Many moms are now formula feeding their babies. Even the doctors are prescribing them when there is inadequate milk flow, when a mom must take medicines after the delivery,and in some other instances. Many moms feel sad and guilty because they cannot breastfeed. There is no reason to feel this way. The best quality formula foods now have all the nutrients for the good health and growth of babies.
However, how do you choose formula milk? How do you know that your product is of the best quality? You will certainly want only the very best for your child. You will find plenty of formula milk choices. When buying, always look at the ingredients carefully. This guide will help you choose.
What is Breast MilkMade Of?
Doctors will usually recommend breastfeeding for infants who are less than a year old. It should be the main nutrition source. In some instances, it is recommended for babies who are up to two years in age but mostly as a supplement. Formula milk, luckily, provides all the nutrition a baby needs, especially if you have chosen the best product. Sometimes they can even be better because breastmilk doesn’t have everything a baby needs.
Breastmilk is nature’s choice and is good. It starts the development process, allows weight gain, and promotes immunity.
- Its main ingredient is water – 87% to 90%
- There is 40% casein and 60% whey protein, which most babies can easily digest
- Breastmilk also has healthy fatty acids. Infants require fat for healthy vision, the brain, and the growth of the nervous system. For each gram, fats will provide 9 calories.
- Breastmilk contains lactose, a key carbohydrate. It improves digestion. It also has calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, which helps the baby absorb nutrition.
- There are many growth-supporting minerals and vitamins too.
- Breastmilk has compounds that allow the body to fight infection. This makes the natural immunity stronger.
The Basics of Formula Milk
Formula milk products go back a long time, to the late 1800s. Modern-day products like the HiPP Formula from Europe are much better. Even infants with special digestive requirements can take them.
They usually come in three variations. Soy-based formula milk, those that provide cow milk, and formulas that use non-dairy products where the protein is broken down, which improves digestibility. In the best modern-day formula milk, many of the ingredients resemble breastmilk, which is one reason why these products are safe for consumption.
There are all kinds of formula milk –
- Powder-based, where you have to use water for mixing
- Liquid-based in cans, where too, water is needed
- Ready-to-use formulas, which are premixed. No preparation is required. Just open the can and serve.
Ingredients in Formula Milk
They will vary from product to product but you will always find some common ingredients. The FDA has made it mandatory that at least 29 nutrients be present in formula milk. Also, their level must never exceed 100 calories in a minimum of nine.
Whatever formula you select, you have to ensure that it doesn’t substitute milk, whether it is from a dairy or plant source. They can never supply the required calorie density, nutrients, or the necessary components for the growth and health of an infant.
Also, make sure that these ingredients are present in the formula you select – Linoleic Acid, Calcium, Copper, Chloride, Sodium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Iodine, Magnesium, Manganese, Fat, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, and Vitamin C. read the label carefully before buying.
Ingredients to Avoid
Many formula products will also have some other ingredients, depending on how they are made. Be careful because some of them are best avoided.
The HiPP Formula is certified by the European Union, so you can be sure about its safety. But sadly, you will find products that are yet to be certified. So you cannot be sure of their quality and safety.
Many commercial products have the following ingredients, which may not always be safe for your baby.
- Added sugar and corn sugar work as sweeteners to improve the taste. They are best avoided.
- Carrageenan thickener comes from seaweed. It is normally safe. In some babies, however, this can cause inflammation.
- Added ARA, processed with hexane solvents.
- Limit exposure to heavy metals and pesticides.
- The formula should not have palm oil as it can inhibit the absorption of calcium.
- Sometimes, colorings and artificial flavors are added, which increases the risk of hypersensitivity and behavioral disorders.
- Avoid antibodies that are derived from dairy.
Many of these harmful ingredients won’t always make the infant sick. That’s because the tolerance level for each person is different. But the risk is always there. The choice of formula may also depend on a medical condition or personal preference of the baby/her parents.
Price should not be a determining factor. Always focus on safety and health. It is always best to discuss with a pediatrician or registered dietician before deciding.