Jan 7, 2017

How I Plan to Feed My Baby: an organic infant formula review  

Many people have asked me how I plan to feed my baby girl, Piper, when she arrives in February. The question is reasonable considering that my own dietary choice labels me as a ovo-pesco vegetarian (translation: dairy free vegetarian who eats eggs and fish). I get the curiosity. Will my daughter be subjected to my “special” diet? It is something my pregnant mind has considered extensively.

To be honest, I have a bigger issue with dairy than meat, nutritionally speaking. If I was forced to eat a hamburger or drink a milk shake, I would eat the burger. My “beef” with meat is the factory farming and subsequently the quality of meat available. I also choose not to consume meat for environmental and ethical reasons. I could really start rambling here about animal rights and global warming, but I will spare you.

My current position on feeding my child –

 When Piper is old enough to eat meat, I will allow and provide it to her, responsibly. Dairy, however, is off limits.

Since Piper will not start eating solid foods until she is at least 4 months old­­1, my current concern is breast feeding and formula. Her only 2 options for the first months of her life.

There is no question that breast milk is the best option. I don’t think I have ever read an article declaring “infant formula is better than breast milk.” The benefits of nursing and breast milk are infinite and my personal feeding preference. And therefore, baby Piper will be subjected to my diet via my ovo-pesco vegetarian milk supply. 😉

Though I would love to rely exclusively on breast milk, life does not always go according to plan. There is always a possibility that I will need to depend on or supplement with infant formula. With that said, I found it worth researching various formula options so that I am informed and confident in the nourishment I provide my daughter.

If I need to purchase infant formula, it will be Baby’s Only Organic Soy Formula.

 

 

Here is some research that led me to this decision2:

Summary

  • There are only 7 brands of organic infant formulas, only 3 companies that make it in the US
  • The only family owned brand is Nature’s One, which makes Baby’s Only Organic Soy Formula
  • Baby’s Only Organic Soy Formula is sold as a “toddler” formula, however, it meets “the same nutritional standards that the FDA sets forth for infant formula­”

Ingredients of Concern

  1. Sweeteners – corn syrup, sugar or brown rice syrup
    • Brown rice syrup has shown unsafe levels of inorganic arsenic
  2. Palm Oil – added to mimic palmitic acid found in human milk
    • Palmitic acid from palm oil is not the same as the palmitic acid found in human milk
    • It is not properly absorbed and the unabsorbed palmitic acid “forms ‘soaps’ in the baby’s gut” when it reacts with calcium
    • This has a negative impact on the infant in following ways –
      • Decreased overall fat absorption
      • Decreased bone mass (calcium turns to soap before reaching bones)
      • Harder stools due to the compromised (soapy) intestinal tract
  3. Hexane – a neurotoxic petroleum based solvent used to extract DHA (omega 3 fatty acid) and ARA (omega 6 fatty acid) from algae and soil fungus
    • The FDA admits that no monitoring of these additives to assess the safety of DHA and ARA has been completed
  4. Carrageenan – causes inflammation in the gut, serves no nutritional purpose or flavor
    • Only found in ready-to-feed liquid formulas
    • It is used to prevent parents from having to “shake well” before serving the formula
  5. Synthetic Preservatives and Nutrients – required by Federal law to be approved by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) before adding to organic products
    • Synthetic Preservatives – ascorbyl palmitate and beta carotene are used “to prevent algal DHA and fungal ARA oils from going rancid.”
      • Found in all organic infant formulas except Baby’s Only Organic Soy Formula which derives DHA and ALA from water extracted from egg yolks (hexane free)
    • Synthetic Nutrients
      • Lutein – processed with hexane and “likely treated with insecticides”
      • Lycopene – processed with toluene, a “neurological toxin”
      • Nucleotides
      • Taurine – processed using a carcinogenic material or using aziridine, “a hazardous air pollutant”
      • L-carnitine – processed using a carcinogenic material
      • L-methionine – processed using acrolein (a hazardous air pollutant) and hydrogen cyanide (used as a systemic chemical asphyxiate and chemical warfare agent).

After comparing various brands (chart below), I chose Baby’s Only Organic Soy Formula because it is:

  • Palm oil free
  • Hexane free
  • Contains no unapproved synthetic preservatives
  • Carrageenan free
  • Dairy free
  • GMO free

Sources:
1) Feeding Guide for the First Year. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/feeding_guide_for_the_first_year_90,P02209/
2) Vallaeys, C. (2013, December 20). How To Find the Safest Organic Infant Formula. Retrieved from https://www.cornucopia.org/2013/12/find-safest-organic-infant-formula/

Disclaimer: I spoke to my MD about my decision and was supported 100%. However, please don’t substitute my blog post for medical advice.

2 Comments on “How I Plan to Feed My Baby: an organic infant formula review  ”

  1. Angel Park

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m due with twins in July and I’m hoping to exclusively breastfeed. However my family history has not shown great success with that. I’m looking for an alternative to dairy because I firmly believe you should not feed a child dairy before age 3 as their brain is developing so rapidly. I have 2 brothers with autism and I speculate that the dairy aggravated their mental states.

    1. Carly

      Thanks for reading!! I feel like dairy is responsible for so many health ailments, just better to avoid in my opinion. 🙂 Congrats on twins! Double the fun! 🙂

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