Breastfeeding is a unique nutritional process that provides a baby with exceptional health benefits. Lactation experts believe that every woman can breastfeed. However, for the vast number of moms, breastfeeding is impossible for some medical or personal reasons.
Obviously, in such cases, a perfect alternative can be Formula Feeding. The extensive range of baby formulas close to breast milk composition help to solve a lot of problems in the most natural way.
Baby Formula Feeding provides the baby with all the necessary nutrients. Before choosing an Infant Formula it is essential to talk to a pediatrician who helps to determine the baby’s dietary needs.
The healthy development of your little one directly depends on formula quality.
What Is in the Formula?
So, do you know what’s in the Infant Formula you’ve chosen for your baby?
Manufacturers of Baby Food are constantly working to bring the composition of milk formulas as close as possible to breast milk. Many brands are improving the formulas as substitutes for breastfeeding, taking into account the constant increase of research about breast milk and the physiological role of its components.
The milk formula is the minimum that every baby needs in the first year of life. After that, its composition is based on the newborn’s needs and age, including fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
Baby Milk Formula ingredients should contain:
- Linoleic acid
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
Essential Minerals in Baby Formula
The recommended protein content is about 14g / 100 ml. In addition, the casein proteins in the formula are replaced with whey proteins, as whey is easier to digest for babies.
Carbs are the primary source of energy for babies. Therefore, it is better if the carbohydrate component is represented by lactose – as in breast milk. In addition, lactose improves digestion processes and enhances the minerals zinc, calcium, and iron absorption.
Fatty acids play a significant role in neurological development in infants.
The essential fatty components in all infant formulas are linoleic (LA) and a-linolenic acids(ALA), which are also found in breast milk. These fatty acids are vital for infants because their bodies cannot make them naturally. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid), made from linoleic acid, positively affect infants’ visual acuity and immune responses.
The iron in milk formulas is used for preventing iron deficiency. Iron from breast milk is easily absorbed (approx.50%) in comparison to supplemented formulas (approx.10%). That is why most formula-fed babies have an increased risk of anemia at the age of 3-5 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends iron-fortified formulas for babies with iron deficiency anemia symptoms. It is important that the infant formulas have to be labeled as either “Infant Formula with Iron” or “Additional Iron May Be Necessary.”
The immature GI tract is hard to digest large amounts of sodium and selenium, so these components are mostly reduced in infant formulas.
Calcium is an essential mineral that helps the infant’s body maintain strong teeth and bones.
Probiotics and prebiotics can be additional components in the baby formula. They may positively impact the digestive system in general and maintain the balance of the baby’s digestive system.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines and regulates nutrient specifications and their level for infant formulas.
Harmful ingredients in Baby Formula
Sugar is a real poison for babies, as it causes a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the body. In addition, the formula should not contain such carbohydrates as sucrose, and fructose, as they disrupt insulin metabolism and cause fermentation and gas.
Most pediatricians prescribe formulas based on soy protein as a therapeutic food. In addition, soy must be natural – the use of GMOs in baby food is unacceptable.
Usually, palm oil is added to the formula because it contains palmitic acid. However, the harm that palm oil does far outweighs its benefits.
At the age of 3-4 months, starch can cause gas and colic in the baby.
Carrageenan can have serious health consequences. In particular, carrageenan has been linked to inflammatory markers, digestive problems, glucose intolerance, and food allergies.
Many parents are literally overwhelmed with the huge range of products, long ingredient lists, so it is always recommended to choose a formula according to your pediatrician’s advice.
Types of Infant Formula
There are three forms of infant formula:
- Powdered formula – must be mixed with water
- Liquid formula – must also be mixed with water
- Ready-to-feed formula- should not be diluted with additional water
Parents often choose formula not only because of its form but also for their baby’s special nutritional needs. Organic and non-organic brands offer a wide range of products to meet their customer requirements. It doesn’t mean that each baby needs treatment or a change in the formula for growing well.
Special formulas are presented by anti-reflux formula, hypoallergenic baby formula, lactose-free, or gluten-free formulas.
Is Organic Formula better?
While struggling to find the best Baby Formula, you have no chance to miss “Organic” labeled products. And it is not surprising because organic formulas are strictly certified and do not contain pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and GMOs.
For the last decade among American moms have become popular EU Organic Baby Formulas. The high-quality production standards make them feel more confident about the nutritional value of baby products. However, EU brands are not allowed to add corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, or carrageenan as the ingredients of the organic formula.
On Organics Best, you can check the list of the best European brands with an accurate description of each product. The main point is that the FDA does not approve EU baby formulas, but at the same time, they are strictly regulated by the European Commission and have Demeter certification.
It must be challenging for many parents to make the right decision. You should consider all the baby’s nutritional needs to ensure a balanced diet that will support further healthy development.