Looking for the best organic infant formula on the market?
While there are many varieties of baby formula available, it can be easy to get frustrated during your search. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your child.
Unfortunately, the search becomes even harder when you realize that many commercial baby formulas contain harmful and toxic ingredients.
Many harmful additives have found their way into popular baby formulas.
As a new mother, baby formula is the last place you want to find these harmful substances.
With so many baby formulas out there, you would think it would be easy to find a great option that is organic, non-GMO, and free from harmful additives. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as you may think.
While some popular baby formula brands you can pick up from your local supermarket are better than others, most still have a long way to go before they are safe.
In the meantime, the better choice is to look abroad.
European Infant Formulas
Particularly in the United States, regulations are simply not up to snuff. The FDA approves far too many substances that have been proven to be harmful.
On the other hand, Europe has some tighter regulations for infant formula than the U.S. does. As a result, some of the safest baby formulas are made in the EU.
Among infant formula options, several European brands really stand out and make great choices for your baby. We’ll go over our top choices of
We’ll go over our top choices of organic infant formula below. But before that, we’ll give you the rundown on why some infant formulas should be avoided.
Things to Avoid in Organic Infant Formula
While this should go without saying, if you’re looking for an organic infant formula, you should be sure that all of the ingredients in the product are certified organic.
This isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Some products may claim to be organic, but when you look at the ingredients, non-organic items have been added as well.
There is also some dispute as to what organic even means and what defines organic products, so be aware of this during your search.
Synthetic Nutrients and Synthetic Preservatives
Many infant formulas made in the U.S. include synthetic nutrients and preservatives.
Many of these substances are illegal in the European Union, yet still find their way into formulas in the U.S. market.
Synthetic nutrients such as lutein, lycopene, taurine, l-carnitine, and nucleotides can be found in formulas and have been known to have toxic and carcinogenic properties.
Synthetic preservatives such as beta carotene and ascorbic palmitate should also be avoided.
Hexane-Extracted Fatty Acids
DHA and ARA are two fatty acids which should be avoided when looking for a clean and safe baby formula.
These fatty acids naturally occur in natural breast milk, however, since they are extracted using neurotoxic hexane, they should be avoided at all costs.
While the use of a soy-based formula can be a necessity for lactose-intolerant babies, soy and soy lecithin ingredients should be avoided for other infants.
In most cases, the soy used in formulas is genetically modified and highly processed, or is otherwise produced with harmful substances such as hydrogen cyanide, air pollutants, or synthetic l-methionine.
Soy can also include phytoestrogens, which are potentially harmful as well.
While breast milk is naturally sweet, many baby formula products add poor substitutes while trying to replicate this characteristic.
Sweeteners such as maltodextrin, plant-based sucrose, and corn syrup are easier to produce. As a result, these sweeteners end up in baby formulas often.
In reality, lactose is actually one of the most similar sweeteners to that found in baby formulas, but is not used as often because it is more expensive to make.
Ideally, avoid harmful sweeteners such as maltodextrin. When possible, opt for infant formulas with lactose instead.
Another chemical that the European Union has outlawed but that continues to remain in the United States is carrageenan.
While the harmful substance can be found in all kinds of products at your local supermarket, it is also present in many baby formulas.
Many studies suggest that it may lead to colon tumors and inflammation in the intestines.
3 Best Organic Infant Formulas
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what to avoid in baby formulas. You should also know what to look for in an excellent organic infant formula.
Now, let’s get to this list.
While many popular baby formulas have the harmful substances we talked about above, the formulas listed below are almost completely free of these.
Holle is a German food manufacturer that has been in business since 1933. The company offers some of the best choices available when it comes to organic infant formula.
Holle is made from cow’s milk and the cows are free grazing, grass-fed, and raised well on Biodynamic Demeter farms.
The formula is available in multiple stages, including the following
- Stage One: For 0-6 months
- Stage Two: For 6-10 months
- Stage Three: For 10-12 months
- Stage Four: From 1 year to weaning age
- Holle Bio Pre: For use from birth to 1 year of age. Can be used as sole nutrition or as part of a mixed diet
As an alternative, all four of Holle’s formula stages are also available in goat’s milk form.
HiPP is also a trusted German manufacturer which makes some of the best baby formula around. The company has been in business since 1932 and has gained a strong reputation.
HiPP organic baby formula comes with the HiPP Organic Guarantee, which has even stricter regulations than the EU organic guidelines.
HiPP also uses sustainable farming practices and works hard to create organic and natural products that are non-toxic and free from harmful additives.
One advantage that the HiPP formula has over the Holle alternatives is that HiPP doesn’t use any plant-based sweeteners.
Instead, HiPP uses lactose, a sweetener which is known to be much more similar to natural breast milk in texture and taste.
The main organic HiPP formula comes in three different stages:
- Stage One: For 0-6 months
- Stage Two: From 6 months
- Stage Three: From 10 months
In addition to the three stages, HiPP also has several other varieties available including HiPP HA (a hypoallergenic formula) and “Hungry Infant Milk.”
The Holle Lebenswert formula is a newer addition to Holle’s lineup and has been available since 2009.
The Holle Lebenswert formula is very similar to the original Holle formula, but it does differ in several ways.
While Holle uses the Demeter farming practices for the original formula, the Holle Lebenswert formula uses Bioland farming practices and regulations.
Another change from the standard Holle formula is that the Stage 1 Lebenswert formula has lactose instead of maltodextrin.
The Holle Lebenswert formula has three stages:
- Bio Stage 1: For infants from birth
- Bio Stage 2: For 6 months and beyond
- Bio Stage 3: For 10 months and beyond
While it can be difficult finding a great formula, it is not impossible. The above list includes the best choices for an organic infant formula.
While these formulas can be a bit more difficult to attain if you live outside of Europe, the trouble can be well worth it. When it comes to our children’s health and happiness, they deserve the best and safest formulas available.
These formulas avoid the shortcomings found in other options and will help leave your baby strong, happy, and healthy.