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Best Organic Baby Formula for 2021
Giving your precious little bundle of joy, the best start in life, is of paramount importance to new parents. The foods we feed our little ones can impact them for the rest of their lives. There are many factors to consider, such as nutrition, ingredients that affect digestion, growth hormones, inflammation, brain development, thyroid function, and even your newborn’s immune system. While breast milk is always a preferred option, this is not always possible.
Some of the organic formulas on the market today mimic breastmilk and provide the best nutrition for your little one’s debut into the world. It can sometimes be challenging to know what to look for in the best baby formula. There are so many choices available on the market today. Each manufacturer reports that they are the best for this reason or key formula ingredient. We are here to share our experience and to help you to make the best choice for that never to be repeated time in your child’s life. Let’s discuss the best way to choose a formula for your precious baby.
Certified organic vs. made with organic ingredients
When you look at the displayed formulas in the shop, you might have noticed the certification seal attached to the package. Some products have USDA organic certification labels and some have “Made with organic ingredients” written in the package. But, what’s the difference between the two? Let’s have a look:
- The ingredients of USDA organic certified formula are grown in pesticide-free soil. It has to be free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and growth hormones. These types of formulas have to meet processed food regulations imposed by USDA.
- If you see formulas that have “made with organic ingredients” written in the package, it indicates that the formula carries a minimum of 70% organically produced ingredients. And the rest of the ingredients are produced without genetic modification technology. These types of formulas do not have the official USDA organic label, rather they will have the USDA-accredited certifier.
What is Organic Baby Formula?
Organic baby formula is a type of baby drink which is made from organic ingredients and a substitute for breastfeeding. Organic baby formulas are free from preservatives, artificial colors, hormones, pesticides, GMOs, and toxic substances.
Types of Organic Baby Formulas
There are several types of organic baby formulas available in the market. Let’s have look at the types:
Cow’s milk formula
Cow milk formula is a common type of organic formula used by a maximum number of parents. This type of formula is created with skimmed milk supplemented with vegetable oil so that it can gain a fatty acid. This fatty acid profile is similar to breastmilk. The difference between breast milk and cow milk is, breast milk has 40% casein proteins and 60% whey proteins, cow milk has 80% casein proteins and 20% whey proteins. A higher rate of casein proteins takes a longer time to metabolize which can cause digestive difficulties. So, many brands add additional whey to the cow milk formula to compensate.
Goat milk formula is a good alternative to cow milk formula. But, still, it is not recommended if your child has an allergy to dairy. However, it is less allergenic and easily digested. Goat milk has smaller globules of fat and a lighter, smaller curd which is very much the same as breast milk.
Soy based formula is an alternative to cow milk. This type of formula is used for infants who have an intolerance of lactose or dairy allergies. In the US, most of the soy sources are GMO or genetically modified. And we all know that GMO products are toxic. It is hardly possible to find a GMO-free formula for infants. So it is not recommended to use soy-based baby formula for infants.
Hypoallergenic baby formula
According to medical studies, around 7% of infants have allergies to cow’s milk protein and soy protein. Hypoallergenic formula is made specifically for them. In the hypoallergenic formula, milk proteins are highly broken down so that infants can tolerate them.
Understanding The Ingredient List On The Container Of Organic Baby Formula
Most organic baby formulas have these essential components in their ingredient list a sweetener or carbohydrate, oil, protein, and milk. Here are the best choices for the vital elements of organic baby formula and some of the reasons why they are the best choice.
Lactose is the best choice for a baby formula sweetener and the needed carbohydrates. It is close to breastmilk and improves the taste without using real white sugar, also called sucrose. Lactose also only scores 45 on the glycemic index chart. The alternatives of corn syrup, corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, rice starch, and glucose syrup score a 100 or more on the glycemic index chart.
Vegetable, Fish, safflower, sunflower, or coconut oil are the best choice of oils. Palm olein oil comes from the palm nut in the center of a palm tree. In 2017, the United States National Institute of Health published a report that stated, “studies have documented that palm olein (PALM) predominant formulas reduce calcium and fat absorption, and bone mineralization in infants.” Soy oil is also not considered one of the best choices of oil for baby formula by researchers.
Whey Protein is the best protein choice for baby formula. In breastmilk, the main protein components are whey and casein. Casein clumps up during the digestion process and is harder to digest. Whey protein stays a liquid and is easier for an infant to digest. No matter how young or old we are, the formula better digest equals better absorption is a rule to stand by.
Cow milk protein-based infant formulas are altered to resemble breast milk. Infants that have milk allergies may need to drink soy-based baby formula, goat’s milk formula, or a protein hydrolysate formula is often recommended. Let’s talk a little more about the protein hydrolysate baby formula option. The protein in these infant formulas has been broken down into smaller molecules than cow or soy protein. Hydrolyzed proteins are easier for a little one’s digestive system to digest and use. The Mayo Clinic has recommended that “extensively hydrolyzed formulas are an option for babies that have a protein allergy.”
Now that we have a clear understanding of the main components or ingredients of infant formula. Let’s learn about some of the additives.
Moving On To Understand The Additives In Organic Baby Formulas
Lactoferrin is an essential protein found in breastmilk. High levels of lactoferrin are found in colostrum or the first few days of breast milk. This component in very early breast milk is an immunity booster to give a newborn extra immunity as the baby enters the world.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a synthesized version of essential fatty acids found naturally in breast milk. The natural versions of DHA are found in concentrated numbers in the cells of the brain and eyes. DHA synthesized amino acids are not the same as found in natural breast milk. Some studies report that this additive has positive effects on visual function and neural development. Other studies do not substantiate a benefit to the baby. The evidence found thus far is not clear. It is important to know if the DHA is extracted with water or hexane. Most studies indicate that water extracted DHA is better and safer.
Arachidonic Acid (ARA) is a synthesized version of essential fatty acids found naturally in breast milk. The natural versions of ARA are found in concentrated numbers in the cells of the brain and eyes. ARA synthesized amino acids are not the same as found in natural breast milk. Some studies report that this additive has positive effects on visual function and neural development. Other studies do not substantiate a benefit to the baby. The evidence found thus far is not clear.
More pediatricians recommend Iron-fortified formulas. The iron content of human milk is low at 0.5 milligrams per liter compared with 10-12 milligrams per liter in cow milk formulas. The difference is significant in the absorption rate. Breastfed infants absorb up to 50 percent of the iron found in breast milk. Formula-fed infants consume 7-12 percent of the iron from the milk, as reported by the National Institute of Health. The reasoning is it takes more in the formula for your baby to absorb the proper amount of iron.
Non-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) means that there are no ingredients that have been created by using genetic modification or engineering techniques. This is important because scientists, consumers, and environmental groups have found many health risks associated with consuming foods containing GMOs. One of the outstanding benefits of feeding your infant organic baby formula is that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not allow an organic label on any product that contains GMOs. To define this a little further, an organic farmer cannot plant GMO seeds. An organic cow farm cannot feed its herd GMO alfalfa, corn, or any other feed. The organic label protects the health of your newborn baby from GMOs.
Carrageenan is a soluble fiber made from red seaweed. It is used as a food stabilizer. There has been some question and controversy as to the safety of this seaweed. As of recent years, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has deemed the ingredient as safe for infants in concentrations up to 100 milligrams per liter. Your baby’s consumption of this ingredient is truly at the discretion of you as the parent.
Prebiotics are a special dietary fiber that feeds the good bacteria in a baby’s digestive system. How are they different from probiotics? Probiotics are actual live bacteria that help the good bacteria in your baby’s tummy flourish. Many babies have plenty of good bacteria, and parents find it beneficial to keep that bacteria healthy with a prebiotic.
These popular additives to the baby formula have their benefits. Now that you know what the purpose of the additives are and how they can affect the body of your infant. This knowledge allows you to pick and choose what you want your child to be fed. Some of the best organic baby formulas do not have all of the additives in them. If you want your child to receive the benefits of the additive but the formula you chose does not include that additive.
Many times, you can purchase a separate supplement and give it to your baby. For example, if you want your newborn to have a healthy gut and possibly fewer colic symptoms, you can provide a supplement of prebiotics or even probiotics in liquid form. As a parent, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are making the best choice for your child’s health and future.
How did we do the list of best organic baby formulas?
When we choose formulas to put in our list, we consider:
- Organic ingredients which are included in the formula. This is our first and foremost priority.
- When there is no perfect organic formula available in the market, we prefer to concentrate on organic products based on popularity, price and reviews
- We consider the parents’ reviews and comments as well. Because, at the end of the day parents are going to buy it, feed it to their child and they are the target customers.
Counting The 9 Best Organic Baby Formulas
The formulas that are included in our list will provide your baby with the best nutritional start in life. Experienced parents recommend them as the best baby formula. Many pediatricians also trust and recommend these organic baby formulas to their patient’s families. Since there are so many variables in formulations and individual infant needs, we are not listing our best organic formulas in the order of our most favorite to least favorite. We feel that these formulations are some of the best baby formula money can buy. We are so happy to share these outstanding nutritional baby formulas with your family.
This USDA-certified organic formula uses lactose from cow’s milk. The cow milk base of the recipe has a balance of casein and whey. This is a complete formula with all the minerals and nutrients that your baby needs to grow and flourish. The plant oils are adjusted to mimic the patterns of essential fats in human breast milk. The oils used in the infant formulation are palm olein, soy oil, coconut oil, sunflower, and safflower oils derived from organic plants. Organic lactose exclusively from cow’s milk is a key ingredient in this organic infant formula. For the protection of your baby’s health, there are no GMOs in this infant formula.
Baby’s organic takes natural ingredients to a new level. The makers boast that this is the one and only baby formula that serves up organic DHA and ARA. This well-formulated baby milk does not contain GMOs, corn syrup, glucose, glucose syrup, palm oil, or hexane processed DHA. Parents that have a little one that is lactose intolerant or want to avoid soy are wise to choose Baby’s Only formula. Many parents love giving this formula to their baby because it takes so good.
Parents rave that it does not have a chemical smell or taste. Nature’s One is so committed to helping babies grow and flourish that they produce six different specialty formulas that are all organic. All of this manufacturer’s formulas are produced with the same strict standards. Many parents feel that Nature’s One formulations are a good value for the money. A great way to give your baby the best organic baby formula without having to take on a second job.
Earth’s Best Organic formula has created a formula that has a whey and casein ratio almost identical to breastmilk. The infant formula does contain any organic palm olein. Instead, the formula uses organic coconut, safflower, or sunflower, and soy oil for the necessary essential fatty acids. This infant formula is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assure parents that there are no synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in the formula.
Earth’s Best has been helping parents feed their children with quality nutritional food for over 30 years now. This organic food supplier feeds children from infancy right through the years of baby food and toddler snacks. They are a brand that can be trusted.
Immune support from Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) is the unique prebiotic found in this infant milk formulation. HMO nourishes the immune system because it is a prebiotic similar to what is found in breast milk. Safflower, soy, and coconut oil are the essential fats used in this infant milk. This non-GMO formula uses lactose as the significant carbohydrate, contains DHA, lutein, vitamin E, and provides complete nutrition for your growing little one. Parents have found relief and better sleep at night after giving their children this formula.
The reason for better sleep is parents have reported a reduction in fussiness, gassiness, crying, and spit-up after being fed this formula for a short time. Many moms choose organic Similac formulas as the best organic baby formula.
Nestle Health Science has created an infant formula in just about a class of its own. We listed this special amino acid-based formula for parents who are desperate to find an excellent formula without cow’s milk or lactose. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and with this formula, the chance of allergic reaction is minimized.
This hypoallergenic formula is a lifesaver for baby’s that have a protein allergy, multiple food allergies, short bowel syndrome, eosinophilic gastrointestinal conditions, or malabsorption issues. This formulation is ideal for baby’s that are experiencing severe allergies.
Similac is one of the leaders in baby milk formulations. Pure Bliss contains no palm olein oil, which is a big plus. It also has no artificial growth hormones and no antibiotics. The infant formulation starts with fresh milk from grass-fed cows. Many parents are fond of this formula because it is a bit sweeter than others, so their infants enjoy the taste as they would enjoy the taste of sweet breastmilk.
Other parents are thrilled that the formula smells like milk and not nasty chemically made milk. The appealing smell, the gentleness of the formula for the little tummies, and quality ingredients make this formula an excellent choice for your infant.
Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula goes for a happy baby tummy. Happy Baby’s formulation includes 4x more prebiotics than many other organic formula formulations. Lactose is the main carbohydrate, and there is no corn syrup found in this formula package. The milk used in this infant formula is from cows raised on organic farms.
One thing that parents say about this formula is that it does not always dissolve quickly, so it may take a little more time to mix before serving your little one their bottle. Many moms use this formula to transition from breastmilk to formula with success.
Infant goat’s milk formula is another option for parents looking for a formula that is easier to digest. In 2017, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition studied the digestion of cow’s milk infant formula versus a quality goat’s milk formula. The study concluded that goat’s milk infant formula was digested quicker and more completely than cow’s milk formula.
Also, the time it took the goat’s milk formula to digest and be absorbed was much closer to the time that breast milk takes to digest and absorb in your baby’s digestive tract. It stands to reason better digestion makes less indigestion. Goat’s milk infant formula is a viable choice for moms that want to help their little ones have less cramping, gas, and constipation with better digestion.
Formula made honestly without ARA, GMOs, corn syrup solids, antibiotics, and carrageenan. This premium baby formula features organic lactose, nonfat milk, and whey. The added prebiotics give your little one’s immune system that extra boost. Some parents choose this formulation because it does not contain DHA. This is a very popular and well-respect formula by many moms.
Even when we give our baby the best nourishment, time, and care, there can still be challenges. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find just the right fit for the little one’s unique digestive system. As you are trying different remedies sometimes, you can feel very frustrated and just helpless with your baby hurting and crying.
Considerations when buying organic baby formula
While buying an organic baby formula, you should glance over the ingredients list of the package. The best organic baby formulas of the market state the following things:
- Few brands say they use lactose instead of synthetic variants, or real sugars. It is used for improving the taste. Bear in mind that alternative sugars are linked to overfeeding and obesity.
- Few states that whey protein is easily digestible than synthetic protein.
- There are some brands that add low amounts of preservatives, GMOs, and corn sugars.
If you are buying from another country, investigate before using those. Because organic baby formula standards vary from country to country. Now, you also should know which ingredients you should avoid.
Benefits of Organic Baby Formula
The best thing you as a parent can do for your child is to provide nutritious and healthy food. As a baby food, breast milk is undeniably the best. But as an alternative, you can provide the organic formula to your baby and it has several benefits as well. Those benefits are:
- Organic formula is produced from dairy products without using hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, or herbicides. Furthermore, organic formula is free from alternative sugars, GMOs ingredients and other potentially harmful ingredients. So, these formulas are healthy for babies, but check the label of the package before purchasing.
- The best organic formulas are trying to go close to the breast milk nutritional profile. They include organic lactose and vegetable oil blend to get a source of carbohydrate and fatty acids.
- Many organic baby formula brands add additional whey in the formula so that the formula gains the breast milk’s whey and casein ratio.
- Human Milk Oligosaccharides or HMOs play an important role for developing a healthy gut microbiome which is found in breast milk. It supports brain development and reduces the risk of allergy and infection. The best organic formulas have probiotics and prebiotics so that it can replicate breast milk. Prebiotics like galacto-oligosaccharides are the same as HMOs which are found in formulas. Lactobacillus is a type of probiotics used in formulas which are also common in breast milk.
Ingredients of Organic Baby Formula you must Avoid
The National Organic Standards Board outlined that few ingredients should not appear in organic formulas and also the EU banned those ingredients as well. Following ingredients you must avoid even though they appear in the few best organic formulas as well:
Processed Refined Sugars or Added Sugars
Processed refined sugars are not good for baby health. These types of sugars come from various sources like corn sugar, brown rice sugar, maltodextrin, syrup solids etc. These are less expensive than lactose but you must avoid these.
Extraction of DHA and ARA using hexane
DHA and ARA have significance for organic baby formula. These are fatty acids which are essential for both eye development and brain development. But hexane is a neurotoxic substance and it should not be used for extraction of DHA and ARA. The concerning issue is that the hexane becomes undetectable after processing the formula. To be on the safe side, look for an organic baby formula which uses a different process to extract DHA and ARA.
Generally, carrageenan is added to the baby formula as a stabilizer in the US. But it is not a good substance for baby food. It has intestinal inflammatory properties which can cause severe harm to the baby.
Synthetic nutrients are toxic and you must avoid these. This includes nucleotides, lycopene, taurine, l-methionine, l-carnitine and lutein. These things are extracted by using chemical solvents. The EU has banned these substances for formulas. Not only that, the FDA stated that these things are not required for baby formulas.
Synthetic Stabilizers or Preservatives
You must be aware of harmful synthetic preservatives like beta carotene and ascorbic palmitate in the formula.
Palmitic acid is found in breastmilk which is healthy for babies but some manufacturers use palm oil in the formula to match that level. But palm oil will not work the same way as palmitic acid. It reacts with calcium and results in soap formation in the intestine of the baby and will cause digestive problems.
Soy based products
Soy protein carries phytoestrogen content which is problematic for babies. Even the soy lecithin and soy oil also carry minimal amounts of phytoestrogens.
Maltodextrin is generally a type of sugar and you should avoid this. It is a high-glycemic stabilizer substance as well which is harmful to infants.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) food is very harmful and it affects in the long run. Non-GMO baby formula should be your ultimate target. Non GMO means they are organic.
Why Is My Baby Crying?
Sometimes when a baby is fussy, it can be hard to determine if they are hungry, have a sore tummy or other pain, or are just tired. There are so many possibilities, and they can’t seem to tell us the exact problem. We strongly recommend feeding one of the best organic baby formulas we have reviewed to prevent fussiness and digestive discomforts. They are made with the best ingredients and formulated for the easiest digestion and immune support. Let’s go through two simple steps to help find the reasons your little one may be crying.
1: The Art Of Knowing The Correct Amount Of Daily Food
Before preparing another bottle. Here is a general guide as to how to feed your baby.
Offer 2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight each day.
This is a general rule for most babies to feel satisfied and to receive enough nourishment for proper growth. If you are supplementing formula for breast milk a few times a day, offer the formula an hour or two after the little one was breastfed. If you are concerned about how much your baby is getting while being breastfed. There is a fantastic new smartphone app for tracking, monitoring, and lactation. It is a recording meter called Momsense Baby Breastfeeding Monitor. This advanced app tracks the quantity of your breastmilk being consumed by your child. It takes the guesswork out of wondering if your baby is getting enough nourishment. When the milk is just not calming your little one, what do you do next?
2: Feel The Tummy
Is your baby’s tummy hard like a rock constantly or just while crying? If it is hard, then there are a few little maneuvers you can do to help your little one release the gas trapped in the tummy and melt away the tears.
- Baby bicycle legs- Gently bend the legs and bring knees to tummy, in effect, bicycling the legs to relieve gas pressure.
- Burp your baby- Sometimes, a gentle pat on the back or rubbing their back while you are rocking your baby is helpful. The motion can help you, infant, to let out a big burp and release all that extra air.
- Swaddle your newborn- Swaddling works for some newborns and young babies to help them relax.
- Massage the belly- Gentle rub your baby’s stomach in either a clockwise or counterclockwise motion.
- Gas drops- Simethicone gas drops can be a lifesaver.
- Probiotic supplements- Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic released a report that “parents of colicky breastfed infants try probiotics, which can significantly reduce daily crying time with no adverse effects.”
These are some helpful recommendations to help the tummy from pediatricians and experienced moms. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time and a lot of patience to find the real reasons for the discomfort. If your baby is crying a good amount of the time, consult your physician. Some other helpful suggestions to prevent unwanted air in your infant’s tummy are.
- Change your little one’s feeding position to make sure the baby’s head up above the belly.
- Improve latching techniques.
- Slow down feeding.
- Try different bottles and nipples.
- Burp your baby more often.
Often trying another organic infant formula to find better compatibility can also help your baby to feel better. Thank you for letting us share our expertise in helping you to find the best organic baby formula. Bringing a new precious bundle into the world is an exciting time. May your baby grow and flourish by getting a good start in life with organic infant formula.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of water should I use for baby formula?
You can use any kind of clean water from a bottle or tap. Test your water regularly to ensure cleanliness. If your water is coming from the municipal water source, boil the water for a few minutes so that germs are killed if any are left, and then cool the water before mixing with formula.
How often should a baby bottle be sterilized?
Sterilize the bottle and nipple before the first use. If you do it regularly or occasionally, you can do it, but it is not necessary. But, clean those well regularly in hot and soapy water.
Is liquid formula better than powder formula?
liquid formulas, ready-to-feed formulas, and powder formulas are all equal in nutrition value. But the cost, shelf life, and convenience are different for each formula. But the powder formula has the longest shelf life. So choose whatever fits your preference.