What Makes Up a Good Baby Formula?

By: Suzanne Renee' - Updated February 11, 2023 - 6 Minute Read

What Makes up a good Baby Formula | The Milky Box

Choosing the right baby formula for your little one can be challenging for any parent. With so many options available, deciding on the best ingredients to support your baby's digestion and overall growth and development can be daunting.

This article will provide helpful information to make your formula-feeding journey easier. We will discuss the essential ingredients and regulations that support babies' physical and cognitive development from newborns to toddlers.

Baby Formula: Ingredients 

When choosing a baby formula, a great starting point is a simple glance at the ingredients list.  


What is the first ingredient? Most of the time (other than vegan based), this should be lactose.

Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is the primary source of carbohydrate nutrition in human breast milk and should also be in your baby’s powdered food.

Soy Free Options

Food allergies, digestive sensitivity, and healthy lifestyle choices can come with challenges. Fortunately, European formulas have the answer.

Unlike the formulas on the shelf in America, there are safer options that have no additional soy added to their formula!

A few widespread side effects of soy formula include blocking the absorption of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Soy is also an endocrine disruptor, and daily intake in the early years can lead to potential hormone-related problems in the future.

No Synthetic Nutrients

Synthetic nutrients, many of these substances are toxic themselves or processed with poisonous solvents, are banned in Europe. Unfortunately, American formula is laden with synthetic nutrients.

Common synthetics labeled as nutrients are lycopene, lutein, taurine, L-methionine, and nucleotides.

Please note these ingredients can come from natural sources and add significant value to your baby’s nutrition, but American formulas allow these to be created in a lab. Current US regulations do not require these artificial synthetics to be listed separately and they may pose health risks.

Unwanted, unlabeled ingredients highlight the importance of knowing exactly where each component of your baby’s nutritonal calories come from.

European Baby Formula

Just as important as knowing the ingredients that make up your baby’s formula is being informed of the regulations for sourcing each bottle.

The EU has strict guidelines for determining the nutritional content of infant formula. These guidelines are based on recent scientific findings that aim to determine the best ways to provide infants with adequate nutrition that supports healthy growth and development.

Better Ingredients

European formula’s primary protein source is lactose, in many cases composed of whey and casein to mimic breast milk

Better Carbohydrates 

For cow’s milk and goat's milk baby formula, lactose is the only carbohydrate necessary. European regulations DO NOT allow corn syrup solids, glucose syrup solids, sucrose, sugar, or brown rice syrup. 

Better Fats

The blends of vegetable oils used in European baby formulas are selected to match the fatty acid profile of human milk.

Vegetable oils, such as palm oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, etc., are selected from sustainable sources. There are never any undisclosed fats, unlike many American formulas that have hidden soy in this list of their ingredients.

European Baby Formulas | The Milky Box

Organic Baby Formula

Organic quality sets European baby formula apart from American baby formula in a big way. European baby formulas use organic farming practices that have your infants' health in mind.

Strict regulations and standards set by the European Commission ensure the use of ingredients that only support growth and development and are manufactured and produced in an ecologically responsible manner.

EU guidelines require that all European organic baby formulas are free from pesticide residue, growth hormones, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic chemicals and preservatives, heavy metals, and potentially toxic ingredients.

Careful checks and balances are implemented before European formulas receive organic approval.

US organic baby formula is not upheld to the same standards as European baby formula. Under FDA regulations, American baby formulas labeled as “Organic” does not always mean that every single ingredient is organic.

The US has a divided look at organic nutrition for infants - organic and grass-fed formulas. You cannot get both organic and grass-fed.

The excellent news is that European baby formula companies labeled organic use 95% organically sourced ingredients, sustainable farming practices, and animals grazing in organically grown pastures.

Does Baby Formula Expire?

Every box or canister of baby formula will have an expiration date or a “use by” date. After this date, do not use the formula, even if it is unopened.

Infant and toddler formulas are not crafted to last forever. Nutrients can degrade, and bacteria can grow over time. Of course, this can be harmful to infants and toddlers.

We always recommend double-checking before making a bottle paying close attention to European dates, which are listed as dd/mm/year, as opposed to American dates, which are listed as mm/dd/year. 

For example, in America the date is written as 11/07/2022, in Europe the date is written as 07/11/2022.

Best Baby Formula

When it comes to your baby's nutrition, you want only the best. That's why it's essential to research and choose a baby formula that is pure, clean, and rich in digestive support.

European baby formulas are known for their exceptional quality and ability to mimic mother's milk, which leads to healthy physical growth and cognitive development. From the first day to the toddler years, you can rely on The Milky Box to provide powdered nutrition that is perfect for your family. 

Choose The Milky Box and rest easy knowing your baby is getting the best nutrition available.


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. Eric Wood, ND, MA

Dr. Wood is a licensed naturopathic doctor, with a doctorate degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Canada. He received his post-graduation certification in Mind Body Medicine at Harvard University.

With 15 years of experience, Dr. Wood is an Associate Professor of Holistic Nutrition at the American College of Health Sciences in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Wood is an educator, clinician, author, media figure, consultant, and owns his own holistic (naturopathic) medical practice in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Wood is currently researching and drafting books on cancer and pediatrics.

Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Wood loves singing with the Miami Lyric Opera and is an avid musician in South Florida. He also loves spending time with his wife and kids.