Determining how to choose the best baby formula for your child can be deeply frustrating. Many brands use unhealthy ingredients or try to keep you in the dark about how the food is made.
That’s why we’re happy to recommend Holle formula and HiPP formula. Both are made in Germany, which has much higher standards for organic formulas than the U.S. for organic formulas than the U.S.
Unfortunately, the USDA is not adopting all of the recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board, so the term “organic” on U.S. baby formula means something different than most people expect.
There are many reasons to use formula. You may be traveling, you may need to supplement breast milk, or your babies may never have latched properly.
Regardless of whether you use baby formula all the time or as a breastmilk supplement, you should seriously consider Holle formula and HiPP formula.
Why European Baby Formulas are Superior
There are several reasons that mindful parents across the United States are moving to European organic baby formula instead of American-made products.
Unfortunately, there are only three producers of organic baby formula in the United States, and they are all owned by pharmaceutical companies.
- PBM Nutritionals makes many brands of organic baby formula. They are owned by Perrigo, a major manufacturer of store-brand over-the-counter medicines.
- Similac Organic is made by Abbott Laboratories. Abbot is a major manufacturer of pharmaceuticals.
- Baby’s Only Organic Formula is produced by Nature’s One, who has positioned themselves as a “medical nutrition” company. The formula is marketed as a toddler formula, although it also meets FDA standards for infant formula.
American organic formulas can include some unusual ingredients that aren’t very healthy for your baby.
One of these categories is sweeteners. Breast milk is very sweet, so baby formulas use sweeteners to mimic the taste.
The sweetener that most closely mimics human milk is lactose, but this cow’s milk-based choice is expensive so many manufacturers use a plant-based option. Sucrose was banned by the European Union in 2009 due to concerns about obesity and overfeeding, but is still used in the U.S.
Other unhealthy sweeteners used in the U.S. are corn syrup, brown rice syrup (which contains arsenic), and cane sugar.
By contrast, HiPP formula uses lactose, which is the best but a bit more expensive. Holle formula uses maltodextrin and includes less of it than American manufacturers, which means it’s healthier for your baby.
Other Unusual Ingredients
There are a lot of things that we just shouldn’t put into our bodies. Of course, as adults we are far from perfect when it comes to eating healthfully, but we should give our babies the best start possible and avoid these ingredients:
- Soy: Soy is a healthy plant protein for adults, but it’s not a great ingredient for baby formula. It contains a high level of phytoestrogens, and should only be used if a baby is allergic to dairy.
- Sucrose: The sugary taste may help the child eat more, but it also leads to sugar cravings, overeating, and obesity.
- DHA/ARA: The chemicals used in artificially creating these essential fatty acids can have harmful side effects, especially in a small and rapidly developing infant.
- Carrageenan: This is used as a thickener, and studies have linked carrageenan to stomach issues and even cancer. It’s banned in European baby formula but is still used in the U.S.
Why to Choose Holle Formula
Using Holle formula has a lot of benefits over American-made organic baby formula. Holle is a cow-based formula and provides four stages based on the age of your child.
Stage 1 is for birth to six months, Stage 2 is for six months to 10 months, Stage 3 is ten months to 12 months, and Stage 4 is from one year to weaning.
The formula is simple to prepare. The included scoop allows you to mix the proper ratio of one flat scoop for one ounce of water. Every 3 ½ scoops, you get an extra half-ounce of formula – in other words, 3 ½ scoops and 3 ½ ounces of water creates four ounces of formula.
Many parents are concerned about finding a regular, reliable supplier of Holle formula since it isn’t sold traditionally in the U.S. Fortunately we at Formuland can offer you regular shipments of all stages at a reasonable price.
Holle does contain palm oil, which is controversial because some babies react poorly to it. If your infant has an upset stomach or unusual stools, you may want to use other brands of formula.
Why to Choose HiPP Formula
Another excellent European option is HiPP formula. This formula also isn’t sold traditionally in the U.S., but Formuland can provide you with both the UK version and the German version of this healthy organic food.
HiPP has the advantage of offering a wide variety of baby formulas, including special preparations for acid reflux, sensitive stomach, allergies, and gassiness.
The sweetener in HiPP is simply lactose, which is the closest to natural breast milk. There is no maltodextrin, and you get a variety of vitamins and antioxidants in the formula.
Like Holle formula, HiPP formula has no refined, high-concentrated sweeteners, no synthetic DHA or ARA, and no artificial preservatives. HiPP also analyzes all its agricultural projects for traces of over 1,000 different substances.
This makes it a better option if you’re concerned about palm oil or if your baby has problems with the regular formula. There are many different formulations from HiPP that address a variety of issues.
In the end, which formula you choose is up to you. Both Holle formula and HiPP formula are similarly priced, easy to obtain from Formuland, and far better than their American competitors. They are both certified by European organic farming standards, which require organic, sustainable agriculture and great animal treatment practices.
Ultimately, your baby will probably make the choice for you. Regardless, you’ll be glad you chose either Holle formula or HiPP formula.