New moms are bombarded every day by loud voices telling them how to parent their little one.
Loud voices scream “breast-is-best”, “NO gluten!”, “NO dairy!”, “Cry-it-out!” or “Co-sleep!”. The controversies and unsolicited opinions are virtually endless.
But no matter what your opinion is about co-sleeping, amber beads or breastfeeding, you want what’s healthiest for your baby.
Breastfeeding might be the most obvious healthy choice but it doesn’t work for everyone. Finding the healthiest formula for your child is the next best thing.
With the obesity rates in the U.S. rising every year, what we feed our children is increasingly more important. Only the healthiest formula will be able to meet the complex needs of your growing baby.
We all know that sugar is linked to obesity. But have you ever thought about the amount of sugar that’s included in baby formula?
Why Include Sugar?
It might seem like an obviously bad idea to include harmful, unhealthy artificial sweeteners to baby formula, but many formula producers do.
Breastmilk is naturally very sweet. Formula producers are attempting to make a product that closely resembles breast milk, so they sweeten it.
The hormone that is closest to the sweeter in human breast milk is lactose. Lactose is found in cow milk.
Unfortunately, lactose is very expensive so many formula producers use a cheap substitute like plant-based sucrose.
Sucrose is one of the common artificial sweeteners that is added to baby formula.
Sucrose is everyday common white table sugar.
Would you give that to your newborn?
But they’re putting it in your baby’s formula. And they’re often not including it on the nutritional label. You need all the information if you’re going to choose the healthiest formula for your baby.
Not All Sweeteners Are Created Equal
High levels of sucrose make the formula super sweet. High concentrations of very sweet food will make your little baby’s body create more fat cells and crave more sugar.
When our bodies consume too much sugar or the wrong kinds of sugar, it converts those sugars into fat cells. These fat cells don’t simply go away.
These fat cells don’t simply go away.
They stick around and they crave more sugar.
These unnatural sweeteners are spiking formula flavors into the ultra-sweet category and pediatricians are concerned.
Studies have shown that children will almost always choose to eat the sweetest option available. And they also tend to overeat when the food option is extra sweet.
Filling formulas with unnatural, cheaper, plant-based sweeteners can encourage babies to over eat, build too much fat and crave more sugar. It tough enough determining how much to feed your baby without battling the sugar-drive.
Bottles packed full of sugar are not the healthiest formula choice for your little one.
European vs American Formulas
American formulas are regulated by the FDA but there are some gaping loopholes in how the FDA does its job.
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!
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.
Another worrisome additive that European companies are banned from using but American companies use liberally 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 formulas.
The healthiest formula is the formula without added preservatives or unnaturally high levels of artificial sweetener.
The Healthiest Formula Options
We did a lot of talking about what makes certain formulas bad for your baby.
So which formula is the healthiest formula? Which formula should you actually use?
No one can tell you exactly what 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 European Baby Formula
Holle is a German company that makes a great organic cow based 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 formula on the market in Europe.
HiPP European Baby 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 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 Baby Formula
After years of studying breastmilk and breastfeeding, 250 different scientists have endorsed the Aptalmil formula.
It is known for its uniquely powerful and nutrient dense newborn 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 formula might do the trick.
Holle Lebenswert European Baby 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 Low Sugar Formula
European formulas are typically pricier than American formulas and slightly more difficult to obtain.
But think about the price you pay for buying a cheaper, sugar packed non-organic baby formula.
Are you setting your baby up for success by feeding them sugary chemical-filled food from the day they are born?
Kids who are fed sugary foods are more likely to develop sugar addictions and fall into unhealthy and dangerous eating patterns. No parent wants that for their child!
Some parents get sticker shock when they think about how much European formulas cost, but considering the dangers of cheap sugary formula makes the choice much simpler.
Investing in your baby’s healthy by buying European baby formulas 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.
As a new mom, you’re going to hear a lot of voices telling you what to do. But only you can decide what’s best for your baby and your family.
If you decide to bottle feed, feel no shame! You can still provide your child with a healthy, safe start to life.
Educate yourself and make informed decisions about your child’s formula so your little one can thrive! Only the healthiest formula will do for your child.
Congratulations, mama! By reading this article you’re already taking important steps toward giving your baby a healthy and happy life.
Check out one of the formulas listed above and leave a comment about how well the formulas worked for your little one! Which formula did you decide is the healthiest formula for your baby?