Homemade formula made with canned evaporated milk, whether cow's or goat's, is not recommended as an alternative to breast milk or commercial infant formula because it is nutritionally incomplete. Formula based on evaporated milk has a low iron content, is low in essential fatty acids, and delivers a high "renal solute load" (see Pasteurized Cow's Milk). Evaporated milk formulas are used in a number of areas in Canada because of cost, convenience and tradition. If evaporated milk formula needs to be used, the recipes below1 should be followed to ensure proper dilution and appropriate amounts of energy, protein and carbohydrate. Only evaporated whole milk should be used.
If evaporated milk formula is fed, alternate sources of iron should be provided. Monitoring iron status at around 6 to 8 months of age is recommended. Although undocumented, because of risk of deficiency of essential fatty acids, after 4 months of age a source of essential fatty acids (vegetable oil) should be introduced.
All evaporated whole cow's milk sold in Canada is fortified with vitamins C and D. If evaporated goat's milk is used, only products fortified with vitamins C, D, and folic acid should be chosen.
1 For infants up to 6 months of age: A 1 to
2 dilution of evaporated whole milk to water plus added sugar to yield 67 kilocalories per 100 mL. The 1 to 2 dilution is required to bring the protein and sodium content down to appropriate levels for the infant up to 6 months of age. Sugar is added to adjust the carbohydrate and energy content.
Example: 30 mL evaporated whole milk and 60 mL water and 1 teaspoon sugar.
For infants after 6 months of age: A 1 to 1
dilution of evaporated whole milk to water to yield 67 kilocalories per 100 mL. No sugar is added.
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