Is Infant Formula Safe for Babies?
Infant formula is suppose to be as close to breast milk as possible. As the primary source of your baby's nutrition, you want it to be as safe as breast milk too.
Parents who choose formula over breast milk for their babies have a range of reasons whether it is physical, medical, or just choice. With a variety of formulas on the market, they can choose from brands, protein sources, inclusion of minerals such as iron, and so much more. All of the formulas must meet Food and Drug Administration guidelines, but some consumers question the safety of the products.
Less than ten years ago, there was public outcry of the ingredients listed (or even not listed) on formula labels. Trace amounts of melamine and cyanuric acid were found in some name-brand formulas, yet they were deemed to be low enough to now raise public health concerns. The same was true in regards to corn syrup as a natural sweetener despite its concerns with connections to childhood obesity and heart disease.
How Has Infant Formula Changed?
Infant formula has made a change for the better, while some of the healthiest formulas are more accessible to babies in the United States.
- Organic – more infant formula brands have developed a certified organic product that does not contain chemicals found in other products due to better farming practices.
- Sweeteners – Lactose is a natural sweetener found naturally in mother's milk and has replaced corn sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.
- Oil – Rather than create infant formula with oils that may inhibit the absorption of calcium, more formula brands look to healthier oils.
While U.S. Formulas are improving, European brands have been maintaining their high organic standards for over 50 years. Organic formulas from HiPP, Holle, and Lebenswert follow strict organic guidelines, steer clear of synthetic nutrients and additives, and avoid plant-based sucrose.
As parents, it is important to read labels, known what the ingredients are, and learn which infant formulas are safe for your child. Some brands make it easy to determine what is safe compared to its competitors.