Balanced mixed or formula feeding is quite a challenge for many parents. A huge number of milk formula options are available now: their compositions are based on the specific needs of babies.
So how to choose a suitable formula for your little one and properly introduce it into the baby’s diet?
Cow’s milk vs. goat’s milk
When it comes to the base of the formula, cow’s milk is used more often than goat’s milk. Despite the seeming simplicity of choosing the type of milk, good tolerance is essential. It means clear skin without rash or redness, no colic or constipation, and weight gain in the child.
Some babies’ digestive systems do not easily adapt to the protein of milk, but they tolerate goat’s milk well. A goat’s milk formula can be recommended for the child if there is a family history of individual intolerance to cow’s milk proteins. However, an identified childhood allergy to cow’s milk proteins requires diet therapy with specialized hydrolyzed or amino acid-based formulas.
Formula stages for different ages
Each manufacturer aims to bring the composition of baby formula as close as possible to that of breast milk in all its components. In this case, the baby formula ingredients must meet the baby’s nutritional needs according to his or her age. As the baby grows, the composition of breast milk also changes. That is because the digestive system matures, and the body’s need for nutrients increases. The same situation is with formula feeding. In order to find the right formula for your baby’s age and needs, you should pay attention to the formula stages labelings:
- Pre or 0 stage – designed for premature or low-birth-weight infants;
- 1 stage – for babies from 0 to 6 months
- 2 stage – for babies from 6 to 12 months
- 3 stage – for babies from 10-12+ months
Formula composition: what is in baby formula?
Every parent knows that milk is the basis of nutrition for babies in their first year of life. The composition of infant formula includes many other ingredients and substances listed on the packaging. What do they mean, and how do they affect the baby’s body?
- Protein, fats, and carbohydrates are the basic nutrients.
- Lactose is a substance of great importance in infant nutrition up to 12 months. The fact is that lactose promotes better absorption of iron and calcium by the baby’s body, which are necessary for proper development. In addition, it improves digestion and provides energy for the child’s body.
- Linoleic acid is a fatty acid vital to the formation of the human brain and the eye retina.
- Vitamins and minerals.
- Taurine is an amino acid necessary for brain development. It is a must in the infant formula.
Ingredients to avoid in baby formula
Sugar is a real poison for babies because it causes a lack of essential vitamins and trace elements in the body. In addition, no carbohydrates such as glucose, sucrose, or fructose should be in the formula since they cause excessive flatulence.
Your pediatrician can prescribe formulas based on soy protein as a therapeutic diet when necessary. In addition, soy must be natural – using GMOs in baby foods is unacceptable.
- Palm oil
Usually, palm oil is added to the formula because it contains palmitic acid. However, in fact, the harm that palm oil causes far exceeds its benefits.
Formulas with starch in their composition are not recommended for babies during the first 3-4 months, as such ingredients can cause gas and colic in your baby.
When choosing a formula for your baby, asking your pediatrician for advice is necessary! Only a doctor can help you choose the right formula, allowing your baby to grow and develop harmoniously!