Food (or Formula?) for Thought

Has anyone found the practice of life-long milk drinking alongside the advent of toddler formula to be an odd cultural double standard when it comes to scrutinizing the practice of extended breast feeding? Think about it for a moment:

  • Our culture acknowledges the nutritional benefit of and encourages extended formula feeding until 24 months to “compliment toddler nutrition.”
  • Our culture feels it is beneficial to drink breast milk from 12 months old (give or take) until the day you die… as long as that breast milk comes from a hooved, four-legged animal that has multiple stomachs and regurgitates its dinner to chew its cud….
  • Every major health organization, including WHO, states that breastfeeding is the most healthful option for a babies, up until two years old, and encourages extended nursing beyond the age of two as long at it is mutually agreeable for mama and baby.

So, if we believe drinking bovine breast milk for life is healthful, and if we all assume that extended formula feeding is nutritionally sound to fill in the gaps of early childhood feeding, and if we simultaneously acknowledge across the board that “breast is best”…….. WHY then, do we have such a cultural hangup on breastfeeding a child until he or she turns two (or, heaven forbid, even a little longer)?  Why is it that the universally recognized, preferred nutritional option is considered so wrong in this country???

**Just to be clear, I’m not knocking those who choose formula for their children. I hope all families make an educated decision, but that choice is their’s and their’s alone, and I respect whatever route they choose.  I am simply stating that there should be considerably more accommodation for extended breast feeding.**


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