Baby Formula Guide

Breast milk was and still remains the best baby food. No infant formula can be a 100% substitute for mother’s milk. However, there can be lots of reasons why breastfeeding is not an option. That’s when formula feeding comes to the rescue. Thankfully, the choice is massive and the ingredients are as close to the real thing as it gets.

But a great choice of products can also be a problem. If for whatever reason you can’t breastfeed your baby, you should be extremely thorough and careful about picking exactly what they need.

Formula ingredients

When it comes to baby formulas, there’s a set of strict requirements they must meet, no matter where they are produced. This means that standard infant food ingredients are quite similar for all products on the market. Here are some of the components you can usually find when reading the label:

●    Proteins. The basic building material for your baby’s body cells. It’s important to note the exact protein content of the product. Normal protein intake for a 6-months old child and younger is about 0, 05 ounces per every 2 pounds of weight. Infants 7 to 12 months old should get no more than 0,38 ounces of proteins a day. These values allow reducing the pressure on the kidneys and lower the risk of allergies.

NB: note the whey protein to casein ratio. The optimal ratio is 60:40 for the first 6 months of your child’s life and 50:50 for the second half of the first year. This kind of protein digests better.

●    Carbs. The main source of energy. It would be best if the majority of carbs in the infant baby formula are in the form of lactose, just like in breast milk. Lactose improves calcium and iron digestion, as well as digestion in general. Some of the product’s carbs might come in the form of maltodextrin. It’s a polysaccharide that ensures longer periods of satiety.

●    Fats. This component is responsible for nervous system development. It also plays an important role in the visual sensory system and immunity development, regulates metabolism, and improves digestion and blood flow. In the organic baby formula, fats come in the form of linoleic and ἀ-linoleic fatty acids. These ingredients must be there, no matter the product.
There must also be polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). Your child can only get them from food, both natural breast milk and quality baby formula. These acids improve the development of the eyes and intellect.

●    Lutein. Carotenoid with antioxidant properties that protects eye retina from the harmful effects of UV light.

Apart from all the above, make sure that your baby formula contains only organic ingredients. There is a wide variety of organic baby milks you can find on online stores like Organics Best.
Baby food types

●    Powdered. These come in dry powdered form packed in carton, plastic, or tin boxes and are usually the cheapest on the market. To prepare your infant milk, you have to mix them with warm water. For example, there is a wide range of powdered Holle formulas.

●    Concentrated liquid. Unlike powdered organic foods, these are easier and faster to prepare. You will still have to add some water to it, though. These products are more expensive than powders.

●    Liquid. These formulas are ready to use and only require some warming. Liquid products are usually the most expensive and they have the shortest shelf life.  HiPP formulas offer a great choice of liquid organic baby foods.

More information can be found on the page: Best Organic Baby Formula 2021

Cow and Goat Milk-Based Formula

The majority of baby milk formulas are cow milk-based. But because cow milk protein is foreign to the human body, baby foods include its modified form. Based on the degree of protein processing, there are such formulas as:

First milks. These products are based on demineralized whey and are very similar to breast milk. They are fairly light, nutritious, and digest well. These formulas also include polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and nucleotides. They are best for newborns.

Second milks. Casein-based infant foods. These often contain the same additional ingredients as other formulas. However, they are normally considered more filling and nutritious. If your baby gets hungry faster, this might be the choice for you. Casein-rich infant milks are better for infants from 7 to 12 months old.

Follow-on milks. Based on powdered whole cow milk, these infant foods contain starches and sucrose. They don’t contain whey. Because of this, follow-on foods can’t be used to feed infants under 6 months old.

Special formulas

  • Sometimes, infants have certain health conditions that require special foods. These are usually lactose-free, iron-high formulas with probiotics and lactulose.
  • Special baby foods for preemies and low birth weight infants are high in protein, vitamins, and whey. These formulas are usually marked as “0” or “Pre-”.
  • There are hypoallergenic products for infants susceptible to allergies. They usually have an HA mark.
  • For cow milk lactose intolerant babies, there are soy, lactose-free formulas, or foods based on goat milk.
  • Anti-reflux products help infants suffering from frequent spit-ups. They are marked as A.R.
    Infant formula staging

The contents of infant foods largely depend on a baby’s age. Based on your child’s stage, all infant products have appropriate marking.

1.    Products marked as “0” or “Pre” are intended for newborns, preemies, or low-weight infants.
2.    “1” mark means that this formula is for babies up to 6 months old.
3.    “2” is for infants from 7 to 12 months old.
4.    “3” is for children older than 12 months.

Infant foods are not cheap. This, however, does not mean that you should save by buying cheaper products. Remember that your child’s health and development depend on the quality food they get during the first year of their life.