GUIDE: Choosing Eco-Friendly, Organic Infant Formula for your Baby

by , 03/23/10

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Most of us agree that when it comes to feeding your baby breast milk provides optimum baby nutrition and an excellent price point (practically free). However, I think that we can also agree that not all mamas walk the same path. If you’ve tried breastfeeding, received breastfeeding support and you’re still having trouble, you won’t burn in Hades for giving your baby formula. Formula feeding does not equal poor parenting — and if anyone gives you grief, they’re not worth your time. That said, if you do bottle feed, make sure you buy safe non-toxic baby bottles, follow safe formula preparation techniques, bottle feed your baby correctly and most of all choose a healthy eco-friendly formula. Following are some tips for choosing the safest, greenest formula possible.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT INFANT FORMULA:

  • Formulas on the market vary little in nutritional content because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates all formula, organic or otherwise, to be sure they contain proper amounts of protein, fat, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. The main difference between a green formula vs. conventional are ingredients, how you make it, and organic qualities.
  • Most formulas currently contain DHA and ARA — fatty acids found naturally in breast milk that are essential for healthy baby development. However, be aware that manmade DHA and ARA may not be safe or healthy. There are some extremely serious arguments against feeding your baby fake DHA and ARA. To learn more about the possible cons read The Cornucopia Institute’s Replacing Mother – Infant Formula Report.
  • Look for the USDA Organic label but don’t assume that organic equals awesome. You have to read the ingredients. For example, some organic formulas use corn syrup instead of milk lactose or brown rice syrup for their sugar source.
  • Check the background of the company — for example, do they support healthy children and planet initiatives?
  • Reuse or recycle your formula containers.
  • Always buy powdered formula over premade formula. Beyond the significant cost increase of premade, the Environmental Working Group notes that the premade infant formulas they’ve tested contain significantly high amounts of BPA — more than other canned food items on the market.
  • Skip making powdered formula with bottled water. If your tap water isn’t up to snuff then use a water filter, but bottled water is a serious eco-sin.
  • Avoid single serve packets of formula and buy the largest size of formula available to avoid excess waste.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: No two babies are alike and thus you need to discuss your baby’s specific nutritional needs with your pediatrician. Formula, organic or not, that works for one baby may not work for another.
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    5 Responses to “GUIDE: Choosing Eco-Friendly, Organic Infant Formula for your Baby”

    1. Aimee says:

      Just to let you know, both Bright Beginnings and the Wal-mart Parent’s Choice organic formulas are manufactured by the same company. PBM, which is a Vermont based company.

      My guess would be that the are the same formulas.

      Scroll to the end of this article, and it will state who manufactures the Parent’s Choice formula.

      http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/faq-about-organic.aspx

    2. ilsita says:

      The World Health Organization suggests an additional alternative -and one also higher in the hierarchy of infant feeding- to artificial infant milk or formula (which is generated among other organic or non-organic and gmo ingredients, from pregnant cows’ milk) which is donor breast milk! :)

      If you are not currently bf’ing, no matter the reason, and would like to avoid the risks of not doing so (which i believe are even more important to keep in mind, in terms of the health of both mother and child), please head over to http://www.hm4hb.net to find your local Facebook community (there is one in every U.S. state and in over 50 countries world-wide -you are bound to find one near you!) where you can connect with generous mothers who GIVE/DONATE their milk to families in need of it. :)
      Conversely, if you are currently breastfeeding, head over and share the amazing gift that is human milk!

      Happy feeding! :)

    3. mrs.smith says:

      Any thing new in the organic formula options since this was published in 2010?

    4. jo says:

      anyone using a formal that is corn syrup, sugar free with organic only products?

    5. JenniferJuniper says:

      @Ilsita Even with donor milk (which isn’t readily available to everyone), there are other reasons mothers may need to formula feed. My brother was born with a form of galactosemia, a genetic disorder that rendered him incapable of metabolizing the natural sugars present in my mother’s breast milk—or any milk for that matter. For my mother, the experience who both terrifying and utterly emotionally devastating on so many levels. My brother was premature, underweight, colic, and throwing up every bit of breast milk before he began refusing to eat altogether.
      Breast milk is what is optimal for most newborns, but with galactosemia the unmetabolized sugar quickly accumulates in the body where it can proceed to poison the body, doing devastating damage to the liver, kidneys, brain and eyes. Side-effects such as cataracts, renal failure, mental retardation and developmental issues and fatality are common. It is likely that if my brother had not thrown up most of the milk he had swallowed it would have done him greater harm.
      I understand that this disorder is rare, but I hope that it helps people to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and solution to every family. People are far too quick to make judgements and assumptions. Thank God for formula.
      If only there were more truly organic, GMO-free, corn syrup-free formulas on the market, especially when it comes to galactose-free galactosemiac appropriate formulas! We need to start demanding safer, healthier products for infants and children at prices struggling families can afford too.

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