When it comes to newborn babies, we will always want what is best for them. With a wide selection of formulas on the market, how do you decide on the best option for your baby? We break down the different types of formulas, their ingredients and my choice for the ones I considered the best options for me and my children in this article.
I have always loved the saying, ‘Children are born organic, why add chemicals now? ‘As a mother of two, my greatest struggle as a new mom after the birth of my children was breastfeeding. All the literature points to the fact that breastfeeding is best and I agree with that fact as breast milk contains antibodies and takes care of all the nutritional needs of a newborn baby. What a disappointment it was for me after spending close to $1000 on pumps, supplements and accessories to improve milk flow with very little results.
For the first two months after my baby was born, for both births my pediatrician recommended that I supplement their feedings with formula to keep a healthy weight on them. That threw me into overdrive, I spent days, hours, minutes online looking for the right formulas or at least the least pick the formula closest to breast milk with as little junk as possible. Choosing right baby formula required good number of research and even after that I was confused and still couldn’t make a choice. I just knew I did not want the sample cans of liquid Similacs given to me at the pediatrician’s office. I needed to decide quickly.
At the end of my research, I learned about all the extra chemicals, sugars, and preservatives present in all the convention formulas and I was floored. I also learned that in Europe and other parts of the world, some of the ingredients allowed in formulas in the USA are banned or not included in formulas there so naturally I resorted to purchasing a European brand from Germany through a private distributor here in the USA. The formula was satisfactory, and the baby thrived, however at $45 per box, I knew it would not be financially practical since my baby needed almost two boxes per week!
I went back to the drawing board and searched earnestly for the best formulas here in the USA, I also knew I wanted organic so that narrowed down the list even further. For me, the best formula depended upon the ingredients used, the purity of it and whether it is organic/non-GMO or not. Before we go into the list of formulas I thought were best, it is important for us to take a look at what is in the ones many of us use on a daily basis. Most of these ingredients can be found on the cans of most formulas in the US, but what do they mean?
Ingredients Found in Infant Formula
Though soy is often recommended if a baby is allergic to or intolerant of dairy products, it should be avoided if possible. There are many problems with soy and soy ingredients.
GMOs: Most non-organic soy products contain GMO soy.
-Synthetic l-methionine: Because soy is a complete protein, it lacks some of the essential amino acids needed in the human diet. In both organic and non-organic soy formulas a synthetic form of the amino acid l-methionine is added to provide that essential nutrient. However, synthetic l-methionine is produced using toxic air pollutants such as hydrogen cyanide. Though the process is prohibited by European organic standards, companies in the United States can still produce “organic” formula containing this ingredient.
–Soy lecithin: Soy lecithin is an emulsifier used in many processed products including infant formulas and soy or nut milks. Soy lecithin is processed with hexane, a chemical solvent and neurotoxin. The FDA has set “safe” limits to the amount of hexane that can remain in foods; however, many people report upset stomach and other sensitivities after ingesting soy lecithin containing products.
–Phytoestrogens: Though you won’t see this listed as a direct ingredient, all soy containing foods also contain phytoestrogens, which occurs naturally in soybeans. Though the full effects of phytoestrogens are still unknown, physicians warn that they could have an adverse effect on estrogen levels in both males and females. This can be especially bad for infants and children, as they are still developing.
Carrageenan is a thickener used in many foods. This seaweed derived additive is found in many products, including formula. Carrageenan has been shown to cause intestinal inflammation and even colon tumors. Carrageenan has been outlawed in Europe, however it can still be found in many non-organic and organic formulas produced in the United States.
These are two healthy fats that are found in breastmilk. The DHA and ARA in breastmilk have been shown to aid in brain development. Formula companies, in their quest to emulate breastmilk, have added them to their formulas. However, the DHA and ARA they use are extracted from algae and fungus using the neurotoxic solvent hexane. As with soy lecithin, some of the hexane remains behind in the final product. This is even true in formulas that are labeled organic, especially if they are produced in the United States. Add to this that many studies have found that DHA and ARA from algae and fungus seem to have no discernable benefit, and you have no reason to give these ingredients to your baby.
Because breastmilk contains palmitic acid, formula companies have tried to emulate it by adding in palm oil. Palm oil is a very poor substitute for the palmitic acid in breastmilk. Palm oil reacts with calcium in the infant’s gut and turns soapy. This causes poor absorption of nutrients and hard stools, as well as a decrease in bone density. To add insult to injury, most palm oil is not sustainably produced and is a big offender when it comes to environmental issues.
Because formulas contain fats, many of them have added synthetic preservatives to keep the fat from spoiling. One such preservative is ascorbic palmitate. Synthetic preservatives can cause multiple sensitivities in you baby. To avoid these, choose a formula that does not contain DHA and ARA as preservatives are commonly added to protect these fats.
To make formulas seem healthier, many companies add synthetic nutrients to their formulas. As with most synthetic additives, these nutrients are all processed with chemicals which make their way into the formula.
-l-carnitine: l-carnitine is a synthetic nutrient which has been banned by the National Organic Standards Board because of concerns over carcinogenic effects.
– Taurine: Taurine is a synthetic nutrient processed with sulfuric acid which is carcinogenic.
– Lutein: Lutein is a synthetic derivative of marigolds which is extracted using the neurotoxin hexane.
-Lycopene: Synthetic lycopene is produced with neurotoxic toluene, a benzene derivative.
-Nucleotides: nucleotides are produced from chemically treated yeast.
After that painful list, (Hush, don’t cry) I did some research and there is hope. This list is not 100% free of every single thing on the ‘bad list’ but I think they are as good as it gets. Here is my list of 5 best organic formulas in the USA.
1.Baby’s Only Organic LactoRelief formula
Baby’s only Organic Lactorelief formula is free from lactose which is a good option for the baby having issues related to stomach upset, gas or bloating. There are no corn syrup solids in this formula and it contains no palm oil. It does not contain hexane, a toxic chemical used by most formula companies to extract DHA. It contains carbohydrates, protein, fat water, fatty acids, minerals, electrolytes, and vitamins. When it comes to price it is little expensive. According to some parents, it can cause mild constipation.
Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula
Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula is produced without the use of harmful pesticides, it is produced by organic milk from cows fed certified organic grain and hey that is grown without synthetics or fertilizers. It is rich in mineral vitamins, proteins, and essential fatty acids. This formula contains DHA and ARA, which is found in breast milk and these two fatty acids help in the development of child’s brain and eye. There is no added corn syrup in this formula. There is no artificial color or preservatives. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula is easy to digest meet all FDA requirements for infant nutrition. The con side is some believe that the DHA and ARA are extracted using Hexane.
Baby’s Only Organic Formula DHA & ARA
Baby’s Only Organic Formula contains no GMO ingredients which are good for baby because formula which contains GMO ingredients can create health issues. This brand has different options to choose from like they have gluten-free and dairy-free options for babies. It contains fatty acids which convert to DHA and ARA is sourced from egg yolk phospholipids. Baby’s only organic formula has no corn syrup and does not contain palm oil. It’s all ingredients meet strict USDA Organic Regulations. Baby’s only regular dairy formula contains brown rice syrup but their new product but their new product Baby’s only Whey Protein Formula has no brown rice syrup and is sweetened with lactose.
Happy Baby Organic Infant Formulas
Happy Baby Organic formula contains probiotics- FOS and GOS two fibers which work as probiotics. This formula is Non-GMO and contains no corn syrup solids or sweeteners. Made in Vermont with milk from organic dairy farms; no corn syrup sweeteners, no synthetic Taurine, Nucleotides, or Lutein. Its ingredients help in the fastest development of the baby. It includes lactose, milk(made from organic dairy farms), whey protein concentrate, DHA and ARA fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Happy Baby Organic Formula is easy to digest making your baby’s digestive system stronger and healthier. Modeled after breast milk and made with carefully sourced, premium ingredients. Their 2 formula is made with organic lactose, the principal carbohydrate found in breast milk. Stage 2 includes higher amounts of important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin C, choline, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus and iron. It also contains essential fatty acids, DHA and ARA that help support baby’s brain and eye development and It is approved by FDA. The downside is, it contains palm oil.
Plum Organic Infant Formula
The ingredients in this formula contain lactose, non-fat milk, organic oil (such as palm oil, soy oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil), whey protein and enriched with vitamins. The primary ingredient is Lactose and lactose is the most abundant carbohydrates found in breast milk which helps in the growth if baby’s brain. The only concern is it contains palm oil which is hard to avoid in baby formulas. It does not contain any corn syrup solids, it is sweetened with lactose milk. This formula is GMO-free and contains two fatty acids DHA and ARA.
The research on best Organic Formulas in the USA was based on research, customer reviews and ratings, however you can choose the organic formula which best suits for your baby. It is also highly recommended to consult a pediatrician/doctor before starting or switching to other baby formulas. These are my opinions following research and personal choice for my family and no compensation was received in exchange for positive reviews by any organization for this article. Hope this research will be of great help to you.