Breast milk is undoubtedly the best nutrition for babies, but there are times a supplement or an alternative to breastfeeding is needed.
After a small amount of research and careful consideration of possible ingredients and the sources, many parents and caregivers find their way to organic baby formulas.
In this review, we will take a look at two leading formula brands: Similac vs HiPP. We also carefully examine the difference in American vs European organic quality as well as the nutrition that makes up each brand.
American Organic VS European Organic
As with all organic baby formulas, both Similac and HiPP advertise that they are free of GMO ingredients as well as free of growth hormones. Each states that they use organic lactose as a base and a unique blend of vitamins and minerals.
Interestingly these ingredients seem very similar from the outside, but when taking a closer look into the regulations, there are significant differences in American organic standards vs European organic standards.
American Organic Certification
Policies for all United States organic and non organic baby formulas are set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the U.S., the USDA allows producers to use a “Certified Organic” label if the product meets the following standards:
- Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or sewage sludge.
- Organic crops cannot be genetically engineered or irradiated.
- Animals must eat only organically grown feed (without animal byproducts) and can’t be treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics.
- Animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants (hoofed animals, including cows) must have access to pasture.
- Animals cannot be cloned.
As with many FDA regulations, the vague guidelines allow for lower standards. American baby formula companies are left to interpret regulations and often do what benefits the company's bottom line and not what is nutritionally best for your baby.
Without a strict structure in guidelines, we see clear abuse of what would be considered organic standards such as no minimum daily requirement for the amount of time an animal has access to pasture time. The animal could simply be walking from one barn to another to end up in a confined space and it will meet the USDA standard in place.
Furthermore, the FDA gives no distinction or information available to the consumer on whether the American baby formula labeled as “pastured” or “pasture raised” could have spent months in the pasture or only a few moments.
The USDA does issue a list of allowable fertilizers and pesticides that can be used on certified organic foods lists; however, the recommendations of what is to be allowed and what is not allowed has been developed with input of industry lobbyists, so it is not as restrictive as it might be if developed by environmental advocates.
Moreover, within FDA loosely written guidelines it is also perfectly permissible to grow organic crops right next to non-organic ones, so anything sprayed on the non-organic crop can drift on the wind and end up on American baby formula labeled as “certified organic.” The technique is often referred to as “over spray” by farmers and happens more often than not.
The FDA regulations also set limits on ingredients that may be added, but do not exclude lab-made nutrients and preservatives from eligibility for use in organic infant nutrition.
These ingredients are banned from European infant nutrition and have been shown to have short and long term health implications:
European Organic Certification
Regulations and guidelines for all infant nutrition including organic baby formulas are set by the European Union (EU). With stringent rules and no room for other than stringent interpretation, the makers of European baby formula follow organic farming methods that are holistic and eco-friendly.
From soil to manufacturing, European farming practices take into account every aspect of animal health and husbandry taking a holistic approach without hormones, steroids, or prophylactic antibiotics.
Importantly, European baby formulas are also put through a series of checks and balances that ensure all organic standards are upheld and cross contaminations will not occur at any step of the sourcing process.
European Union standards include economic and long term social aspects of farming and surrounding communities where these family owned businesses live and support.
The differences are definitely in the details when it comes to EU organic regulations vs American organic regulations.
Similac vs Holle Baby Formulas
Similac Infant Formulas
Similac baby formula company is owned by Mead Johnson a subsidiary of Abbott Industries, a pharmaceutical company which has acquired 52% of all American baby formula companies including Enfamil, the second largest US brand of infant nutrition.
This easily found over-the-counter American brand advertises nonfat milk and soy based infant formulas. The Similac line of products is formulated with many digestive needs in mind.
Similac touts USDA organic and non-organic nutrition to support your growing child's overall physical and mental development. Many of Similac products list nutrition systems with natural Vitamin E, Lutein, and DHA that support brain and eye development and the pro-line adds human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) as found in breast milk.
We would, however, be remiss if we did not point out that Similac baby formulas contain added sugars and soy products. These developmental hindering ingredients are very detrimental to all infants' health and growth.
The Dangers of Soy in Baby Formula
In the United States when there is a possible cow’s milk protein allergy or sensitivity the FDA has approved soy as an alternative to cow’s milk-based formulas.
Unfortunately, with the recent look into heavy metals in American baby formula it has been determined that soy-based formulas tend to contain higher levels of aluminum than breast milk and cow's milk formulas. High aluminum levels negatively affect a baby's brain and bone mass development.
Soy has also been linked to the blocking of critical minerals and nutrients and perhaps the biggest danger of the use of soy in baby formula is that it contains 4,500 times the level of phytoestrogens. This potent human endocrine disruptor causes biological and physiological changes in infants that last a lifetime.
Due to the significant potential dangers in this unnecessary ingredient, the European Union has banned the use of soy in infant nutrition. Parents can be sure that all European baby formulas carried at My Organic Company will be free of soy and soy products.
Similac Organic Infant Formulas
USDA certified organic baby formulas that have recently been redesigned to model increasingly popular European baby formulas.
*It is important to note that each Similac Organic contains soy products.
Similac® Organic Infant Formula with Iron: For baby’s first year
Similac® Organic with A2 Milk Infant Formula: For little ones 0-12months that are lactose intolerant or sensitive
Similac Non-Organic Infant Formulas
Similac non-organic brand comes in many options to meet varying digestive needs.
- Just like Similac Organic each of these infant formulas contains soy and many have added non lactose-based sugars.
Similac Pro-Advance® Infant Formula: This non organic formula has the presence of human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) and prebiotics for ages 0-12 months.
Similac Pro-Sensitive® Infant Formula: For babies 0-12 months old that have a sensitivity to milk lactose, non-organic.
Similac Sensitive® Infant Formula: Fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivities in little ones 0-12 months.
Similac® Advance® Infant Formula with Iron: This formula is free of growth hormones and palm oil. This non organic formula is for 0-12 months.
Similac Pro-Total Comfort™ Infant Formula: A non-organic formula that has the presence of GMOs. This 0-12 month formula helps to reduce gas in the baby's digestive system.
Similac® For Spit-Up, Easy-to-Digest Infant Formula: Non GMO and non-organic formula to help reduce spit-up in babies 0-12 months old.
Similac® Alimentum® Hypoallergenic Infant Formula: For babies 0-12 months old that have a history of food allergies or colic.
Similac® NeoSure® Infant Formula: Specially made for preemies.
Similac® Advance® Lamehadrin Infant Formula: Badatz-certified kosher infant formula for babies 0-12 months.
Pure Bliss™ by Similac®* Infant Formula: This 0-12 month formula advertises no growth hormones, antibiotics or palm oil.
Similac® Soy Isomil® Infant Formula: This soy based formula's main ingredients are soy, soy oil, and non-lactose-based sugar. For 0-12 months with milk intolerance or sensitivities.
Similac Toddler Drink Formulas
As European nutrition has become more popular, the Similac baby formula brand has taken notice. Modeling after European stages, as you see in HiPP follow-on milks, Similac has released toddler specific milks.
*As with all the Similac brand-soy products are used in this brands toddler milks
Pure Bliss™ by Similac® Toddler Drink: As per the label, this toddler milk is crafted to be more like European follow-on formulas.
Go & Grow by Similac® Toddler Drink: Non GMO toddler milk with the addition to HMOs.
Go & Grow by Similac® Sensitive Toddler Drink: Continuing nutrition for milk sensitive toddlers. The number one ingredient is corn syrup.
Similac® Organic Toddler Drink with A2 Milk: A2 milk-based and USDA organic for sensitive or intolerant toddlers.
HiPP Organic Baby Formula
HiPP European baby formula is one of the most popular and diverse brands in Europe. With over 100 years of experience, this family owned company sources from EU certified organic ingredients from a network of family owned farms that have been certified organic from soil to processing.
Each formula is of extraordinary quality and produced without genetically modified organisms according to the European Union’s regulation for organic production.
HiPP baby formulas are entirely lactose-based with the exception of HiPP Anti-Reflux which contains maltodextrin to ease digestion. HiPP formulas are made containing organically sourced vitamins A and D, minerals and Omega 3 and 6 for healthy brain development and a healthy immune system. All HiPP baby formulas are made without added sugar, soy, GMOs, preservatives or additives.
One of our favorite parts of HiPP baby formulas is the wide range of nutrition and stages to support all baby’s digestive needs. HiPP takes pride in knowing each infant is unique and does not need a one-size-fits all formula.
Available HiPP Organic Formula
HiPP UK Organic Combiotic Baby Formulas
HiPP UK Combiotic is affordable nutrition without sacrificing organic standards. HiPP UK has prebiotic fiber and probiotics that makes this cow’s milk formula easier to digest and absorb
HiPP UK Combiotic Stage 1
Age: 0-6 months
Size: 800g / 28.22oz
Affordability with organic quality, prebiotics, and DHA/ARA
HiPP UK Stage 1: A starch free formula for babies from birth to six months
HiPP UK Stage 2: An easy to digest formula made for little ones older than 6 months old. Prebiotic fiber in this formula helps support gut flora.
HiPP UK Stage 3: Specifically made to lend support for babies over twelve months old
HiPP Dutch Combiotic
HiPP Dutch Organic Combiotic Infant Milk Formula is a gentle, wholesome, and 100% organic whey based baby formula. Made with organic grass fed lactose that has naturally occurring prebiotic fibers to aid digestion, HiPP Dutch helps to break down any allergy causing bacteria.
HiPP Dutch Combiotic Stage 1
Age: 0-6 months
Size: 800g / 28.22oz
Prebiotics & Probiotics for healthy digestion, No Maltodextrin, Skimmed Milk
HiPP Dutch Stage 1: From newborn to 6 months. Formulated with healthy bacteria for easier digestion.
HiPP Dutch Stage 2: Balanced nutrition for babies over six months to one year.
HiPP Dutch Stage 3: Meets nutritional needs of toddlers over the age of one year
HiPP German Combiotic
HiPP German is a 100% organic baby formula specially formulated for all babies. Special fiber-based prebiotic and a probiotic work together to add extra support and DHA/ARA are added for brain and nervous system development.
HiPP German Combiotic Stage Pre
Age: 0-6 months
Size: 600g / 21oz
Prebiotics/probiotics for better digestion, DHA/ARA, and no starch
HiPP Pre: Made without starch for infants 0 to 6 months. This sensitive formula can be used for all babies up to 6 months.
HiPP Stage 1: For newborn to six months old that may need a little heavier of formula on their stomachs. This version is made with starch, unlike the PRE version.
HiPP Stage 2 No Starch: This version is the follow up from HiPP PRE. Made without starch, babies that did well on HiPP PRE can naturally transition into HiPP Stage 2 no starch after 6 months.
HiPP Stage 2: This stage 2 formula helps little ones over 6 month old transition from HiPP Stage 1. The formula contains starch, just like HiPP German stage 1 - keeping babies fuller longer.
HiPP Stage 3: This formula is for babies 10+ months. Some babies have transitioned over to solids in their diet, more than at 6 months, and this helps with the different nutrition levels. Starch is added in this version as well.
HiPP 1+ years: Parents wanting to keep the high organic standards after one year choose this formula over the store bought.
HiPP 2+ years: Still looking for safe nutrition for your growing toddler? Look no further, as this version is safe and organic.
HiPP HA HypoAllergenic
HiPP HA Combiotic Hypoallergenic is designed with all natural ingredients. Proteins have been hydrolyzed (been broken down into smaller portions) especially for babies who display symptoms of sensitivity to the proteins in cow’s milk formula. This formula is also part of the HiPP German product line.
HiPP HA Stage Pre
Age: 0-6 months
Size: 600g / 21.16oz
Prebiotics & Probiotics for healthy digestion, hydrolyzed milk proteins for reduced allergic reactions
HiPP HA Pre: A whey-based baby formula starting at newborn to 6 months. No starch is added in this stage for extra sensitivity.
HiPP HA Stage 1: For infants zero to six months old with digestive problems or sensitive stomachs. This version contains starch for fuller tummies.
HiPP HA Stage 2: A follow-on formula for babies older than six months that have special dietary requirements who are at risk of allergies.
HiPP Special Comfort Organic Baby Formula
HiPP Special Comfort
Age: 0 months +
Size: 500g / 17.6oz
Prebiotics & Probiotics for healthy digestion, Reduced lactose content, Hydrolzed milk protein
HiPP Special Comfort 100% healthy nutrition specially designed nutrition for babies 0 to 12 months, who experience colic, constipation, upset tummies, and who may be sensitive to cow’s milk protein.
HiPP Anti-Reflux Organic Baby Formula
Age: 0 months +
Size: 500g / 17.6oz
Organic locust bean gum makes this creamier and easier for babies with reflux / spit up, and Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA and ARA) for brain development
HiPP AR perfect nutrition for littles one up to 12 months old that need help reducing reflux, spit up, and acid indigestion.
Similac Vs HiPP Pros and Cons
Similac Baby Formula Pros
Similac organic baby formula advertises the addition of vitamins and nutrients to support healthy brain development, eye health, and a healthy immune system. There are several options that are suitable for digestive troubles. Some ingredients that the company highlights include DHA, lutein, vitamin E, and prebiotics.
Similac baby formula is available over-the-counter in powder and premixed forms making it easier for parents to take their babies nutrition on the go.
Similac Baby Formula Cons
On top of the questionable organic standards, two out of the three of the main ingredients in Similac organic baby formula are non-lactose-based sugars. The high consumption of this unnecessary nutrient leaves infants highly susceptible to tooth decay, sugar cravings which leads to obesity, and a lifetime of health problems.
Another harmful ingredient that Similac chooses in the manufacturing process is soy. Even in the oil form soy should never be used in infant or children's nutrition.
This cheap additive is used by American baby formula companies without concern for infant health. Soy blocks critical nutrients such as zinc and interferes with developmental progression of the reproductive system.
HiPP Baby Formula Pros
Nutritionally balanced, these whey based formulas are made with organic 100% grass fed animal lactose as the main carbohydrate. Main nutrient vitamins A, C, and D, and also DHA and ARA, aid in brain and muscle tissue growth.
HiPP will never contain any added sugars, synthetic additives, or genetically modified ingredients. Only pure natural ingredients that are gentle on your baby’s stomach are in their products, reducing the risk of gas, constipation, and bloating.
HiPP baby formulas are ecological, economical and sustainable.
HiPP Baby Formula Cons
HiPP baby formula is not as readily available as American baby formulas, but don’t let that deter you! The good news is HiPP nutrition is easily ordered and delivered straight to your door from My Organic Company and available when you need large options in our 6/12 packs- which come directly from Europe to your door - as well as smaller options to try. We have our products in stock at warehouses overseas and in the US to ensure your options are quickly available.
Similac Vs HiPP Ingredients Comparison Chart
The chart above is a comparison chart of all the Similac and HiPP regular non-organic and organic formula ingredients.
The chart below is a comparison for the Similac and HiPP formulas for babies with sensitive tummies.
Similac Vs HiPP Sensitivity Formula Comparison Chart
Similac vs HiPP: The Winner
The best infant nutrition starts with organically sourced ingredients that are free of harmful preservatives and unwanted additives. When comparing American organic standards and European standards- EU strict regulations win hands down.
In this comparison of Similac vs HiPP we are confident that HiPP organic baby formula comes out ahead by offering you the most complete, pure and organically made nutrition.
HiPP baby formulas have organically sourced vitamins, minerals and 100% organic lactose to support healthy growth and development without added sugars, soy or preservatives.
HiPP Organic Baby Formula
HiPP baby formula brand is known for ecological, economical, and social sustainability. With the biggest diversity of European baby formula to fit every developmental and digestive need. We are confident you will find nutrition that you can feel good about without spending much more than over-the-counter baby formulas.
My Organic Company happily brings HiPP baby formula and other European organic nutrition straight to your door with an inventory that is fully stocked for customers. We offer the convenience of single canisters or boxes or the security of having 6 or 12 packs at home.
With so many options and the support of our customer care team we are confident you will find the European baby formula to fit your littles one's digestive and nutritional needs.