A mental picture of sugar is probably white crystals full of sweetness that makes desserts delicious and treats terrific. It also reminds people of health risks like obesity and diabetes. You wouldn’t feed your baby a spoonful of sugar or a sip of corn syrup, so you don’t want it in your baby’s formula either.
However, sugar is a part of the food your baby eats from the beginning. Confused? There is more to sugar than processed crystals and corn syrup.
Gentle Organic Baby Formula
What do you think makes breast milk sweet and enjoyable for babies? It’s sugar. No, a woman’s breast is not a factory for making sugar. In fact, it makes lactose. Lactose is the term for the milk sugar that is in all types of milk. This carbohydrate is what makes breast milk, cow milk, goat milk, and all other milks naturally sweet. Babies, just like adults, need carbohydrates for energy and fuel for their bodies. When large amounts are consumed, then it is not as good for the body.
Some baby formulas use lactose, but some opt for processed sugars like sucrose or syrups made from corn or brown rice because it is a cheaper alternative. While these sweeteners are made from natural ingredients and can sometimes come from organic farms, it may end up to be a high quantity of sugar or syrup that your baby doesn’t need.
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup has been connected to childhood obesity. As of 2013, there are over 42 million infants and children all over the world who are categorized as overweight or obese. With infants as a part of that statistic, too much sugar in the diet can be a contributing factor in their eating habits.
Sugar and corn syrup can also play a role in your child’s developmental well-being. Not only are there general health concerns, but your baby may also be at risk for behavioral concerns including ADD or ADHD. Even though milk has sugar, too much sugar can also be connected to dental cavities. Your baby may not have cut their first tooth yet, but cavities are a real problem if you don’t start wiping their gums on a regular basis.
How bad is sugar or syrup? Even though these two ingredients can be organic, the European Union has banned them from their baby formulas as of 2009. They are fighting against childhood obesity and diabetes related to weight, and one way of doing it is regulating the types of sweeteners used in baby formula.
European organic baby formula is available in the United States through providers such as MyOrganicFormula. You have a choice between three of the top brands from the continent. All of their Stage 1 baby formulas are certified organic to the highest quality with no GMOs and ethical treatment to the cows or goats that produce the milk. More importantly, all of these companies use organic lactose for the baby formula that is designed for newborns on.
Lebenswert and Holle do offer formulas for hungry babies with more developed digestive systems after six months of age with a different kind of carbohydrate. In Stages 2 and beyond, these two companies add maltodextrin, a starch that is derived from corn. It is not high fructose corn syrup. While it has a higher glycemic index than lactose, the flavorless starch is not a sweetener because it is actually used to balance the sweetness of the formula.
You will never find a brand of formula that does not have some kind of sugar because your baby has to have carbohydrates to grow and thrive. The best thing to do as a parent is to look at the list of ingredients if you are choosing to formula-feed your baby. Avoid ingredients such as sucrose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or brown rice syrup so that you can control the level of sweetness your baby consumes. It will lead to healthier eating habits in the future by enjoying the natural sweetness of natural foods.
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