in Jakarta are so much chubbier because of the high consumptions of these ‘magic milk’?
IMHO, a formula is loaded with sugars! Don’t believe me? Go read the ingredient list. That’s what makes these kids so attached to their formulas. I know I might get stoned for this…but breast milk and pasteurized milk are way better than these formulas. Had a good laugh when I saw one commercial that claimed they had added colostrums. How on earth?!
Since Lil’ A was a preemie baby and his weight went down after a week of staying at NICU, I had to combine breast milk plus special formula for preemie. He then was breastfed for 8 good months (he stopped nursing himself and that was one of the saddest times of my life!) and 5 months on formula. Like AAP recommended, he’s off formula when he turned 1 year old.
Just as parents being bombarded with these mega millions industry here, I really think we as parents need to do a little more digging before giving formulas to our kiddos. And hey, they are expensive! Pasteurized and UHT milk is much cheaper.