Raising an Organic Baby
An organic lifestyle is possible in the 21st century. How can your little one have one too?
You could be new to an organic lifestyle or have been living as natural as possible for years. The benefits of organic are becoming more mainstream. You don’t have to go to grocery stores like Whole Foods to find organic produce and products on the shelves. In fact, organic food sold in the United States amounts for 5.5% of food sold in retail. Ten years ago, organic food accounted for 3.1% of total food sold. This information is according to the 2018 Organic Industry Survey provided by the Organic Trade Association. More and more people want to be able to eat clean and will seek out foods and other products that reduce the negative impact on the environment.
Organic baby formula is also on the rise. While mothers are encouraged to breastfeed babies for the first six months for the most health and development benefits, there are a number of reasons why mothers do not reach the six-month mark. They may start exclusively and transition to formula or supplement breast milk with formula. Whatever the reason, parents will educate themselves on the brands and varieties of baby formula. If they are serious about an organic lifestyle, then they narrow their selection even further.
What is Organic Baby Formula?
Organic baby formula has the same amount of calories and balance of nutrients that are vital in your baby’s diet. The difference is the quality of the ingredients that are used in the formula. This quality is overseen by the National Organic Program in the United States through the USDA. These guidelines start with food production including practices that foster cycling resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. While fertilizer is ok, it cannot be synthetic. Genetic engineering (GMOs) is also not allowed in any food that is to be labeled organic. The livestock that produces the milk that is used in organic baby formula must also comply from birth on. This means that the animals are raised on organic farms with access to the outdoors year-round. They cannot be treated with antibiotics or hormones, and any feed they consume must also be organic-approved.
European baby formula takes organic guidelines further. The organic guidelines are even more strict in Europe because they do not allow some of the natural ingredients that are acceptable to U.S. standards. For example, the sugars or carbohydrates typically found in European organic baby formula are organic lactose or organic maltodextrin. Some of the organic baby formulas from the United States may use corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or brown rice syrup. The European Union excluded these natural ingredients from their approved list because they were too high in sweetness and may contribute to childhood obesity and related diseases.
Organic baby formula is better for your baby because it has not been exposed to synthetic pesticides, solvents, or unnatural ingredients that can affect your baby. Some ingredients may be natural, but they are not delicate enough for your baby’s developing digestive system. Other synthetic products can trigger allergic reactions or cause developmental delays.
Which Organic Baby Formula is Best For Your Organic Baby?
All of the organic baby formulas produced in the United States meet or exceed the certification guidelines of the National Organic Program. However, they do not go far enough to meet the levels established by the European Union. Formulas such as Hipp, Holle, and Lebenswert use biodynamic farming practices to make products that are 99% organic and consistently exceed Europe’s strict expectations for organic products. These companies also work to reduce their carbon emissions so that the environment is better off without pollutants that can occur during manufacturing.
While you may not be able to find European organic baby formula in your grocery stores next to other organic baby formulas, you can find it through reliable sources such as My Organic Formula. If you are not breastfeeding or you are supplementing breast milk with organic baby formula, you can be confident that you are doing something positive for your baby’s health and the environment by the choices you make.