The formula milk market for babies is huge and varied. There are many choices. While deciding which brand to buy, you must always focus on the ingredients. However, it is essential that you know what is good and what is best avoided. It can become very difficult if you lack adequate knowledge. Here’s a guide that will help you get started. This will help you make better decisions.
But before we go into that, let us take a good look at what is present in milk from the breasts.
The Ingredients of Breast Milk
Most doctors recommend breastfeeding as the main source of nutrition during the initial 12 months at least. Breast feeding can even be done up to two years in some instances as a supplement. But, there are some moms who cannot breastfeed for various reasons. Luckily, you have formula milk, which contains good nutrients for an infant. These formula products are made to look after their growth. They are often even better.
Milk from the breasts is still a good option because this is nature’s choice. It promotes immunity, healthy weight gain, and kick starts development. Here are some basic nutrients, compounds present in it.
- Water is a main ingredient, between 87% and 90%.
- It has about 60% whey protein, 40% casein, which the baby can digest easily.
- There are good fatty acids. The body needs fat for the nervous system, the brain, and also for healthy vision. Fats give 9 calories for each gram.
- Lactose is a major carbohydrate you will find in milk from the breasts. This allows good bacteria within the digestive systems. It also improves nutrition absorption like phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
- It contains various minerals, also vitamins that support growth.
- Milk also contains compounds that fight infection. This includes many enzymes, hormones, antibodies. It improves the body’s natural immunity. It protects from microbes, which may cause infection.
Milk Formula Basics
The first milk formula product came out during the end of the 1800s. So we have had them for a long time. Of course, they have evolved with time as per consumer demands, and are now much better. There is growing evidence suggesting that many of them like the hipp organic formula from thebestfromjapan.com can be very healthy. Even as healthy as the breast milk. That’s why these products have emerged as an alternative for breastfeeding.
What ingredients will you find in a formula? Usually, there are 3 main variations of formulas – those based on soy, protein from cow milk, those using non-dairy products where the proteins can be broken down for increased digestibility. Often, the ingredients actually resemble milk from the breasts.
You will also find options where they are prepared in different ways. They are available as powders, where you have to mix using water. They are usually very cheap. However, there are products that are liquid based as well. You will find them usually in cans. They too must be used in combination with water.
Finally, you will find ready-to-use products. They are premixed. Just open the cap and serve. They are convenient because no preparation is needed. But they are costly. What you select depends on individual preferences, how much you are willing to spend.
Read these 5 tips for feeding toddlers.
Ingredients Found in Formula Products
The ingredients will often vary widely. However, there are a few components, which are always present, no matter which formula you use. According to the FDA laws, there should be a minimum of twenty-nine nutrients present in them. In nine of them, their level may not exceed one hundred calories.
Each baby formula meets the biological and growth requirements of an infant. They mostly mimic the nutrition infants receive from breast milk. Their composition is thus almost always close.
Whatever product you choose, make sure that you never substitute with a beverage made using milk, whether it is from plant, dairy. You will never have nutrients, calorie density, or the planned components in them that satisfies the development, growth requirement of the child. Using them can be dangerous. Always select a formula where the following ingredients are present.
- Linoleic Acid
- Vitamin C
What Ingredients Should You Avoid
The above-mentioned ingredients should always be there in a good formula product for babies. There are other ingredients as well, based on what formulation of a company. In some products, actually, you may even find things that are harmful. Best you stay careful. Always look at the label for the ingredients before you choose.
Always remember, not every baby formula out there is safe. Here are some ingredients you will find in commercial products, which can be quite harmful.
- Corn sugar and added sugar can add sweeteners to the diet unnecessarily
- Added ARA, which is processed with hexane solvents
- Carrageenan thickener, obtained from seaweed, is usually safe. But they can sometimes cause inflammation.
- Avoid palm oil as well because it can inhibit calcium absorption
- Exposure to pesticides, heavy metals should be limited.
- Antibodies, hormones in formula derived from dairy
- Synthetic/artificial flavors and colorings are sometimes added. They can increase the risk of behavioral disorders, hypersensitivity.
Always discuss formula products with parents who aren’t breastfeeding. But remember, each child has different needs. The tolerance levels are also different. You may also have to choose something else if the infant is suffering from some health condition. Best, talk it over with a registered dietician or pediatrician before you decide on a product.
There are some other issues to think of as well. Price is always an important consideration. The product you select should fit into the monthly budget because you have to stay with it for a while. Don’t change too often. There can be adjustment problems. Also, consider how much effort you must put in for preparing the feeding for your infant.