The baby formula helps the child’s digestive system to smoothly transition from breastfeeding to normal food. There will be no problems with the baby food assortment, but it is very difficult to select the right one. An important requirement for the quality of food for infants is the absence of harmful ingredients, any artificial colors, and all kinds of preservatives.
When choosing baby feeding pay attention to the ingredients in their composition. Give preference to a formula that contains nutrients that support the development of the child’s brain.
A high-quality formula should contain an amino acid called taurine, as well as useful vitamins, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Before starting bottle-feeding, you should consult with your pediatrician. After the examination, the doctor will subscribe to the baby milk based on the characteristics of the newborn’s organism. There are many types of infant formula, and the main thing in the choice is to understand what problem in nutrition they solve.
When choosing a suitable milk formula, the pediatrician focuses on:
- the age
- weight gaining dynamics
- baby’s appetite
- microflora of the intestinal tract
- the presence of a digestive disorder
- allergic reactions.
What types of baby formula exist?
Globally formulas are divided into 3 main groups:
- standard, or basic
- therapeutic and prophylactic
Further, baby formulas are divided into two main groups:
- Adapted they are as close to breast milk as possible, and the nutrients they contain are in the same amount as in breast milk. They are recommended for newborns, as these formulas are better and more easily absorbed by the infant’s organism.
- Partially adapted – only some of the components are similar in quantitative content to breast milk, so they suit children over 6 months old. In addition to lactose, the composition of partially adapted formulas already includes sucrose.
The composition of breast milk changes with the growth of the kid. This is due to the fact that the child’s digestive system improves while it’s growing and the organism’s needs for nutrients change. In order to choose the feeding according to the age, pay attention to the number indicated on the packaging:
- 0/pre – intended for premature babies or low weight babies
- 1 – for babies from 0 to 6 months
- 2 – for babies from 6 months to 1 year
- 3 – for children over 12 months
Infant formula is also classified:
- By consistency – dry, powder, or liquid
- By composition – casein, and milk whey. Breast milk contains both of these ingredients, so it is important that the formula maintains the same proportions. Note that casein formulas are recommended to feed babies over 6 months old
- By prescription (specialized milk formulas)
The difference between cow, goat, and vegan milk formula
Answering the question of which milk is healthier it is important to take into account that it is advisable to talk about the benefits of this product for the child only when it’s over one year. This puts an unbearable load on the child’s kidneys – they are not yet ready to cope with so many minerals. That is why processed milk is used in infant formulas.
If goat milk contains more calcium, potassium, and vitamin A, cow milk contains more vitamin B12, selenium, and folic acid. However, infant formulas are fortified and contain the ideal nutrient balance for your child’s age. This means that the formula based on cow and goat milk does not differ much in nutritional value.
Still, if your baby is showing signs of discomfort or a negative reaction to cow milk but has not been diagnosed with an allergy, goat milk formula may be a good alternative as it is easier to digest and has a softer effect on the stomach.
In case your child is diagnosed with a cow milk allergy, sometimes parents decide to use vegan baby formula. It is proven that soy (even when organic) can damage your baby’s health by devastating the development of the brain and nerves. Furthermore, phytoestrogens found in soy can disrupt an infant’s hormonal system.
What ingredients to avoid in baby formula?
Researchers have found that 25% of all breast milk fat is palmitic acid. Its source is palm oil, which is now actively used in the creation of infants formula, but palmitic acid from palm oil is absorbed much worse than palmitic acid from breast milk. Palmitic acid from palm oil binds to calcium in the intestine and forms insoluble compounds.
It is a substance that influences the formation of cancers and genetic changes.
Perchlorate и Chlorate
These substances inhibit the flow of iodine into the thyroid gland. The intake of iodine in sufficient quantities strongly depends on the work of the thyroid gland. Besides, chlorate can also affect red blood cells.
It is a poisonous substance found in mold.
Sometimes you can pick up the proper formula the first time, but more often you have to try several different brands of baby food until you find the right option.