What Makes Up a Good Baby Formula?
Choosing the perfect baby formula can be overwhelming for any family. Making the right choice of healthy ingredients that also work best for your little one digestively can cause decision fatigue.
We are here to help make your baby’s formula-feeding journey simpler. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and regulations that best support physical growth and cognitive development from newborns to toddlers.
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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 endorphin disruptor, and daily intake in the early years can lead to autoimmune disease 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 toxic 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.
Unwanted, unlabeled ingredients highlight the importance of knowing exactly where each component of your baby’s formula comes 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 support healthy growth and development.
European formula’s primary protein source is lactose, in many cases composed of whey and casein to mimic breast milk.
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.
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.
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
A little bit of research can go a long way when it comes to choosing baby formula.
European baby formula has pure, clean ingredients and digestive support that mimics mother milk as close as possible and contributes to healthy physical growth and cognitive development.
Starting from the first day through the toddler years, European formulas have powdered nutrition for your family.