Infants change significantly when it comes to physical development, organ growth and maturation in the first years of life. This leads to specific nutritional requirements during infancy and toddlerhood.
The growth of infants is dependent on a number of nutrients. Proteins are indispensable as building blocks for all body cells. Therefore, we aim to optimize digestibility of our proteins. Growing also requires a lot of energy. Fats, proteins and carbohydrates (i.e. lactose for infants9) are the main sources of energy.
Protein intake is essential for infant growth (weight and height), body composition, neurodevelopment, appetite and hormonal regulation10. Breast milk contains high levels of whey proteins compared to caseins10-12, while in cow’s milk, more casein is present than whey protein. Therefore in infant formula, whey protein is added to skimmed milk powder in order to adapt the whey:casein ratio originally present in cow’s milk.