By Jennifer Dawson
While most baby health experts, in Essex and worldwide, advise that breastfeeding is very important, they also agree that there is a place for formula milk. Breast milk contains key nutrients like arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which have been found by the University of Columbia to be vital for early neural development. If you’re looking for a supplemental source of milk or starting to wean your baby off breast milk, formula is the way to go. There’s a wide range of different options from various brands, so it can be tricky to choose. One issue you will have to consider is whether to go for organic formula or not.
Some people feel very strongly about using organic products for their families, opting to support naturally grown produce to have a lower risk of chemical contamination in their diet and lifestyle. Any parent wants the best for their child, and picking a nutritious, safe, and clean organic formula is one way to ensure early nutrition needs are met with minimal additives or synthetic chemicals. Organic formula has also been shown to have higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, both important for healthy growing babies.
What is formula milk?
All formula milk is made up of three parts: a fat source, a protein source, and a carbohydrate source. There might be a few tweaks to the recipe or some synthetic additives for preservation and taste, but all formula milk sold in the UK is subject to government regulations. These regulations specify the proportions of these ingredients and what nutrition they provide for your baby; so whether you’re choosing the most ethical and organic option or the cheapest supermarket own brand, it’s going to give your baby the same basic nutritional value.
Does being organic make a difference?
The difference comes in how this nutritional value is achieved; with organically produced ingredients or those using chemicals and GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops. While the regulations mentioned above will also make sure that there are not large quantities of pesticide present in the formula milk, this isn’t enough of a guarantee for some people. If you are concerned about trace quantities of pesticides or the use of GMOs, opting for organic formula will help give you some peace of mind. However, if the higher price of organic formula is out of your budget, or you are not concerned about non-organic ingredients, then regular formula will give your baby all the important nutrients too.
Trying your baby on a few different types of formula might be necessary to find one which is convenient, easy, and the right price for you – and well received by your baby. If you do decide to go organic, always check the legitimacy of their “organic” claims to make sure you are getting what you pay for.