With so many options out there, choosing the right baby formula can be overwhelming! A closer look at the ingredients reveals the clear markers to look for when choosing the right baby formula for your little one.
1. Select BETTER INGREDIENTS
- Most European formula’s main protein source is lactose (composed of whey and casein).
- Since cow’s lactose has less whey than breastmilk, whey is added to make the formula closer to breastmilk.
- Typically lactose is the only carbohydrate necessaryMany European formulas stick with this rule!
- If other carbohydrates are necessary, the BAD carbohydrates such as corn syrup solids, glucose syrup solids, sucrose, sugar, brown rice syrup are avoided
- Typically the vegetable oils (palm oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil)
- Many American formulas have hidden soy in this list of their ingredients - making it seem like “soy oil” is nothing to be concerned about.
2. DEMETER QUALITY
Demeter quality sets European formula apart. This is organic++ which means the farms are fully organic and the environment is being well taken care of. Watch this short video for more:
- Biodynamic = Organic farming using self-sustaining farming methods throughout the entire farming system.
- NO GMO’s
- Composting & Water Conservation are used
- 10% of farm is dedicated to biodiversity
- Demeter started in 1928 in Europe and is MOST recognized brands in Europe
- Growing healthiest, most sustainable farm possible to grow the most nutritious food!
3 SOY FREE OPTIONS
Unlike the formulas on the shelf in America, there are options of European formula that have ZERO additional soy added to their formula! Some options include Holle formulas, Lebenswert formulas, Loulouka formulas, HiPP Germany Stage One, and HiPP Dutch Stage 2 to name a few!
Why does this matter? Read our article all about the dangerous effects of soy on children.
4. NO SYNTHETIC NUTRIENTS
Synthetic nutrients include lutein, lycopene, taurine, L-carnitine, and L-methionine. Many of these substances are toxic themselves or processed with toxic solvents.
- These are banned in Europe, but are still commonly found in many American formulas.
5. EXTRA HEALTHY
- Supplements or enhanced foods that contain living microorganisms.
- “Friendly” bacteria can change the bacteria balance in the body.
- Example: HiPP formula contains Lactobacillus fermentum hereditum
- Supplements or foods that contain an ingredient that can’t be digested normally
- Stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria, acting as food for the bacteria.
- Prebiotics may help support skin health in otherwise healthy babies, according to the Pediatrics report.
- Examples: Compounds like oligosaccharides that are found in human breast milk or infant formula
WHY ARE THEY GOOD?
- A summary report in the journal Pediatrics in 2010 found that randomized clinical trials show probiotics are somewhat effective in supporting gastrointestinal wellness in healthy children.
- Probiotics may help ease gastrointestinal issues and colic. For example, an Italian study reported in JAMA Pediatrics in 2014 that babies fed a probiotic supplement from birth emptied their bowels more, had less spit-up, and had less colicky crying at 3 months than those on a placebo.