What's in baby formula?
If breastfeeding is not going to work for you and your baby, then formula is the only alternative. And if you thought you’d made the toughest feeding decision already, get ready to face another. There’s a bewildering choice of powdered and ready-to-drink baby milk on the UK market, each claiming to contain everything that fast-growing infants needs to stay healthy. But what's actually in baby formula?
All formulas are designed to replace breast milk, so it’s no surprise that they all provide the same basic nutritional components. The main ones are:
Casein and whey are the main milk proteins used, usually from cow’s milk.
Like breast milk, formulas usually contain lactose, a sugar. In some specialist milks, other carbohydrates such as glucose are used.
These comes from dairy and vegetable fats, such as palm, rapeseed, sunflower or coconut.
Vitamins and minerals
Other components found in breast milk are often added to formulas. These may include:
Polyunsaturated fats, or LCPs (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids)
Found, for example in fish oils – these help brain and membrane development.
The building blocks of nucleic acids which make up DNA, which promote healthy growth and development and boost immunity – our bodies make these naturally, but breast milk contains many different kinds of them as well, so it makes sense to include them in formula.
To find out which brand of baby formula to choose click here.
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