As a mom, there's a lot of conflicting information out there about milk formula. We know that you want to give your little one the right nutrients that help their development and build their immunity while also being delicious! This guide will give you handy information on what to look for in milk formula, what to avoid and what to be cautious about deciding a formula milk for your little one
The short answer is usually, yes. However, the term "chemicals" is broad. What matters is the kind of chemicals they are, and if they're harmful. For example, DHA is a chemical—a natural fatty acid to be exact—that supports your little one's brain structure and function. This chemical is commonly found in the list of formula ingredients because it's beneficial to the child. What you should look out for are harmful chemicals in formula ingredients that can affect your child negatively.
When it comes to selecting the right milk formula for your child, there are certain ingredients that play a huge role in brain development and overall growth.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
As previously mentioned, DHA is one of the beneficial long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that is crucial for the growth and development of your little one's brain and retina.
Arachidonic acid (ARA or AA)
Another fatty acid, ARA is critical for the growth and development of your child's body, brain and health.1
These are types of fibre that your little one cannot digest, but their gut bacteria can. Prebiotics help boost their immune system and promote better digestion.
These are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your little one and their digestive system. Probiotics i.e G.O.S, Bifido Lactis, etc also help their immune system develop, and lowers the chances of gastro-intestinal tract infections.
Calcium helps with bone growth and strength, and the calcium found in quality formula milk is made to be easily absorbed by your child’s body.
Milk proteins can be divided into 2 groups: caseins—which are insoluble milk proteins—and whey proteins, which are soluble. Casein helps with the absorption of minerals, and whey protein is great for growing and building your little one’s muscles.
Also known as α-Lactalbumin or α-La, this protein can be found in selected growing up formulas. It helps with the absorption of essential minerals, and it provides a well-balanced supply of essential amino acids for your little one.2
Just like how there are certain must-haves when picking a milk formula for your child, there are also certain ingredients that you may want to steer away from. Some of the more common ones are:
Soybean oil and soy lecithin
While some parents feed their child soy milk if they're allergic to cow's milk (with approval from their doctor, of course!), these 2 ingredients should be avoided altogether.
Artificial DHA and ARA
Some milk formulas list DHA and ARA as their ingredients, but these oils are obtained from the processes that use the neurotoxic hexane, which may be detrimental to your child's health.
Some manufacturers add palm oil to mimic palmitic acid, which is a natural fatty acid. However, it's not the same and can lead to low bone density in children as it prevents their bodies from absorbing calcium properly.
Some milk formulas contain synthetic nutrients to mimic the real thing. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients are neurotoxic and processed with harmful chemicals. L-Carnitine, lycopene, lutein, taurine, L-methionine and nucleotides are some examples.
BPA In plastic
While this isn't exactly found in formula, the plastic bottle your formula-fed child nurses from may contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the formula when heated. To avoid this, only pour the formula into the bottle after it cools, avoid heating the bottle in the microwave, or switch to glass bottles altogether.
Now you know what milk formula ingredients to look for and avoid before you make a purchase! If you're currently formula feeding your little one and need to switch them over, take a look at our How to Switch Milk Formula article for some great tips that'll help make the transition as easy as possible.
If you're considering switching your milk formula but aren't sure which one to select, try the upgraded Friso® Gold with Novas Signature Milk. This upgraded formulation contains naturally small molecules with soft structure that’s easy to digest and over 50 Essential Nutrients (DHA, AA, GOS, Bifido Lactis, Calcium, Protein, Vitamins and Minerals) to support your child’s overall growth & development. Good digestion is important to help your child absorb the nutrients that fuel their mental and physical growth. For more information, you can also call the Friso® Gold Care Line at 1800-88-1647 for support, available every Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm.