Two feeding options exist for a newborn: breastfeeding and baby formula. Today’s baby formula ingredients are close to the nutrients found in breast milk. For those who cannot breastfeed or choose not to, that is good news.
Today’s market carries many different formulas, with different designations. Some say the formula takes care of sensitive tummies, while others boast better protection for the immune system or better growth and development. Nonetheless, all of these formulas sell at comparative prices and seem to provide equal benefits.
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Finding the Right Formula is Challenging
These different formulas and many varieties make the choice of a good formula difficult for new parents. The good news is, the formulas will all provide the right nutrition for your baby. The bad news is, it is hard to tell which one will work for your baby, other than through trial and error.
Consider the Ingredients in Baby Formula
Compared to the first ingredients in baby formula, today’s ingredients show significant advancement. Ordinarily, that means the baby gets many of the same nutrients that he or she would get from breast milk. Moreover, with the availability of several different formulas, it may be surprising that most include the same basic ingredients.
Common baby formula ingredients:
- Protein: One of the bases for most formulas is either cow’s milk or soy milk. These provide protein to the infant, which is important for many aspects of their development and their rapid growth.
- Vitamins: Iron and the recommended daily allowance of vitamins are included in infant formula to meet FDA requirements. This gives the baby more of the important nutrients that help each part of their growing body become stronger.
- Carbohydrates: Roughly 11 grams of carbs are typically included in baby formula. This is because carbs are necessary for the body to create energy,which helps with movement and growth.
- Fats: Fats are also broken up for energy and used to power the body’s many processes. This is necessary at any point in life, not just for babies.
- Micronutrients: DHA and RHA are included because babies need it for their brain and eye development. These are included in most formulas now, as they are recognized for their importance.
- Other ingredients: Enzymes, amino acids and other ingredients are included to balance the nutrients that are helping the baby survive and grow up big and strong.
Choosing the right formula for your baby is important. As mentioned above, many baby formula ingredients are similar in the various brands. However, these tips will help in choosing safe baby formula:
- If your family has a history of milk allergies, it may be a good idea to try a hydrolyzed formula, which is easier to digest.
- Choose a formula that has probiotics that help maintain healthy intestines.
- Use water that has been boiled and cooled or use bottled water to make the formula. This helps to avoid unknown contamination from bacteria in tap water.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you find the right formula and prepare it properly. That way, your baby is safe and can grow strong and healthy with the help of the formula he or she is fed.