If you’re a new mom, let me first say congratulations! Being a mother is the best, sweetest, hardest and most important thing.
From the minute you find out you’re expecting a little bundle of joy you are thinking about them. You consider their safety, their happiness, and most of all their health.
There are many competing voices that will try to tell you how to raise your child. But only you know your family and your little one. Only you can make the best healthy choices for your child.
People used to be concerned that there was a connection between using baby formula and increased diabetes risk, but studies have proven that wrong! There is no increased risk of diabetes if you choose to feed your baby cow milk based formula.
But not all formulas are created equal! You still have some decisions to make to ensure that your baby gets the best possible nutrition.
Is baby formula healthy?
Nutritionally speaking, doctors still say breastmilk is the best choice for babies. But breastfeeding isn’t always an option for everyone. If breastfeeding isn’t the way you choose to go, you can still give your baby a very healthy start to life.
People questioned whether formula with a cow milk base would lead to diabetes because early studies about diabetes questioned whether drinking cow milk was related. But even past studies testing the link between adults drinking cow milk and having diabetes have been inconclusive.
A study involving over 9,000 babies and four different countries showed that there was no definite link between cow milk based baby formula and the development of diabetes later in life.
Why use cow milk at all?
You might be wondering if there was any doubt, to begin with then why even use cow milk?
Well, there are many complex reasons why cow milk mimics breast milk well. One reason is that breastmilk is naturally very sweet tasting and formula producers try to recreate the experience and taste of breastmilk as closely as possible.
The hormone that is closest to the sweetner in breastmilk is the hormone lactose. Where do you think lactose is naturally occurring? You guessed it! Cow milk.
If baby formula makers didn’t use lactose, then they would be using plant based sweeteners which aren’t very good for your baby.
Artificial sweeteners are not a healthy option for your little one! Sugars are linked to obesity, overeating and other things you don’t want for your baby.
European vs American Formulas
American formulas are technically regulated by the FDA but there are some huge loopholes in how the FDA regulates.
First of all, the FDA does not require formula producers to report how much sugar is in a formula on the nutrition label. So you couldn’t even check if you wanted to.
In 2009, the EU banned a lot of substances commonly found in American formulas because they were concerned about rising rates of childhood obesity.
If you’re concerned about the sugar levels in your baby’s formula (and you should be) then buy European. They don’t allow sugars like sucrose to be added! And European baby formula isn’t going to be chocked full of fillers and suspicious, untested substances like American formula is.
It can be kind of difficult to obtain some European formulas if they aren’t approved by the FDA, but the hassle is worth your baby’s health.
Another unsettling fact about the American baby formula market is the consolidation of ownership. Almost all of the brands of baby formula you see in the grocery store are own by one of three giant companies.
And these huge corporations aren’t always thinking about what’s the healthiest formula for your precious little one. Because so much of the power is consolidated, these companies can more easily switch or add fillers to their baby formula without sort of warning or announcement.
Another worrisome additive that European companies are banned from using but American companies use often is carrageenan.
Carrageenan is used to thicken processed liquid foods. It binds well to proteins and makes the liquid a thicker texture.
It seems harmless, but it has been linked to cancer and digestive issues in babies. American companies are often using carrageenan to thicken their baby formula.
The healthiest baby formula is the baby formula without added preservatives, unnaturally high levels of artificial sweetener, and is based on cow milk.
The healthiest baby formula options
So which formula is the healthiest formula? Which baby formula should you actually use?
No one can tell you exactly what baby formula to use. Only you know the unique needs of your baby. But doing some research and knowing what the top brands are will help you make an educated decision for your little one.
Here’s a list of the healthiest formulas that Europe has to offer:
Holle is a German company that makes a great organic cow based baby formula.
Holle has been making chemical and preservative free baby formula since 1933. It is one of the most popular baby formulas on the market.
The formula is made from biodynamic cows that are raised on Demeter farms. Demeter farms are highly regulated and controlled to ensure that the cows are only grass fed and kept safe from any damaging chemicals.
There are five different stages of Holle baby formula available. Each stage is designed to meet your baby’s needs as they change and grow. All of the stages have a goat’s milk alternative if your baby has a special allergy.
Holle does use palm oil in their formula which can cause some mild digestive issues with babies. If your baby has a reaction to the palm oil, then the next option listed could be right for you.
Holle is often considered the healthiest baby formula on the market in Europe.
HiPP European Formula
This family owned German company has been making quality organic baby food since 1932. HiPP also makes sure that all of its production sites are carbon-neutral.
So this baby formula is good for your baby and the earth!
HiPP offers many different varieties of baby formula that are designed for specific limitations. For example, they had an acid reflux formula, a formula for gas or constipation or sensitive stomachs.
In addition to their diverse formulas, they also create different stages of formula that will match the development level of your baby.
This formula doesn’t contain palm oil so if your baby is sensitive to that then HiPP could be the right choice.
Aptamil European Formula
After years of studying breastmilk and breastfeeding, 250 different scientists have endorsed the Aptamil baby formula.
It is known for its uniquely powerful and nutrient dense newborn baby formula, but it has different formulas that will meet the needs of your growing baby.
Aptalmil is produced with Pronutra. This manufacturing process includes more subtle and important nutrients that most newborn formulas.
If HiPP and Holle didn’t work out for you, then this scientist celebrated baby formula might do the trick.
Holle Lebenswert European Formula
In 2009, Holle released Lebenswert as a new line of baby foods. It is committed to bio land guidelines and promises to never include artificial preservatives or chemicals simply to enhance shelf-life or taste.
Lebenswert has been popular on the market since it’s release. It is healthy for your baby and healthy for the planet from it’s creation to its consumption.
Lebenswert is definitely a brand to try if you’re looking for an organic, no-GMO, healthy formula.
Invest in the healthiest formula
European formula is typically pricier than American formulas and slightly more difficult to obtain. But consider the cost of the hassle just part of the price you pay for the healthiest formula around.
Are you setting your baby up for success by feeding them suspect formula from the day they are born?
Some parents get sticker shock when they think about how much European formulas cost, but considering the dangers of cheaper, lower quality formula makes the choice much simpler.
Investing in your baby’s health by buying European formula will help your baby’s mind and body develop well so they can have the best start to life possible.
Invest in health by choosing the healthiest formula.
Plus, organic baby foods have more nutrients, no GMOS, and it’s better for the environment! Everyone wins.
New moms are bombarded by differing opinions about how to best take care of your baby. Only you can make the right choice for your child.
Whether you decided to breastfeed or bottle-feed, make sure you educate yourself so you can be sure you’re making the healthiest choice for your dear one.
By reading this article you’re already a leg up on most other moms! Educating yourself is the best way to give your baby a happy and healthy life.