Don’t Even Think About Making Your Own Baby Formula
When it comes to baby food, we may think that homemade is always best, but there could be a very important instance when that is very, very wrong:
Homemade baby formula.
In an effort perhaps to make formula a healthier choice, some parents are turning to do-it-yourself homemade baby formula kits or are looking up formula recipes online, some of which include buying ingredients like raw cow's milk, bacteria, liver oil, and yeast. There has even been some talk of the bioengineering of food, leading to food allergies, pushing some parents to go back to “whole” ingredients.
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) says “not so fast.” “Consumption of homemade formulas can lead to potentially serious health consequences for babies,” the organization claims. Other organizations agree, cautioning parents against attempts to make baby formula at home for several reasons:
1. The homemade baby formula may not contain the right mix of nutrients.
Parents, let's remember that formula from a store isn't poison. I fear that in our quest to make “breast the best” and move away from formula feeding (both good things, no doubt, but still not for everyone) that we have made formula out to be a villain.
Formula is highly regulated, and companies are constantly updating and improving formula ingredients to ensure that it is the right mix of nutrients that a growing baby needs. “Commercial infant formulas must meet all the requirements of the Infant Formula Act, which was developed to safeguard the nutritional health of infants, with very specific ingredient, manufacturing, testing, and labeling requirements,” states the FDA.
2. It may be more contaminated.
Whether purchasing raw ingredients for homemade baby formula, such as cow's or goat's milk, you are also opening the door for a lot of contamination exposure. From the person who collects it, to how it stored, shipped, and produced in your kitchen, it can be very easy for stray bacteria to make its way into your baby unknowingly. Unlike your kitchen, commercial baby food is rigorously inspected to avoid contamination.
3. Whole cow's milk is discouraged.
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages parents from introducing raw or whole cow's milk before a baby is 12 months of age. Many homemade baby formula recipes also use raw, unpasteurized cow's milk, which the AAP also warns against, citing increased risk for babies, whose digestive systems may not be ready for the extra bacteria or milk. The AAP states that breast milk, followed by commercial formula, are the best foods for babies six month and younger.
What do you think about the trend for homemade baby formula?