There are many options on the market to help feed our little ones. Whether we are looking for high fiber, organic, or imported foods. All parents are looking for the best option for their family and their little one’s needs.
European formula has been trending and growing in increasing popularity due to their incredibly high standards for baby formula. Click here for everything you need to know about EU formula. Below are 7 quick facts to get you started in your European formula research:
1. NO HEAVY METALS
Recently, a few viral posts started to stream about heavy metals in baby food. News like this is so frustrating. Name brands that many parents trust to keep their little ones happy and healthy are under fire for unhealthy amounts of heavy metals. In contrast, standards that the European Union have had in place ensure that their baby formulas are free from toxic metals.
European formula manufacturers believe that each stage of infancy requires catered nutrition. Some brands carry a stage as early as “PRE,” which is specifically made to meet the needs for premature babies; most brands carry stages 1-3. The primary stage is meant for babies 0-6 months, the following for babies 6-12 months and finally a toddler milk meant for little ones 12 months and up.
The primary difference in stages is the whey:casein ratio. These are proteins naturally found in milk. The regular milk we consume has a ration that is whey:casein ratio of 80:20 (this is what you will find in stage 3 milk); however, in order to make formula easier to digest, stage 2 has a ratio of 60:40, which is meant to prepare the digestive tract for “regular” milk. Lastly, stage 1 milks have a ration of 40:60, which is closer to mother’s milk rather than cows.
3. GOAT MILK
European formulas also offer goat milk as an alternative for little ones who may present a cow milk protein intolerance. When a cow milk protein intolerance presents itself and mother’s milk is not an option, goat’s milk makes for an excellent alternative. Goat milk formula in European brands is offered for as early as stage 1 formulas. These formulas are enriched and do not contain certain properties of soy milk formula that are unfavorable, such as phytoestrogens, which may interfere with hormonal communication and balance.
The main component within goat milk that allows it to be easier to digest is the absence of A1 protein, which is the protein typically found in cow’s milk responsible for intolerances and allergies. Goat milk is naturally an A2 milk, making it more favorable for a baby with a sensitive belly.
4. SENSITIVE OPTIONS
European formulas also carry sensitive options. When little ones present conditions such as acid reflux, allergies, intolerances, or sometimes just an overall sensitive belly, they have alternative options. European brands are a great option when looking for “cleaner” alternatives that don’t necessarily have artificial sweeteners or simply when you want a better tasting formula.
European formulas also offer A2 baby formula options. Although A2 is becoming more easily available at our grocery stores (for toddlers and above), it is still new to many of us. Goat milk is naturally an A2 milk as discussed above, but there are certain breeds of cows that produce A2 milk as well. Holle, a German brand of formula, offers A2 cow’s milk. This milk is derived from cows who only produce A2 protein and has the same sensitive properties, without having to switch to a different type of animal. Plus, the Holle A2 formula is available for babies from birth on up!
The organic practices abroad in Europe are considered holistic practices. That means that in order to be certified organic they must enforce strict standards from how the livestock is fed, the environment in which they live, the process of extraction, and finally the production of the formula or product. When a European product is labeled organic, you can trust that the livestock were grass fed, raised in humane conditions, and not treated with hormones or excessive use of antibiotics.
Although there is no internal harm from ingesting palm oil, many companies are moving away from using palm oil to help stop the exploitation of the amazon. The extraction of palm oil leads to heavy deforestation in the amazonian rainforest. Kendamil formula and Loulouka formulas do not use palm oil to promote more ethical environmental practices globally, not only locally. Instead, these companies use coconut oils. Holle uses palm oil in some of their products, but they ensure it is ethically sourced from sustainable farms in Colombia.
6. NO SOY
One outstanding difference between American organic formulas and European is the complete absence of soy. Although organic formulas in the USA are making strides to better, healthier nutrition, it is still difficult to find products without the use of soy. Soy has little nutritional value, oftentimes used as a filler known as soy lecithin. Soy is a common allergen and has also been linked to long term health concerns such as hormonal imbalances. Phytoestrogens, which mimic the naturally occurring estrogen hormones in the body, are raising concerns later in life with reproductive health as well as a high correlation with breast cancer in women.
7. NO ADDED SUGAR
No sugar is added to European formula, meaning no artificial sweeteners such as corn-syrup or even naturally occurring sugars such as fructose. Instead, European formulas prefer to keep the integrity of natural milk sugar: Lactose. Artificial sweeteners and processed sugars can sometimes be problematic in triggering concerns for inflammatory imbalances in the body. The main cause of the inflammatory response to added sugars is that non-naturally occurring sugars can disrupt the microbiome in the gut system. In other words, the good bacteria that lives in our digestive tract gets thrown off balance with bad bacteria. This response leads to a weakened or hyperactive immune system, causing sensitivities such as allergies or eczema, and can further develop into more serious conditions later in life.
Information is power, the more we know about a subject, the more we can make decisions confidently. Sometimes trends come and go just as fast. Other trends come and stick around to change how we view our previous habits or practices. We hope you enjoyed learning about what to consider with the rising trend in European formulas. Feel free to share this article if this may be an option for you and your family or someone you know.