March 31, 2021 11 min read
Breastfeeding is an amazing way to feed your child that allows for appropriate nutrition and mother-baby-bonding. However, for many moms, it may be extremely stressful - or simply impossible. Sore nipples, blocked milk ducts, mastitis, lacking milk supply, or your baby not latching properly are only a few common breastfeeding problems you might have come across.
It’s great if you can manage to breastfeed. If not, and you decide to supplement or switch to baby formula exclusively, you are just as great of a mom! Most important is the love you have for your child and as long as you and your baby is healthy, there is no wrong way to feed them.
This is for all parents out there who are looking for the perfect baby formula for their little one. In this post you will find all relevant information on how to pick the best and healthiest formula according to your child’s individual needs and your preferences for ingredients and quality standards.
This post serves as a guide and offers some recommendations. Of course, your decision which formula to feed should always depend on the individual nutritional needs of your baby, your personal preferences and the advice of a pediatrician.
Trying to find the right formula for your baby can be overwhelming. Of course, you want to buy the best quality for your little one. you probably pay close attention to the ingredients, and most likely decide to go organic. Now, you might think you have narrowed it down, but while researching you realized there is dozens of organic baby formulas! Even among organic baby formula, you should pay close attention to the list of ingredients. Many manufacturers still include highly processed ingredients such as refined sugar.
European baby formula standards are very strict. For example, they prohibit the use of sucrose (plain sugar) or corn syrup in formula. Additionally, at least 30% of all carbs in the formula have to come from lactose only, which aims to help with digestibility. In many other countries, this is not a requirement for baby formulas. No detectable levels of pesticide residues are allowed (no more than 0.01 mg per kg) and addition of DHA is required per law.
Organic farming in Europe must follow strict regulations. The adherence to these regulations is monitored via frequent controls and testing of the products. European organic farms must follow rules for appropriate animal husbandry and environmental practices and establish a sustainable agricultural system.
The requirements affect all stages of the food supply chain and the whole farm management, food processing and production processes. For a product to hold the EU Organic certification at least 95% of its agricultural ingredients must stem from organic production.
So, what does the European Organic certification mean for the end product? First of all, no potentially harmful residues from farming such as pesticides, GMOs and hormones. You can be sure that the formula you give your little one contains no harmful substances that may enter the product through the farming process. Additionally, in the production there will be no artificial colors and preservatives, flavors or taste enhancers added. And no highly processed ingredients, the ingredients must remain close to their true form.
Europe’s organic certifications like Demeter and Bioland even go further than the EU Organic standards and are among the strictest in the world. They require biodynamic agriculture, meaning that the farming practices are self-sufficient (for example fodder and fertilizers stem from own production). Their standards exceed the conventional organic certification by going beyond measures when it comes to animal welfare and sustainability.
The German organic baby food company HiPP has even introduced an additional organic label for their products. They vouch to go beyond conventional organic standards and aim to achieve even lower levels of pesticide traces than required by law and carry out a complete quality check at a high technical level.
It should be noted that HiPP HA and HiPP special milk do not hold the organic label, because of the procession of proteins, which makes it an even better digestible formula. Still, you can be sure that all of HiPP’s special milk come in traditional HiPP quality!
Instead of one composition fitting all ages, European formulas come in different stages. This way the ingredients are always adjusted to the specific age of the baby. Just as the composition of breast milk changes with a growing baby, so does the composition of the formula with different stages. The ingredients correspond to the nutritional needs of babies during different phases of their development. Per European regulation, they are divided into infant milk, follow-on milk, and growing-up milk. Each of these stages has age-appropriate specific nutritional requirements that all manufacturers must follow.
Formula labeled "pre" is the closest to breast milk. It has lactose as the only source of energy and does not contain any starch or maltodextrin, which makes it easily digestible. Newborns have very sensitive tummies, therefore pre formula is the best in the beginning stage of life.
Like pre formula, stage 1 is suitable from birth. Because of some additional ingredients than pre formula, stage 1 takes a little longer to digest (leaving your baby satisfied for a longer period of time). We suggest feeding stage 1 during the first 6 months when you feel pre is not sufficient anymore for your baby to feel full and satisfied.
Not all formula brands offer a pre formula. Some brands offer only stage 1 formula which is fully lactose-based without other sources of carbohydrates added, therefore similar to “pre” and appropriate for newborns.
The term follow-on formula describes formula for babies ages 6-12 months. Depending on the brand, it can be divided into stages 2 and 3 or only stage 2. Follow-on formula is composed specifically for the age where your baby is starting to eat a mixed diet with solid foods. Higher amounts of nutrients in an age-appropriate matter ensure the best development of your child.
Your baby might now be participating in family dinners and eating balanced meals. Growing-up milk can be implemented into your child’s diet as an additional source of nutrition. It can also be used to prepare porridges.
Some European formulas do not come in stages. This is true for special formulas which are formulated especially for babies with specific nutritional needs (for example when struggling with digestive issues or reflux). They are all-stages formulas, meaning that one product is appropriate for your growing baby from birth as long as they need formula.
For more detailed information, you can check out the formula guide in our support center.
We offer a range of high-quality baby formulas, including some of Europe’s biggest and most popular organic baby formula brands: HiPP and Holle. Both companies can look back on decades of experience in the organic baby food industry and enjoy an excellent reputation in Germany and the rest of Europe.
A rather new face on the market is Loulouka. Even though they do not have many years of experience, they can definitely live up to the high standards set by the market leaders in Europe. Loulouka convices with organic ingredients sourced from Switzerland.
All of the formula brands Organic’s Best offers are characterized by unique features and it’s up to you (and your baby) to decide which one suits you best!
Holle, the first Demeter certified company, is a family-owned company located in the border region of Germany and Switzerland. They were pioneers in biodynamic farming and quickly became one of the leading brands for organic baby food in Germany. In over 85 years of experience their promise to use only wholesome ingredients of organic quality. You’ll notice the Demeter label on many of Holle’s products, which is the highest possible organic certification in Europe.
To help build a better future, two-thirds of Holle’s overall-used packaging materials are glass and paper. They constantly work on reducing their ecological footprint to a minimum. Since early 2013 the company has been compensating for CO2e emissions and many products are CO2e neutral. Holle takes sustainability to a new level.
From baking gingerbread to first selling baby food in 1899, the company has been family-run for generations. With almost 100 years of experience, HiPP has become the leading brand in the baby food industry. They constantly work closely with experts in the field to keep improving their products.
Using only wholesome, organic, and nutritious ingredients in their products, the ingredients of HiPP formula come from certified 100% organic producers. Because they devote themselves to the future of families, HiPP plays close attention to sustainability and promises to use resources carefully and sparingly, lower CO2-emissions, preserve the soil’s fertility, protect and promote biological diversity, and look after cultural areas and landscapes in their original forms.
They were the first company to add probiotics and prebiotics to their formula, which aid with digestion. They use a natural lactic acid (Lactobacillus fermentum®), which they originally derived from real breast milk.
HiPP offers the widest range of products. They have various product lines with different compositions and also offer a number of products for babies with special nutritional needs. These special milks and hypoallergenic formula are for babies with digestive issues or a more sensitive system.
New to the industry, Loulouka was founded a few years ago by a team of parents. They have experience in the baby formula business and work closely with experts to provide you with an exceptional formula. The Dutch-based company aims high when it comes to providing your child with the healthiest ingredients and ensuring sustainable practices for the production of their formula. Loulouka formula undergoes 50 unique quality checks guaranteeing excellent quality.
They source all ingredients in Switzerland and produce there, too. This way the raw produce does not travel far before being processed, remaining as fresh as possible.
The milk used in Loulouka formula comes from Swiss organic farms that follow strict EU Organic and Swiss animal welfare regulations. Swiss milk has an outstanding reputation because the cows are grass-fed, grazing on wide pastures. They receive special attention from the farmers because Swiss farms are mostly smaller and allow for personal attention to all animals.
You can be sure that Loulouka formula is of outstanding quality and all ingredients are carefully selected. Not only does Loulouka stand out by sourcing Swiss milk, but they also made the decision to refrain from using coconut oil and use palm oil instead. This differentiates them from most other brands.
You have probably noticed the Bioland label on Lebenswert’s products. It is one of the strictest organic certifications in the world. Bioland stands for high standards in organic farming, animal husbandry, and environmental awareness. Lebenswert BIO is of exceptional quality - giving you a formula that exceeds conventional organic baby food. The Bioland label ensures that all ingredients come from certified organic suppliers and guarantees you a responsible approach to all humans, animals, and the environment. Lebenswert BIO does not contain soy, gluten, or corn syrup. Lebenswert is part of the Holle group and therefore benefits from the expertise and outstanding quality standards of its mother company.
Here's an easy-to-understand overview of our organic baby formula’s main ingredients explained. If you want to know more head over to our support center.
❤ Demeter quality
❤ Small list of ingredients
❤ No unnecessary additives or processing
HiPP’s infant formula comes with added probiotics and prebiotics that support a healthy gut floraand help with digestion. Lactobacillus fermentum® was originally derived from real breast milk and makes it the one and only organic baby formula that comes as close as possible to the composition of breast milk and is, therefore, the organic infant formula most similar to breast milk. Those prebiotics and probiotics are an important advantage of HiPP' organic infant formulas.
DHA and ARA ensure healthy development of the brain and nervous system, and important trace minerals and vitamins aid a healthy development. HiPP German Stage 1’s ingredients come from EU certified manufacturers and the HiPP BIO vouches for an even higher organic standard.
Why we love it:
❤ Contains probiotics & prebiotics
❤ Trusted HiPP Organic quality
❤ Super satisfying
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
❤ Easily digestible
❤ Small list of ingredients
❤ Whole goat milk powder
❤ No palm oil
❤ Holle compensates their CO2e emissions
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
❤ Lactose as only energy source
❤ Large, air-tight container
❤ Contains probiotics and prebiotics
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
❤ High-quality Swiss milk
❤ Lactose based formula
❤ Sustainable vision of the company
❤ No starch or maltodextrin
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
❤ Our best and gentlest formula for babies with sensitive tummies
❤ Easily digestible with extensively hydrolyzed protein
❤ Famous HiPP quality
❤ 25 years of experience in allergy prevention
The Best Organic Baby Formula 2021 Guide will be updated regularly, always providing you with the latest information!