As a parent, you want to ensure your baby gets the best nutrition possible. Breast milk is the gold standard, but for various reasons, some parents may be unable to breastfeed exclusively. That’s where baby formulas come in.
There are many different types of baby formulas on the market, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. In this guide, we will explore the different types of baby formulas, their ingredients, and which babies they may be best suited for.
Goat’s Milk-Based Formula
Organic goat milk formula is made from goat’s milk and is an alternative to cow’s milk-based formula for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk protein or lactose intolerant. It contains the same nutrients as cow’s milk-based formula but is easier to digest because the fat globules in goat’s milk are smaller than those in cow’s milk.
However, goat’s milk-based formula is more expensive than cow’s milk-based formula. Sometimes, allergic to cow’s formula, babies can also be intolerant to goat’s formula. That’s why a professional’s consultation is significant concerning the formula choice.
Cow’s Milk-Based Formula
The most popular infant formula is created from cow’s milk, which has been altered to have a protein, fat, and carbohydrate composition similar to breast milk and has been enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Buying the formula from brands that hydrolyze cow’s milk is essential. This milk contains too many minerals and proteins, which might hurt a baby’s kidney and stomach, which aren’t ready to digest them properly.
A soy-derived formula is a good option for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk protein or lactose intolerant. It is made from soy protein isolate and contains added sugars, fats, vitamins, and minerals. However, some parents may be concerned about the high levels of phytoestrogens in the soy-based formula, which can have hormonal effects on the body.
The soy-based formula can be less nutritious than the animal-milk formula. So, one needs to add drop supplements to the prepared formula to provide a baby with the required nutrients.
The hydrolyzed formula is recommended for babies allergic to cow’s milk or soy protein. It is made from either partially or extensively hydrolyzed protein, which means that the protein has been broken down into smaller pieces that are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
However, the hydrolyzed formula is more expensive than other types of formula and may not be covered by insurance.
The lactose-free formula is made for babies who are lactose intolerant. It contains all the same nutrients as cow’s milk-based formula but uses alternative carbohydrates, such as corn syrup or glucose, instead of lactose.
However, some experts argue that lactose intolerance is actually quite rare in babies and that lactose-free formula is unnecessary for most infants. It’s vital to consult a health expert, who’ll make a test to identify the intolerance. You shouldn’t buy such a formula independently because it can hurt a baby’s normal development.
Extensively Hydrolyzed Formula
The extensively hydrolyzed formula is recommended for babies with severe allergies to cow’s milk or soy protein. It is made from protein broken down even further than in standard hydrolyzed formula, making it less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
However, the extensively hydrolyzed formula is even more expensive than the standard hydrolyzed formula and may not be covered by insurance.
Amino Acid-Based Formula
Amino acid-based formula is recommended for babies with severe allergies to cow’s milk or soy protein which have not responded well to extensively hydrolyzed formula. It is made from individual amino acids that have been extracted from protein and is the least likely to cause an allergic reaction.
However, the amino acid-based formula is the most expensive type of formula and may not be covered by insurance. Besides, one shouldn’t select this formula without a pediatrician’s consultation.
Organic formula is made from ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, hormones, radiation, or antibiotics. Some parents may choose organic formula because they believe it is healthier for their baby and better for the environment.
Except for natural ingredients, organic formulas have no sugar, salt, and artificial taste enhancers. Its nutritious value is the same as in conventional formulas. It goes without human-made ingredients that usually are derived naturally, such as milk, vegetables for oil manufacturing, and grass for animal feeding.
Moreover, organic food brands are responsible for each added substance. So it goes through many-level testing to have the right to sell products, which are a bit costly compared to conventional formulas.
Extra Tip: Organic vs. Non-Organic Formula
Baby food can be organic and non-organic. What’s the difference?
|Things to compare||Organic||Non-organic|
|Price||It is costly because of the requirements from the FDA or the EFSA.||It is cheaper, especially powdered milk formula.|
|Ingredients||It has natural components without sugar, salt, and all possible chemicals. All ingredients are raised in an eco-safe environment. The milked animals aren’t treated with antibiotics and anti-parasite medicine.||It may contain sugar, salt, artificial stabilizers, GMOs, sweetener, flavors, and colorants, though most companies use only the allowed ingredients. Nevertheless, nobody demands ecofriendliness from such brands.|
|Safety||It is safe for newborns thanks to the multilayer testing required by food audit organizations and pediatricians. The packaging is also organic, so it’s eco-friendly.||It can cause adverse effects due to unnatural ingredients that help prolong its lifespan and enhance taste qualities.|
|Availability||It is available on the European market.||It is available everywhere.|
Choosing the right formula for your baby can be challenging, but with so many different types of baby formulas available, you’re sure to find one that works for your baby’s needs. It’s important to consult your pediatrician before making any changes to your baby’s diet. Organic goods are safe for babies and correspond to international standards, but their price is higher. So, one needs to consider all the pros and cons before buying a formula. Moreover, one should consult a pediatrician to consider a baby’s needs and possible sensitivity to certain components