Tips for Choosing Organic Infant Formula

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on October 1, 2012

Formula is specialised food for babies under a year. Formula is considered a substitute to human milk, partially or even completely. It is designed to complete the dietary requirements for a baby, and can be mixed with water or milk and fed through a bottle or a cup.

These formulas typically contain whey from cow's milk, casein, along with lactose and vegetable oil. These items are the basic ingredients. Some of these ingredients differ based on manufacturers. Nowadays manufacturers also use soybean as the protein instead of whey from cow's milk to accommodate babies who might be dairy intolerant.

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Other main ingredients include sodium chloride, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins A. B C, D and K, linoleic acid, folic acid, and carbohydrates.

Formulas were created as a modern-day substitute to wet nurses.


Despite an emphasis on breastfeeding babies, mothers, especially in the developed world, choose to feed their babies with either a combination of formula and breast milk or just formula. It's important that some amount of breast feeding if possible as you will be able to pass on your natural immunities to your baby.

Continuous research has made the formula industry an extremely competitive one today. Despite the fact that the content of formulas is monitored by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the market is divided up into branded and unbranded formula options. These products are often almost the same but the customers tend to be divided and loyal. Though infant formula is nutritionally deficient as compared to breast milk, it is still a better option to other alternatives, like cow's milk, for instance.

Since the introduction of the option of soy protein in formula, many parents prefer an organic or a dairy option in the formula. Soy in America is largely the genetically modified variety (GM soy has over 90 per cent penetration in America). So when it comes to picking a formula, parents prefer an organic version. There is also no nutritional advantage of a soy-based formula to a dairy-based one.

Research on soy being harmful is still not been proved but drinking a soy formula could reduce your baby's calcium absorbing capabilities. The presence of phytoestrogens or isoflavones from soy cannot be ignored as the effect of it is still being researched.

Organic formulas are those formula feeds that are made from cow's milk and these cows are organically raised, on farms. These cows are not force fed and allowed to roam freely. Many believe that the produce obtained after such a life tends to be better than cows that are bred. The nutrition is higher in such produce.

  • When choosing a formula, check the ingredients. Ensure that there are no harmful chemicals or ingredients you do not recognize. Bisphenol A is one such chemical. Organic formulas might not have chemicals but you should always check. Companies using organic produce do not always disclose their sources.
  • The ingredients will also help you decide whether it is a formula you or your baby would be comfortable with. You can note down the ingredient list of the brands you prefer and discuss it over with your health care practitioner. There are even forums online that help you discuss these details.
  • Similac, Earth's Best and Baby's only (Nature's Best) are considered the most popular organic baby formulas. Baby's only was one of the earliest formulas to call itself organic formula.

You will see that the choice is plenty when it comes to formula, even organic formula. You want to focus on what you want rather than the choice in front of you. Do this research before your baby is born because once your baby is born you might not want to spend time looking at alternatives and might pick the first one you spot.

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