Hood is a dairy manufacturer that carries a variety of products. Their company website states that all fluid milk and cream produced by Hood are from farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones otherwise known as rBST or recombinant bovine somatotropin on their herds. BST is the naturally occurring version of rBST and is a protein hormone found in healthy cows that directs nutrients to the utter for milk production.
Reducing exposure to additives or by-products that are non-nutritive from a human standard is always a good idea; and there are certainly a number of other dairy companies that make that same rBST-free pledge. However, current research doesn’t appear to support that this controversial supplement, present in standard milk products, is detrimental to humans. Therefore your decision to choose rBST-free dairy at this point is similar to selecting organic produce over conventional; many people do so because they believe it to be better for them despite scientific backing.
It’s always best to consult with your family pediatrician for matters that concern your child’s health-and choosing the best milk based on your child’s stage of development is no exception. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of 1 should not consume cow’s milk at all due to the difficulty in digestion. Additionally, cow’s milk contains a high amount of protein and minerals which can stress their young kidneys. After a baby passes his/her first birthday, pediatricians usually advise that whole cow’s milk can be given if the child is already eating other solid foods (Shelov, 2009). Whole milk is used over low-fat or non-fat varieties until the age of 2 primarily to help with normal weight gain, development, and assist in the absorption of certain vitamins. After the age of 2, the AAP states that you may switch your child to reduced or nonfat varieties as long as they are growing adequately.
Hood Company Overview, http://www.hood.com/About/default.aspx?id=744
Raymond, R., Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin- A Safety Assessment, https://www.globaldairyinnovation.com/_layouts/downloads/Recombinant%20Bovine%2
Shelov, S., et al, Caring For Your Baby and Young Child- Birth to Age 5, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.