You might be wondering, can babies have whey protein pancakes? Whey is a protein that you can find in cow’s milk, many baby formulas, and breast milk. The American Academy of Paediatrics reports that about 60 percent of all the protein found in breast milk is whey protein. This means that some products containing whey, you should never offer to children.
What is whey protein?
There are two main groups of proteins found in cows, goats and breast milk: whey and casein. Whey dissolves easily during digestion and remains liquid in the intestine. Casein must form small balls (called micelles) to for babies to digest and coagulate to form curd in the intestines. Liquid whey empties from the stomach into the intestines faster than casein curds, making it easier to digest.
Why do some baby formulas add whey protein to pancakes?
Breast milk is the gold standard of infant nutrition. Unlike breast milk (which contains more whey than casein proteins), both cow’s and goat’s milk have significantly less whey than casein. To better simulate the whey-to-casein ratio of breast milk, infant formula manufacturers often add whey protein, resulting in an adjusted whey-to-casein ratio.
Whey is easier to digest than casein; infant formula with a high casein content may be more difficult to digest. Adding whey protein to baby formula can help reduce tummy troubles in young babies. Interestingly, not all whey breaks down equally: research has shown that goat whey breaks down even faster than cow whey.
How do I know my baby formula has added whey protein?
The ingredients of baby food are in order of quantity by volume. Baby food with added whey will list whey protein as an ingredient. The result is an adapted ratio of whey to casein.
In North America, it is common to add cow’s whey protein to a cow’s milk formula; the amount of whey used varies, so formulas will have different ratios of whey to casein. Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula* is the only goat milk blend that adjusts the ratio of whey to casein by adding goat whey protein concentrate.
Is whey protein safe for babies?
The short answer to this question is yes. Whey protein comes from cow’s milk, a protein source that most children already rely on unless they are dairy or lactose intolerant. Milk, for example, is made up of 80% casein protein and the remaining 20% is whey. Whey protein is a common ingredient in many infant formulas and is used in these formulas for its beneficial properties and safety.
However, if your child is allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, they may not be able to consume whey protein. When supplementing with whey protein, the recommended daily protein intake should be taken into account.
Can babies have whey protein pancakes?
In a competition between team sweet breakfast and team savory, is my son, like his mom, 100% team sweet? I like to think he likes my homemade pancake creations, but it could also be because he likes to throw them like a Frisbee. Either way, I’m making more pancake creations, like these Baby-led Baby Cereal Protein Pancakes.
I’ve been loving these Baby Cereal Protein Pancakes lately for those busy mornings (pretty much every morning) because they’re freezer friendly, and I can pull them out whenever Baby wants a pile.
What to look for in whey protein powder pancake
If you have decided to give your child whey protein powder as a nutritional supplement, be aware that not all powders are created equal. To ensure that the nutritional value of the powder is adequate and not filled with unnecessary or unhealthy ingredients, always look for brands that meet the following criteria:
- Non-GMO (genetically modified organism)
- Low in added sugar
- Made with all-natural ingredients
- Clinically tested and/or recommended by a doctor
It is always best to get approval from your pediatrician before adding any nutritional supplement to your child’s diet. Double-check if your baby needs extra protein, then work with your pediatrician to find the formula that’s best for his needs. (Not sure how much protein your baby needs? Can babies have whey protein pancakes?)