Infant formula is the nutritional alternative to breast milk or mother’s milk. It is generally produced from cow’s milk. It contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients quite similar to breast milk, in addition to DHA (docosahexanic acid) and Omega 3 fatty acids that help develop babies’ brains and eyes.
Mothers usually recur to infant formula either because they cannot breastfeed or because they are partially breastfeeding.
According to specialists and experts, infant formula can be used as the only source of nutrition for babies aged 0 to 6 months.
As for the types of formula available in the market today, they are numerous but can be restricted to the following:
- The ordinary infant formula which is the best choice for healthy babies.
- The hypoallergenic infant formula, including the partially hydrolyzed, the extensively hydrolyzed and the amino-free based. These products are perceived for babies with allergy, and thus not recommended unless by doctor’s permission.
As previously mentioned, formula and breast milk contain about the same vitamins and minerals. The concentration of these vitamins and minerals is equal among the different types of formulas in the market, as they all follow strict international manufacturing rules, with the exception of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
When it comes to proteins, some types of formula have low protein content ranging between 1.77 and 2.2 g per 100 Kcal, while some others have a much higher content ranging between 2.9 and 4.4 g per 100 Kcal.
And because infants bodies don’t store protein the way they store fats and carbohydrates despite that it’s the most important nutrient for early childhood, mothers should ask the pediatrician about their babies’ need of same and follow his instructions to meet this need and avoid any deficiency that might retard their babies development and bone build-up, weaken their hearts and lungs and negatively affect their immunity, digestion and metabolism.
Get full access to expert-backed nutrition support
Curated content based on your preferences
Learn about various feeding options and what each means for you and your baby
Tailored Practical Tools
Try our tailored practical tools to guide you through the parenting journey.
My First 1000 Days club
Customised notifications, reminders and newsletters
Still haven't found what you are looking for?
Try our new smart question engine. We'll always have something for you.