Similac Go and Grow Toddler Drink is a fantastic option if you decide to continue giving your toddler formula. What we love about this formula is Similac does not add extra sugars to their formula. Also, it’s designed to be a supplemental drink and not a meal replacement.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients, nutrients, and how to use the toddler drink. We can also look at how it compares to other toddler formulas too.
Is Similac Go and Grow Toddler Drink Right for Your Toddler?
The first thing you need to know is that toddler milk is not a necessity despite infant formula companies trying to convince parents it’s a “transition” product ready to improve toddler health. Experts still recommend toddlers switch from formula or breastmilk when they reach a year old. Of course, you can continue to breastfeed as long as you like and do not need to transition to formula at all.
That being said, if your child is currently on infant formula and you do want to switch to a toddler formula, Similac Go and Grow Toddler Drink is a reasonable option. Although, our favorite option is Baby’s Only Gentle Dairy Toddler Formula with Go and Grow in second place.
Keep in mind, toddler formula or toddler drinks should only be supplemental. Toddlers should be getting the vast majority of their calories from solid food and milk (breast, cow, or goat) and not from a formula. Even picky eaters can get all of their nutritional needs met without toddler drinks.
Finally, you need to know that toddler milk is not regulated by the FDA or any other organization. While infant formula is heavily regulated, the same is not true of its toddler counterpart because experts do not view it as necessary. Basically, this means companies can put anything they want in toddler formula.
Important Benefits of Similac Go and Grow Toddler Drink
What’s inside the toddler formula is by far the most important factor as it’s a powdered drink mix. Let’s start with the basics. Formula has a source of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and special ingredients.
Protein is what helps to build muscles and is one of the main forms of macronutrients (along with carbohydrates and fats). It’s comprised of amino acids that help to aid the body in normal daily functions.
With Similac Go and Grow, you get protein in the form of non-fat milk, which is preferable. Milk is a fabulous protein source; however, toddlers need lots of healthy fat, and full-fat milk would definitely be a better source than non-fat milk. However, nonfat milk is the first ingredient on the list, which is preferable over sugars or corn syrup!
Next, formulas need carbohydrates, which provide a quick form of energy. With this formula, you get the sugars in the form of Lactose, which is the right way. Many formula’s use corn syrup, which is linked to diabetes and obesity, whereas lactose is the same carb found in both breastmilk and other milk too.
With breastmilk and cow milk, fat makes up the vast majority of ingredients as babies, toddlers, and children need to grow healthy brains and bodies. In formula, the fats come in the form of oils.
With Similac Go and Grow, the fat sources are high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, and coconut oil. We are happy that palm oil isn’t one of the options as it’s controversial because it causes issues with calcium absorption.
High oleic safflower oil and soy oil are considered safe in most uses, but it’s cheap and often processed with contaminants. Thankfully, Go and Grow is non-GMO, so the contaminants are limited. Coconut oil is very safe and easily digested.
Vitamins & Minerals
With Go and Grow, you get vitamins and minerals, but the amounts are not regulated. Either way, you get 20 percent of the daily value of vitamin D, iron, vitamin E, riboflavin, and calcium. All of the other vitamins offer smaller amounts, which means your child would have to drink several cups of toddler drink to meet their nutritional goals.
Overall, the toddler drink offers 27 different vitamins and minerals based on a 1,000 calorie a day diet. Remember, these are not regulated by the FDA and may not meet the needs of your toddler. Then again, extra vitamins and minerals rarely hurt!
The Similac formula includes a couple of special ingredients. First, they add in DHA and lutein for brain growth. Second, they add in 2′-FL HMO (human milk oligosaccharide), an immune-nourishing prebiotic found in breastmilk.
As for the nutrition information, the formula offers 70 calories per serving, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams of total fat, zero cholesterol, 7 grams of carbohydrates, zero fiber, 4 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
Notice none of these equal up to a meal replacement. If you do decide to give your child this drink, remember it is not intended to serve as a meal but as a supplemental drink. It’s best to save this drink for children who need extra nutrition or have a severely limited diet and need extra nutrition.
Finally, the drink is intended for children ages 12 months to 36 months. Try to keep your child to one bottle a day and choose water as their main source of liquid.
Concerns About Similac Go And Grow Toddler Drink
Why the cost of toddler drinks are significantly lower than infant formula, they are far more expensive than whole milk. This is money you do not need to spend as it’s not a necessity for normal healthy toddlers who eat whole foods, cows milk, or breastmilk. Even picky toddlers gain all of their nutrients better from food sources and milk.
At the risk of sounding redundant, the FDA does not regulate toddler formula, and experts recommend switching to cow’s milk when your baby is done with formula. With no regulation in place, infant formula companies can say anything they like about the formula with no guarantee what they say is true.
As no doctors or government agencies regulate toddler formula, it’s just a gimmick meant to prey on parents trying to do what’s best for their babies. Basically, the companies are losing money as more mothers decide to breastfeed and want to make up the difference in cost by creating a new market for their products. Your money would be better spent on nutritious whole foods for your toddler.
The Go And Grow vs. Enfamil Enfagrow
Surprisingly, Enfamil makes better baby formula, but Similac makes better toddler drinks. Why? Because of the sugar levels. For some reason, Enfamil uses more sugars in their toddler formula, probably because toddlers have tasted sweet and like the taste.
Similac does the opposite, they load their infant formulas down with sugar and skip the sugar on their toddler drinks. For this reason, we prefer Similac Go and Grow over Enfamil Toddler Transitions. Enfamil uses palm oil and corn syrup solids in high amounts, which are not found in Similac.
If the point of a toddler formula is to help keep kids healthy, then it should only have healthy ingredients. While toddlers might like the taste of the sugars, they get plenty of sugar in natural food sources and from lactose, which is a much healthier source than corn syrup solids.
The Go and Grow vs. Gerber Good Start Toddler Drink
Gerber Good Start Toddler Drinks not only use actual table sugar in their toddler formula but also use high amounts of corn maltodextrin. The problem with maltodextrin is it has a high glycemic index that can spike blood sugar levels faster than sugar or corn syrup. Furthermore, maltodextrin suppresses probiotic growth and has absolutely no nutritional value.
For this reason, we cannot recommend Gerber toddler drinks as they do not provide a “good start” for your child. Similac by far makes better versions of toddler milk. You can even check out Similac Organic Toddler Drink with A2 Milk and Pure Bliss by Similac Toddler Drink with Probiotics if you want natural or organic toddler formula.
FAQs about Similac Go And Grow Toddler Drink
Will my toddler like the taste of toddler formula?
Toddlers that received formula as infants will more than likely find the tastes comforting and familiar if not tasty. However, toddlers who were given breastmilk will not like the taste of this formula at all.
Can I get toddler formula through WIC?
No. As toddler milk is not regulated or supported by experts, most WIC programs do not offer toddler milk. Under unusual circumstances, your child may be able to get toddler formula, such as if your child has special health concerns.
How do I prepare Similac Go and Grow?
Preparation of toddler formula is the same as with infant formula. Read the label for the amount of water you need to mix with the formula and then mix. It’s very easy to use and easy to make. Purchase individual packets for even easier usage.
Usually, you need four scoops for eight ounces of formula or two scoops for a half size. You can use bottled water if you prefer or tap.
Final Thoughts About Similac Go And Grow Toddler Drink
Experts do not recommend or support toddler drinks but can fill a gap for children with nutritional issues. If you do decide to give your child toddler drinks, Similac Go and Grow Toddler Drink is a viable option with good nutritional value. Still, it’s best to skip this gimmicky product and go straight to cow’s milk when your child is old enough to stop using infant formula.