The Best Dairy and Soy-Free Formulas


By: Suzanne Renee' - January 22, 2024 - 18 Minute Read

The Best Dairy and Soy-Free Formulas | The Milky Box

As a loving parent, you want to ensure your baby with allergies or food intolerances gets the best nutrition. If your little one needs a dairy and soy-free formula, finding a formula that meets their nutritional requirements and keeps their symptoms at bay is essential. However, finding the perfect soy and dairy-free baby formula can be tricky, especially with limited options.


But don't worry! We are here to help you navigate the process successfully. It's important to note that not all formulas labeled "dairy and soy-free" are created equal. Some may contain derivatives or trace amounts of these allergens, which could cause problems. Additionally, some formulas may use alternative ingredients that may trigger sensitivities in your little one.


Our guide is designed to help you understand what to look for in your baby's non-dairy or soy-free formula options. With this information, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect formula that meets your baby's needs. 


With this article, We are confident that you'll be able to find the right formula that will keep your baby happy, healthy, and allergy-free.

Reasons to Choose a Soy or Dairy-Free Formula

Many parents seek alternative baby formulas beyond traditional cow's or goat's milk. European baby formula manufacturers have recognized this need. They are expanding their offerings by developing new recipes to address allergies and intolerances, like cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) and lactose intolerance.


We will delve into the factors driving this trend towards alternative formula options in this context as parents continue to search for the best options to meet their children's unique dietary needs.

Reasons to choose Non-Dairy and Soy- Free Formula | The Milky Box

Addressing Cow's Milk Protein and Soy Allergy

Food allergies result from the body's immune system reacting abnormally to certain foods, which can cause unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening signs and symptoms. Usually, the immune system protects the body from harmful things like pathogens. However, in babies with food allergies, the immune system mistakenly identifies specific food components as dangerous and produces an inappropriate response.


Cow's milk is one of the most common causes of food allergies in children, and some children allergic to cow's milk may also react to soy protein. However, it is essential to note that not all babies with a cow's milk allergy will have a soy allergy, as each baby's immune system is unique. Some babies have a more sensitive immune system and may react to more things, while others only respond to cow's milk.


Suppose your baby displays signs of an allergy to cow’s milk and soy. Your baby's medical provider may recommend unique hypoallergenic formulas or a plant-based formula without dairy or soy. It is essential to work with your baby's pediatrician to find the best baby formula for their specific case, whether they suffer from cow's milk protein allergy or soy allergy.

Managing Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a condition that arises when the digestive system is unable to fully break down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. Lactase, an enzyme produced in the small intestine, breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose, which are easily absorbed by the bloodstream. However, some individuals do not have enough lactase, leading to undigested lactose remaining in the gut.


This can result in various symptoms, including bloating, gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person and depends on the amount of lactose consumed. Some babies may be able to tolerate small amounts of lactose, while others may need to avoid it altogether.


Lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk allergy, which is an immune response to the proteins in milk. While lactose intolerance can be uncomfortable, it is not life-threatening.


Treatment options include:


● Speaking with your medical professional


● Using a hydrolyzed baby formula


● Trying lactose-free, dairy-free baby formula


● Limiting or avoiding lactose-containing foods after six months


Some infants may experience temporary lactose digestion issues. Additionally, a few others may have a genetic disorder known as congenital lactase deficiency, which means they are born without the ability to produce lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose.


If your baby is lactose intolerant, switching to lactose-free formula that doesn't contain dairy and soy is essential. These formulas are designed to provide adequate nutrition while supporting the digestive needs of lactose-intolerant infants. By choosing a dairy-free formula, you can ensure your baby gets the necessary nutrients without adverse digestive effects.

Lactose Intolerance | The Milky Box

Supporting Special Dietary Needs

Soy and dairy-free formulas benefit families with special dietary requirements, including those who follow a vegan lifestyle. Such formulas provide an alternative source of nutrition for infants who cannot consume traditional cow's milk-based formulas due to allergies or intolerances.


However, it is essential to note that while a well-planned vegan diet can meet the nutritional requirements of adults and older children, infants may require more due to their high dietary demands. Infants need critical nutrients for growth and development, including protein, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and calcium. These nutrients are essential for developing a healthy brain, eyesight, immune system, and bone structure.


Specialized nutrition in European baby formulas can give infants the necessary nutrients for growth and development. These formulas are specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of infants and are enriched with essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to support healthy growth.


Therefore, for families with infants who follow a vegan lifestyle or have special dietary needs, using European baby formulas can be a safe and effective way to ensure that their infants receive the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.

Understanding CMPA, Lactose Intolerance, and Soy Allergy in Babies: Symptoms and Solutions

Dealing with conditions like Cow's Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), lactose intolerance, and soy allergy can be overwhelming when it comes to your baby's nutritional health. However, with a solid understanding of these conditions, you can confidently identify symptoms early and find the appropriate solutions to ensure your baby's well-being.

Cow's Milk Protein Allergy in Babies 

(CMPA) is a common food allergy that can occur in infants during their first year of life, but the good news is that most children outgrow it over time!

CMPA Reaction

When babies have CMPA, their immune system reacts abnormally to the proteins found in cow's milk, especially the casein and whey proteins. Two types of CMPA reactions can occur in babies. The first type is a quick reaction within an hour of drinking milk, causing common allergy symptoms like rashes or trouble breathing. The second type is slower and might not show up for hours or days, and its symptoms, like tummy trouble or eczema, might not seem like an allergy at first.


Both types of CMPA reactions can cause anaphylaxis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include increased breathing, airway constriction, throat swelling, facial flushing, and itching. If this does occur, immediate medical attention is required, and treatment can be administered with an epinephrine shot.


If you suspect that your baby has Cow's Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), it is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider. A blood test can diagnose the condition, and your healthcare provider will advise you on the best course of action.


Remember that CMPA is estimated to affect around 2 to 3% of infants in developed countries, so you are not alone in this. Your baby can still grow healthy and happy with proper treatment and care!

Cow's Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) | The Milky Box

Lactose Intolerance in Infants

Lactose intolerance is a condition that occurs when an individual is unable to digest lactose, the primary sugar found in dairy products and cow's milk formula. This inability is caused by a deficiency or complete absence of lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose. Although lactose intolerance is less common than cow's milk protein allergy, it can cause similar digestive problems.


There are two types of lactose intolerance: primary and secondary. Primary lactose intolerance is a genetic condition for infants with low or no lactase production. Secondary lactose intolerance is temporary when the body cannot produce enough lactase due to underlying conditions such as gastrointestinal infections or intestinal injuries. 


Additionally, developmental, and congenital types of lactose intolerance can impact individuals at different stages of life.

Milk Allergy Intolerance | The Milky Box

Soy Allergy in Infants

Soy allergy is a common food allergy that usually affects infants and young children. When an infant's immune system identifies soy proteins as harmful substances. This reaction can cause mild symptoms, such as itching, hives, and digestive problems, or severe symptoms, including anaphylaxis and difficulty breathing.


In some cases, soy allergies can be outgrown; however, managing the allergy carefully by avoiding soy and soy-containing products is crucial.

Symptoms of Soy Allergy | The Milky Box

Soy Baby Formula

Families who follow a vegan diet or prefer plant-based infant formula often choose soy formula as a substitute for cow's milk formula. Soy-based formulas have been considered a good option for infants with lactose intolerance or allergies. However, soy can pose allergen risks and other potential health hazards, making it more harmful than beneficial in most cases.


To ensure your infant gets a safe and nutritious formula, we recommend using soy and dairy-free formulas that cater to all your little ones' needs, especially those with food allergies.

Options for Dairy and Soy-Free Formulas

If you're searching for soy-free or dairy-free formulas for your baby, you'll be pleased to know that the European market offers a variety of options. Most brands now prioritize avoiding soy, a common infant allergen, while providing high-quality formulas. While it may be more challenging to find dairy-free formulas, you can rest assured that some popular European formulas cater to the needs of babies with allergies or intolerances.

Hydrolyzed Rice Formula

Infant formula is crucial for babies' growth and development, especially in their early stages, as it provides the necessary balance of nutrients. In the EU, infant formula is typically made using three protein sources: cow's milk, goat's milk, and hydrolyzed proteins. While these protein sources are generally healthy and safe for most infants, they may not suit babies with unique dietary restrictions or medical conditions. In such cases, alternative formulas may be recommended under the "foods for special medical purposes" (FSMP) category.


One such alternative is hydrolyzed rice protein baby formula. This formula is a dairy-free, safe, and healthy option for infants with dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance or milk protein allergies. It is backed by research and is a good choice for parents who want to ensure their infants get the right balance of nutrients without any adverse reactions.


Hydrolyzed rice formulas undergo enzymatic hydrolysis to make the proteins soluble in water and easily digestible, ensuring that infants receive the necessary nutrients for growth and development.


These formulas contain fat derived from vegetable oils and have a similar fat content as conventional formulas. By incorporating hydrolyzed rice protein, these formulas become lactose-free. As a result, alternative sources such as corn starch or dextrin-maltose are used to provide carbohydrates instead of corn syrup solids.

Bébé M Organic Vegan Formula

Bébé M developed an innovative organic infant formula in 2013. The formula comes in powder form and is perfect for meeting the diverse dietary needs of infants. It is free from milk, soy, palm oil, and gluten, and instead, it is made with hydrolyzed rice protein, which has superior bioavailability than traditional animal or plant-based proteins.


The vegan baby formula is exceptional, thanks to the meticulous production process. Bébé M uses controlled temperatures throughout manufacturing to protect and preserve the nutrients. Additionally, the company adheres to the highly stringent European infant formula regulations, ensuring the formula is safe for infant consumption.

Anti-Reflux Baby Formula

Bébé M is a famous formula containing various beneficial infant ingredients. One such notable ingredient in Bébé M formula is carob gum, a natural thickening agent derived from the seeds of carob trees.


Carob gum has several benefits for infants. Firstly, it is known for preventing gastroesophageal reflux in babies. This is achieved by providing a denser consistency to the formula, which helps keep the food in the stomach. As a result, infants are less likely to experience discomfort or pain associated with reflux.


In addition to its reflux-fighting properties, carob gum is also fiber-rich. This fiber promotes regular bowel movements in infants and helps prevent constipation. As a result, babies who consume Bébé M formula are likely to have more comfortable and familiar bowel movements.


Carob gum is a valuable ingredient in Bébé M formula, which supports your little one's digestion and development overall.

BeBe M | The Milky Box

Sustainability

At Bébé M, the top priority is the health and well-being of babies. Every family deserves access to a high-quality, safe, nutritious formula for their little ones. With this in mind, the Bébé M team of experts has worked tirelessly to develop a soy and dairy-free baby formula that meets the highest ethical standards.


They are committed to sustainability and strive to impact society, the economy, and the environment positively. Each stage is made with responsibly sourced ingredients, significantly minimizing their carbon footprint throughout production.


At Bébé M, they understand that being a parent can be challenging, so we are dedicated to providing a formula you can trust. An ethical approach ensures parents feel good about their choices for their baby's health and the planet.

Bebe M Organic Vegan Stages | The Milky Box

Prémibio Organic Vegan Formula

Prémibio is a leading provider of organic infant nutrition specifically formulated to meet babies' growth and developmental requirements at every stage of their development. Their products are made without palm or fish oil, ensuring optimal digestive health for infants of all ages and conditions. With a commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients, Prémibio offers parents a safe, reliable, and effective solution for nourishing families with special dietary needs and babies with food allergies.

Organic Vegan Nutrition

Is 100% plant-based and offers a hydrolyzed rice-based nutrition free from dairy, fish oil, and gluten. Prémibio Vegan is designed to support babies who are lactose intolerant, may have food allergies, or for families who choose a vegan lifestyle. Vegan nutrition that is free from any animal-derived products or byproducts. This indicates that no dairy-based ingredients are used in its production, including milk or its proteins, casein and whey, eggs, meat, or fish.


Organic Hydrolyzed Rice has a protein profile similar to breast milk, providing numerous benefits and ensuring optimal nutrition for even the most delicate infants. As a vegan supplement, rice protein hydrolysates do not contain phytoestrogens like soy-based products and are derived from non-genetically modified (non-GMO) rice.


Prémibio is AB - Agriculture Biologique France Organic. It works alongside EU certification to ensure the entire process, from farming to production, is regulated by strict rules and regulations. Every step is carefully and sustainably sourced from animal welfare-conscious farms without using pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, or GMOs. This organic certification is committed to supporting local communities with a practical approach.


Organic Ingredients support cognitive and physical development, just like traditional formulas. It contains 100% natural calcium, natural Vitamin E, and natural magnesium sourced from the ocean, all working with plant-based DHA to provide optimal nutrition for your baby from birth through the toddler years.

Prembio | The Milky Box

Ecologically Produced

Prémibio is a company that is deeply committed to the principles of organic farming and sustainability. They believe that the food we eat should be grown and harvested in a way that respects the environment and promotes long-term health and well-being for people and the planet. That's why they go to great lengths to ensure that all of their products come from organic farming practices, and they work closely with their partners and suppliers to maintain the highest standards of quality and ethical production.


In addition to its commitment to organic farming, Prémibio is also dedicated to investing ethically and sustainably in all aspects of its business. This means that they prioritize fair treatment and compensation for their employees and are constantly seeking ways to reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainable business practices.


At Prémibio, they believe their success is directly tied to the health and well-being of their customers and the planet. That's why they are constantly striving to improve their processes and products, and they are committed to working with others in the industry to promote sustainable agriculture and responsible business practices.

Premibio Organic Vegan Baby Formula | The Milky Box

Choosing the Best Formula for Your Baby

When selecting a formula for your baby, it's crucial to consider several factors. The primary considerations are your family's dietary restrictions and the baby's digestive sensitivities. European formula companies offer formulas you can trust to have the best ingredients and optimal growth and development support for your baby.


The ultimate winner will be your infant when choosing between Premibio and Bebe Vegan formulas.

Bébé M vs Prémibio Vegan Baby Formula  | The Milky Box

Organic Vegan Baby Formulas

Finding the perfect baby formula for your little one could overwhelm parents. There are several challenges in identifying formulas that meet their baby's nutritional requirements, ensuring their safety, considering allergens, and budget constraints.


However, parents need not worry as there are many options available The Milky Box. For instance, Bébé M and Prémibio Vegan Organic are remarkable soy and dairy-free formulas that cater to parents seeking vegan alternatives to organic goat milk or cow's milk-based formula, which aligns with their ethical and dietary preferences.


It is essential to consult healthcare professionals to receive personalized advice tailored to your baby's unique needs and circumstances.

Disclaimer:


Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.


Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.


Suzanne Renee' is an accomplished professional with extensive expertise in the area of infant nutrition, dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of children. She started this journey as a foster parent. Suzanne has emerged as a strong proponent of the European baby formula and has become a full time writer of the subject. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking and going to church.

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Reviewed by Dr. Maria Cerino, MD

Dr. Maria Cerino is a medical doctor and a researcher from Mexico, her works being published in prestigious journals like the American Journal of Human Biology, among others. 


As a medical writer, Dr. Cerino focuses on infant nutrition and healthy neurological development in infants and children. 


In her free time, she enjoys going on walks, watching indie films, and cooking at home.