How to Pick a Formula? It's Personal
Krystyn Parks, MS, RD
What is the best formula? Well, it depends on you and your baby. There are so many things to consider when choosing one! Here we round up what you need to know to pick what’s right for your family. You’ve got this!
First up, let’s take a look at cost. Formula is not cheap. The standard term ‘formula’ is the cheapest option and that might be the best for you! All formulas in the US have been regulated by the FDA and are guaranteed to meet basic infant needs. They are all fortified with vitamins and minerals to help your baby grow. Keep in mind that these options may not be appropriate for preterm infants or infants with allergies, so talk to a Fooblie coach or your doctor in special circumstances.
Next, protein. The main source of protein in infant formulas in the US is cow’s milk (either intact or broken down). Milk protein is made up of casein and whey and most formulas have a blend of both (Gerber products tend to use 100% whey protein). For vegan families, soy is also available. Please note that for infants with cow’s milk protein allergy, a soy formula is not recommended. There are formulas available in Europe that use goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk, however these are not regulated by the FDA and there have been reports of adverse effects.
Organic or Non-GMO
Current research does not show a nutritional benefit or disease prevention in organic versus non-organic products. Similarly, formulas that contain genetically modified organisms appear to have no increased risk. Due to increased demand for organic and non-GMO products, many companies have created these products. They may be more expensive, so keep that in mind as you choose the best option for you.
Last, let’s look at specialty options. For infants with cow’s milk protein allergy, there are extensively hydrolyzed and amino-acid based formulas available. Please work with your allergist and Fooblie coach to determine which of these products may work best for your baby. For infants with reflux, there are formulas available that thicken in the stomach. These formulas maintain appropriate nutrient composition so are recommended over the use of infant cereal as a thickener. In any case, we recommend you speak with your doctor before starting your baby on a specialty formula.
Bottom line? It’s different for each family
Now you know how to evaluate at the options! Don’t want to that alone? Talk to one of our Fooblie Coaches, they are experts in feeding little ones. If you just want to read on your own, we can help you there too. Check out our library of free articles on feeding infants. You’ve got this!