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.
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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