Your baby means everything to you. As a new parent, you want to protect and nurture your young child. That means giving them only the best baby formula.
How do you know which is the best as a first-time mom? Sometimes all those ingredients on the formula box are confusing and hard to understand.
That said, you trust the brands you’re buying from. You assume these brands would only put nutritious ingredients in baby food that cause no long-term health issues.
Not necessarily. You’d be surprised at what you’d find in some of these baby foods.
We know how stressful it can be to find quality baby formulas that are still nutritious and don’t contain potentially dangerous ingredients. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 10 ingredients to avoid.
If you see these ingredients in your baby formula, it’s time to make a switch. Your baby will be healthier and you’ll have peace of mind.
What is it: Everyone knows what sugar is.
It’s the sweet stuff that’s almost unavoidable since it’s in many foods we eat. It can be addictive, which is why it’s recommended that we limit consumption to 25 to 35 grams daily.
Sugar is a carb. There are good, natural sugars, like those that come from fruit, and then there are refined processed sugars.
Research from the AAP News & Journals Gateway in early 2015 found that in the United States, added sugar is found in many popular baby food brands.
Some research suggests the sugar content may be as high as that found in sugary soft drinks!
Why it’s bad for babies: Sugar consumption in babies and toddlers can lead to weight gain. What’s worse is that children develop a taste for the foods they try in in their early years.
If a child is constantly fed sugary baby formulas, they’re going to want to eat sugar more and more as they get older. This can create a lifelong addiction to the sweet stuff. The best baby formula will be low in sugar.
2. Corn Syrup
What is it: Corn syrup is not just another name for sugar. It is as bad for a baby’s health or even worse.
Corn syrup, which sometimes goes by the name glucose syrup, contains mostly corn starch. Like sugar, it’s high in carbohydrates and calories and has very little nutritional value.
Why it’s bad for babies: Drinking corn syrup regularly can also fuel a growing’s child need for more sugar. Weight gain is also likely.
Not only that, but regular consumption of corn syrup has been associated with the development of many diseases and medical conditions. These include heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
What is it: Carbohydrates are part of what provides the fuel and energy your body needs to function. They’re not inherently bad for you, yet carbs consistently get a bad rap. That’s because many people associate high-carb foods like chips and pizza with carbohydrates.
Yet some of the healthiest foods we can consume, such as potatoes, grains, and rice, contain carbs. While some carbs are good for our diet, high-carb foods should be consumed sparingly.
If you’re looking for the best baby formula, you should seek one that’s low in carbs.
Why it’s bad for babies: A diet that’s high in carbohydrates could lead to weight gain. Although many brands of baby food claim they’re made with natural ingredients, they still may have a high carb count.
4. Faux Iron
What is it: There’s no doubt about it. All healthy bodies need iron in their diets.
Best-known for warding off anemia, this mineral can be found in many foods. You can also consume it as a supplement.
Iron is great to have as an ingredient in baby formula, but faux iron is not. This electrolytic is often found in fortified powder form. The amount of faux iron in many popular brands of baby food just isn’t plentiful.
Why it’s bad for babies: Faux iron isn’t bad for babies, per se. That said, it’s difficult for babies to absorb faux iron as a powder, so this isn’t the most healthful method. For the best baby formula, avoid faux iron.
Instead, feed your baby or toddler foods that are naturally high in iron.
5. Industrial Vegetable Oils
What is it: Often used to fry foods, industrial vegetable oils are mass-manufactured and sold in grocery stores. These often contain high amounts of canola oil.
Why it’s bad for babies: We don’t really have to explain why the oil that acts as the batter for fried foods is bad for a developing baby. The processing of industrial vegetable oil may contain bleach, deodorizers, and solvents too.
There are more healthful oils out there if you insist on having these in baby formula. The best baby formula should be free of industrial vegetable oils, though.
What is it: As the name implies, preservatives are used to, well, preserve food so it will have a longer shelf life.
Nothing about preservatives is natural, however. These also go by the names sulfur dioxide and additives, so read your baby formula package carefully.
The ingredients themselves that go into baby food may be preserved, even if these are healthy. Ingredients such as fruit juice are often preserved to last longer.
Why it’s bad for babies: Many brands of baby food use preservatives. These can be sold longer, which makes these brands more money. In some cases, preservatives can aggravate food allergies in children since these are so unnatural.
7. Soy Lecithin
What is it: Soy lecithin is also a type of food preservative. It also keeps baby food from being so sticky. No wonder it’s such a popular ingredient.
As you may have guessed, soy lecithin comes from soy. Soy milk is also another common ingredient in baby food. While soy can be part of a healthful and nutritious diet, it shouldn’t be in baby food.
Why it’s bad for babies: Soy can trigger food allergies in young babies and toddlers. These allergies can sometimes be lifelong. Thus, the best baby food should not contain soy lecithin.
8. Mineral Oil
What is it: Mineral oil is another oil that mothers should avoid feeding their young children. This oil can be consumed or applied as a skincare or hair care product.
When consumed, it can double as a laxative. Alkalis, solvents, absorbents, and sulfuric acid are often used by manufacturers to make mineral oil.
Why it’s bad for babies: Those ingredients aren’t good for a baby’s skin, let alone for consumption. By consuming too much mineral oil, a baby may have diarrhea. While a small amount of mineral oil can be a part of a healthy diet, it has no place in baby food.
What is it: Gluten is a type of bread-based grain protein. It’s found in many foods, including rye, wheat, barley, and some breads and snacks. The gluten-free movement has led to many foods to be manufactured without gluten.
Why it’s bad for babies: Some babies may have allergies to gluten or a less severe gluten intolerance. All babies have issues digesting gluten for at least a year.
This may lead to a backup in their digestive system. After their first birthday, babies are welcome to eat foods that contain gluten. The best baby formula for infants will not have gluten in it, though.
10. And the Last Ingredient to Avoid if You Want the Best Baby Formula…Arsenic
What is it: The chemical arsenic is found in foods like rice and oatmeal. While it’s okay to consume small amounts of arsenic, some rice-based baby foods contain more of this chemical than you think. In fact, the rice content is sometimes up to five times higher than other types of baby food!
Why it’s bad for babies: It’s not advisable to completely stop eating rice and oatmeal. That said, by consuming foods with such high amounts of arsenic, babies could one day develop cancer.
That’s not what any mother wants. For the best baby formula, it’s wise to limit consumption of rice-based foods and read the ingredient’s list carefully.
Every mother wants to give their babies the most nutritious food. Good health starts early, as the habits a child picks up as a toddler could stick with them for life.
Sadly, some of the biggest baby food manufacturers don’t choose the most healthful ingredients. If you’re a new mom, you may not have time to read all the ingredients on the packaging, but you should.
From preservatives to arsenic, unhealthful oils to boatloads of sugar, not all baby foods are created equally. The best baby formula should contain moderate amounts of the above ingredients if any.
Are you looking for the best baby formula?
At Formuland, the health of your baby is our top priority. That’s why these baby food brands are healthful and nutritious. Mothers can feel comfortable knowing they’re giving their baby the best every single day.
If fact, we regularly stock and sell goat’s milk and other types of formula from brands like HiPP, Holle, Lebenswert, Bambinchen, and Aptamil.
So check us out!