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January 25, 2023 19 min read
There are many factors to consider when choosing a formula for your baby, and to make that process easier, we have created this guide to highlight some of the best organic formulas on the market. No matter which type of formula you choose to nourish your little one with, at Organic's Best we only offer high-quality products made with premium organic ingredients
If you have been scouring the internet looking for ways to ensure your little one is getting high-quality clean nutrition and need help choosing the perfect organic baby formula for your little one, we are happy to help you with this process.
This article will guide you through topics like the benefits of choosing organic formula, ingredients in a formula that are beneficial vs ingredients that should be avoided, why more parents are choosing European infant formula, and a look at which products we offer!
Table of contents
Choosing a baby formula is a difficult task that should take into account your personal preferences, your baby's dietary needs, and most importantly the guidance of your pediatrician.
Below we list our favourite organic baby formulas which we've divided into two sections: cow's milk and goat's milk formulas.
To make your search for the best organic formulas easier check out our list below!
Cow's milk formula is widely available and commonly used, making it the go-to for many parents. Cow's milk formulas are made to have many of the same benefits as breast milk, which ensures that the formula has the right balance of nutrients and is easy to digest.
The majority of babies do well on cow's milk formula, but there are circumstances, such as if your child has a cow's milk protein allergy, where this type of formula is not recommended.
Both of these formulas are EU organic certified, meaning the milk used in their formula comes from organic farms that use chemical-free agricultural practices that respect animal welfare and environmental sustainability.
Just like breast milk, the main carbohydrate is lactose, and they do not contain starch, which brings them even closer in similarity to breast milk. They are enriched with prebiotics & probiotics, as well as ARA (Omega-6) & DHA (Omega-3) from fish oil. Further, they contain no artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives.
Holle cow’s milk formula is made in Germany and the milk in their formula is produced at Demeter-certified organic farms, along with being EU-certified organic. This product is free from fish oil and soy. It contains DHA (Omega-3) & ARA (Omega-6) from algae and is made without artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives.
Löwenzahn Organics formulas are rich in vitamins and minerals and go beyond EU standards to include higher levels of omega fatty acids, prebiotics, and amino acids. They are EU-certified organic and just like breast milk, the main carbohydrate is lactose.
They do not contain starch or maltodextrin and are made without artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives. This formula is enriched with DHA (Omega-3) & ARA (Omega-6) and is fish oil and soy free.
One of the best features of this formula is that it contains natural probiotic lactic acid cultures originally extracted from real breast milk. It is EU-certified organic, lactose based, and enriched with prebiotics & probiotics. It contains ARA (Omega-6) & DHA (Omega-3) from fish oil, is free from artificial sweeteners and GMOs, and does not contain maltodextrin.
Premibio's formulas are AB France and EU organic certified, meaning that 100% of ingredients of agricultural origin are grown using organic farming methods. This product is free from palm oil, fish oil, and soy. It is enriched with probiotics and essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA) extracted from algae. It is made without artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives.
This formula only contains high-quality simple ingredients. It is Bioland-certified organic and made without artificial sweeteners, GMOs, flavors, or preservatives. Just like breast milk, the main carbohydrate is lactose and this formula does not contain starch or maltodextrin. It is enriched with DHA (Omega-3) from fish oil & ARA (Omega-6).
Goat's milk baby formula can be beneficial for babies who have mild cow's milk sensitivity (not for those with an established allergy or lactose intolerance) or parents looking for an alternative to cow milk that is not soy.
Goat's milk can be digested up to 2x faster due to it containing smaller fat molecules and less lactose. Goat milk fat is high in palmitic acid, which is naturally found in breast milk and aids in fat and calcium absorption so your little one can get the energy they need without digestive discomfort.
Jovie’s formula is EU-certified organic, meaning it is holistically produced at animal welfare-conscious farms without the use of hormones or GMOs. This formula is made with whole goat's milk and does not contain maltodextrin, palm oil, or soy. It is enriched with prebiotics (GOS), DHA (Omega-3) from fish oil, and ARA (Omega-6).
The gentle whole goat's milk in Holle Goat Stage PRE formula is produced at EU-certified organic farms in Germany. It is soy, palm oil, and fish oil-free, and does not contain maltodextrin. It is enriched with DHA (Omega-3) from algae and ARA (Omega-6).
Note: Holle Goat Stage PRE does not have maltodextrin and only contains lactose, but the other Stages do have maltodextrin.
Holle Dutch uses gentle whole goat's milk produced at organic farms. It is soy, palm oil, and fish oil-free. It is enriched with DHA (Omega-3) from algae and ARA (Omega-6).
This formula is made with skimmed goat milk, lactose, and vegetable oils and does not contain soy, starch, or maltodextrin. It is enriched with DHA (Omega-3) from fish oil, ARA (Omega-6), and prebiotics (GOS). It contains organic Palm Oil from sustainable cultivation.
This gentle formula is AB France and EU-certified organic. It is soy-free, palm oil-free, and fish oil-free. It is enriched with DHA (Omega 6) from algae and ALA (omega 3). It is made with whole goat's milk and maltodextrin.
All of our organic formulas contain lactose, and Omega-3 (DHA) and are soy free. When it comes to other ingredients, our formulas differ slightly so here's an easy-to-understand overview of our organic baby formulas!
It is becoming increasingly popular for parents to opt for an organic formula over standard non-organic options available. In this section, we'll walk you through some of the key differences between organic and conventional formulas, which will help clarify the benefits that are unique to an organic formula.
The ingredients in our organic baby formulas are carefully selected and curated to come packed full of quality ingredients. Organic formulas are held to stricter standards when it comes to ingredient composition and farming practices, which is why all of our organic milk formulas follow the same set of production standards, which are outlined below.
Our formulas are...
Free from GMOs
Free From artificial preservatives
Made without the use of hormones or steroids
Made with extremely restricted use of antibiotics (only used when necessary for the health of the animal)
All animals are fed an organic diet without synthetic substances
EU Organic formulas include at least 95% organic ingredients resulting in a natural and healthy product
There are different levels of organic certification, and each comes with its own set of guidelines and regulations. These certifications exist either privately or through government regulation.
Private European organizations, such as Demeter or Bioland, often have even more stringent regulations than standard EU organic standards. If a product has been certified organic through either private organizations or government regulations, this will be clearly labeled on the packaging.
The rules and regulations vary between countries and private organic certifications. These certifications determine how organic baby products are grown, processed, stored, shipped, and packaged.
The United States has a body called the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that regulates the certification of organic baby formula and in Europe, it's regulated by the European Union (EU).
The EU organic logo is an overarching government-regulated label that applies to various countries in the EU but certain countries also have their own independent certification such as AB France.
While formulas in the US are completely safe and widely available, there are a few factors that make European formulas a desirable choice for parents:
At least 30% of all carbs in European baby formula must come from lactose because lactose is the primary carb in breast milk. Lactose in baby formula can help improve digestion as it contains easier-to-digest proteins compared to more complex carbs.
European organic formulas do not contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, such as corn syrup, which is found in some US infant formulas.
European formulas are divided into stages which are formulated to fit the specific dietary needs of children at different stages of nutritional development. In the US, most formulas are made as a "one size fits all" product.
Some European baby formulas contain prebiotics and probiotics to support the gastrointestinal health of babies, which is less common in US formulas.
Organic farming in Europe must follow strict guidelines and regulations which affect all stages of the food supply chain, farm management, food processing, and production processes.
These guidelines are made to uphold strict standards that sustain and promote biodiversity, ecological balance, and soil fertility. These standards are upheld and monitored through yearly testing and appointed control bodies who inspect each stage of operation.
When it comes to infant formula, organic farming can help reduce exposure to harmful chemicals as many are prohibited for use in farming practices, and because of this eating an organic diet can potentially decrease pesticide exposure in children.
For a product to hold the EU Organic logo at least 95% of its agricultural ingredients must stem from organic production. This means that choosing EU organic formulas is not only great for the health of your baby but also an eco-conscious choice!
European private organic certifications, such as Demeter, go beyond EU organic standards and are considered some of the strictest in all of Europe. They use biodynamic agriculture, which means that their agricultural practices are self-sufficient by generating their own fertility, as they usehealthy and regenerative cultivation methods.
Additionally, the German organic baby food company HiPP has introduced their own organic label for their milk formulas. The HiPP organic seal goes beyond conventional organic standards and aims to achieve even lower levels of trace residues than what is required by law.
Europe has many different milk options for their infant formulas, which may not be widely available elsewhere in the world. This can be confusing to navigate, especially if you're only used to seeing cow's milk formula.
In the following sections, we will break down the differences between each milk for you and discuss when one might be better to use over another!
Products are divided into cow's milk, goat's milk, and special milk (like Anti-Reflux and Comfort formula by HiPP). Special milk options are intended for issues such as regurgitation, colic, allergy, and constipation.
A hypoallergenic formula is intended for babies who are at risk of milk allergies and lactose-free formula is used in cases of severe intolerance to cow's milk.
⚠️ It is especially necessary to get a doctor's consultation before choosing a lactose-free formula, hypoallergenic formula, or special formula.
Unless medically necessary, soy-based products are not recommended for consumption by babies and children. When choosing a soy formula, strict medical monitoring is recommended. If your baby does not have any medical condition, this formula should not be chosen.
Lactose-free and soy-free formulas can only be prescribed by a pediatrician, after a proper examination of the child.
This formula is only recommended in certain situations, below are some possible scenarios...
Allergies that require the use of a soy formula
Congenital, temporary, and acquired lactase deficiency
Galactose metabolism disorders (galactosemia)
Viral diarrhea due to phytoestrogens (isoflavones)
Learn more: Vegan Baby Formula: Good or Bad?
Special baby formulas are made for infants with specific dietary needs and should be used only with guidance from your pediatrician. Let's take a look at what each kind has to offer, and in what circumstances they should be used!
Hypoallergenic baby formulas are typically hydrolyzed cow's milk protein-based and used as an alternative to goat's milk or soy formula. Hydrolyzed formulas are made by a process that extensively breaks the milk proteins into smaller pieces called peptides, which are absorbed by the body more easily. Due to this process, the proteins are not as recognizable to the body, becoming less allergenic.
HiPP HA Formula is a hypoallergenic breast milk substitute developed with partially hydrolyzed (split) protein and contains:
Probiotic cultures of lactic acid bacteria originally extracted from real breast milk
Important dietary fibers and natural prebiotics
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
It is shown that the combination of hydrolyzed protein with a complex of probiotics and prebiotics may have the following benefits:
Reduces the risk of allergies
Strengthens the natural immune system
Promotes healthy intestinal microflora
It should be noted that HiPP HA and HiPP special milk do not hold the EU organic label, because once the milk has become hydrolyzed, it cannot be considered Organic.
If your little one has a suspected or confirmed cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA), then our HiPP hypoallergenic (HA) formula may not be suitable for them. HiPP HA is partially hydrolyzed, meaning that the cow's milk proteins are broken down by approximately 86-87%.
In contrast, extensively hydrolyzed formulas (intended for milk protein allergy) are broken down by over 90%. For this reason, although many babies with cow's milk protein allergy thrive on this formula, it is not suitable for every baby with CMPA. Please consult your pediatrician to determine which kind of formula is best for your baby.
Anti-reflux formulas are milk products that reduce regurgitation for babies who belch or spit up more frequently. The consistency of this product is very thick, thanks to the addition of a thickening agent, which is usually carob gum. The formula also thickens in the baby's stomach due to fiber swelling in the acidic environment. Carob bean gum can also help to relieve constipation in young children.
Comfort baby formulas are made to help with digestive discomforts that are common during the first days and months of a baby's life. Common symptoms of digestive discomfort caused by a developing gastrointestinal tract include bloating, colic, and constipation.
Comfort formulas are often made with a reduced lactose content, hydrolyzed milk proteins, and prebiotic galactooligosaccharides (GOS). If your little one is dealing with any of these issues it is important to discuss them with your pediatrician to rule out any potential illnesses.
As your baby grows, so do their nutritional needs. Formulas are curated to accommodate these changes and are offered in a range of stages. Just as the composition of breast milk changes with a growing baby, so does the composition of the formula. This ensures that the ingredients are adjusted to provide age-appropriate nutrients for your little one.
Per European regulation, they are divided into infant milk, follow-on milk, and growing-up milk which is suitable for toddlers.
Organic baby formula labeled "PRE" is often the stage closest in composition to breast milk. It has lactose as the only carbohydrate (like breast milk) and does not contain any starch or maltodextrin, which makes it easily digestible. Not all baby formula brands offer a PRE formula.
Like PRE formulas, stage 1 is suitable from birth. Due to additional ingredients (like starch or maltodextrin) which are not found in PRE formula, stage 1 can take a little longer to digest and may keep your baby feeling full for longer. Both PRE and stage 1 formulas provide proper nutrition for infants, in the end, the choice is a matter of what fits your baby's needs more.
The term follow-on formula describes formulas 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 meant to complement a weaning diet consisting of formula and some solid foods and should not be fed to babies under 6 months of age.
At this stage, your baby is likely participating in family dinners and eating balanced meals. For this reason, toddler formula is not necessary but can be a good way to complement your child's diet. Speak to your pediatrician to see if it's right for your little one.
Some European baby formulas do not come in stages, meaning that one product is appropriate for all stages of development. This is true for many special formulas which are formulated specifically for babies with unique nutritional needs, such as digestive issues, intolerances, allergies, or reflux.For more detailed information, check out European Baby Formula Stages Made Simple
While all formula is modeled after breast milk and must satisfy nutritional guidelines to supply your baby with the nutrients they need, there can still be significant differences in terms of composition.
Organic formulas may contain more natural ingredients such as using lactose rather than corn syrup as a carbohydrate source. It is important to be aware of what ingredients there are in baby formula and what purpose they serve to help you make an informed decision alongside your pediatrician about what to feed your little one.
In this section, we take a deep dive into common formula ingredients and what role they play in your baby's formula.
Casein and whey protein are the main proteins in milk. In fact, they are building blocks for your child's body and act as a catalyst for various bodily processes. Baby formulas from birth to 6 months of age contain mainly whey proteins while baby food for children over 6 months of age often contains more casein, this is done intentionally to reflect the natural changes that occur in human milk.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is known to help the body make proteins. Taurine is most useful in times of illness as it helps in the maintenance of hydration and electrolyte balance. It also regulates minerals and supports the development of a child's central nervous system and eyesight. Adult bodies are capable of producing Taurine, but babies need a little extra help through breast milk or formula!
Lactose is a main carbohydrate found in breast milk and helps promotes faster absorption of iron and calcium in children. In addition, it provides a child's body with energy to fuel their growth and development and supports the development of good microflora in their gut.
Essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that must be provided by foods because they cannot be synthesized by the body but are necessary for health. Omega-3 (DHA) and Omega-6 (ARA) fatty acids, particularly DHA, are known to play an essential role in the development of the brain and eyes. This is why for European formulas it is required by law to have DHA added to them!
Prebiotics are beneficial nutrients that get broken down by bacteria in the gut, which help to support gut health while benefiting other bodily processes such as improving metabolic health and regulating the immune system. Prebiotics encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and because of this can help improve conditions such as constipation.
Probiotics are included in some infant formulas, these are healthy microorganisms that stimulate the growth and reproduction of healthy intestinal microflora.
Probiotics are particularly important for infants because at birth babies have a sterile gastrointestinal system. This is because exposure to bacteria before birth can be dangerous to the fetus. So for those nine months, babies live and grow in a sterile safe zone that is microbe-free.
However, after birth, microbes like probiotics begin to be introduced into babies’ bodies which helps to strengthen their immune systems and prevent infections. Infant probiotics aid immunity, boost infection resistance and nutrient absorption, and promote detoxification and metabolism!
Learn More: Baby Probiotics: Do Probiotics Really Improve Your Infant's Health?
Infant formulas are fortified with minerals such as zinc, manganese, iodine, copper, and selenium which are necessary for the normal development of the child. Each mineral plays a part in supported bodily processes. For example, zinc helps support the immune system, while manganese supports brain development.
While ingredients and baby formula must be considered safe to be allowed in baby formula, some ingredients remain controversial despite their purported safety. Let's take a look at some ingredients that many parents choose to consciously avoid and why this is the case.
Too much sugar can be very dangerous for small children and babies. High sugar consumption has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. For these reasons, it's important to select a formula free of added sugars.
Soy contains isoflavones, a compound chemically similar to estrogen, which can disrupt hormone development. It also contains higher levels of phytates, which make it harder for the body to absorb certain minerals such as zinc, calcium, and iron. The consumption of access soy may be linked to insulin resistance, a condition that could potentially lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Palm oil is used in infant formulas to imitate the fatty acid profile of human milk and achieve similar levels of palmitic acid. Several clinical studies support that formulas that contain palm oil may decrease calcium, fat, and DHA absorption, reduce bone mineralization and produce harder stools.
A recently published review paper acknowledged the reducing effects on bone mineralization but remarked that “bone effects seem to be short-lasting.”, meaning that they would not have a long-term impact. Furthermore, palm oil is approved for use in infant formula and is considered safe by European and US standards
Another reason that some parents chose to avoid formula with palm oil is due to the negative environmental impact it can have. Thankfully, many more brands today that do include palm oil in their formula source it sustainably ensuring that it is Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified and organic.
If you prefer a palm oil-free formula, there are many organic baby formulas in Europe that use alternative vegetable oils such as coconut oil. One of our favorite formulas which is palm oil free is Jovie!
Phytin is a calcium magnesium salt of phytic acid that is found in plant seeds. It interferes with the absorption of certain minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium. Babies should avoid consuming phytin as it can lead to them developing mineral deficiencies.
We offer a range of high-quality organic baby formulas, including some of Europe's biggest and most popular organic baby formula brands: HiPP and Holle. Both companies have an excellent reputation in Germany and across Europe.
All of the formula brands Organic's Best offers are high-quality products made with premium organic ingredients. It is up to you and your pediatrician to decide which one best suits your little one!
Holle, the first Demeter-certified company, is family-owned and 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 with over 85 years of experience.
All of their formulas are climate-neutral or positive, and they reject the use of chemical processing and artificial preservatives.
They offer a variety of cow and goat's milk-based formulas; some of which are Demeter-certified organic.
From baking gingerbread to first selling baby food in 1899, HiPP has been family-run for generations. With more than 50 years of experience, HiPP has become the leading brand in Europe's organic baby food industry. They constantly work closely with experts in the field to continuously improve their products.
HiPPformulas take full advantage of the wholesome qualities of nature to bring your baby an organic formula modeled after breast milk. Each formula contains gentle ingredients based on years of nutritional research and is produced in the world's first carbon-neutral formula facility.
They have an extensive selection of formulas based on cow or goat's milk made in multiple versions in addition to providing special formulas.
You have probably noticed the Bioland label on Lebenswert's products. It is one of the strictest private organic certifications out there. Bioland stands for high standards in organic farming, animal husbandry, and environmental awareness. Lebenswert Bio is of exceptional quality - giving you a formula created in line with standards that exceed conventional baby food.
The Bioland label ensures that all ingredients come from certified organic suppliers and guarantees a responsible approach to all humans, animals, and the environment. They offer formula based on skimmed milk sourced from cows raised on Bioland farms.
Löwenzahn Organics is a German company that emphasizes a modern and passionate approach to baby formula. They are a champion of ingredient traceability and transparent supply chains.
Their recipes are optimized according to the latest scientific knowledge on nutrition. For this reason, they go the extra mile to include prebiotics in their formula which can help support gut health and immunity.
They offer organic baby formula based on skimmed cow's milk with a superior nutrient composition that's made in an ecologically fair manner.
Shop Löwenzahn Organics Formula
Jovie is a Dutch company that is concerned about the health of the environment and the well-being of children. The founders are parents as well as nutrition specialists, which gives them an upper hand when creating baby food products for your child.
Jovie creates sustainably produced minimally processed goat milk formulas. Did you know that 50% of breastfed babies' calories come from fat? That's why Jovie uses a base of full-fat goat milk which offers easy-to-digest protein, bioavailable micronutrients, and prebiotics.
Jovie formula is bursting with natural ingredients that are essential to your baby's health without the use of unnecessary additives!
Premibio is an organic formula company based in France that excels in producing nutritious organic formulas that are palm oil free! They came to life in 2006, driven by the desire to create a formula free from palm oil.
To replace palm oil, their formulas contain a sustainable vegetable oil mixture, which includes fatty acid-rich coconut oil. In addition, instead of using fish oil, Prémibio includes plant-based DHA (Omega-3 essential fatty acid) derived from algae to avoid including a common allergen in their formula.
They make a cow's milk formula (Prémilait) and a goat's milk formula (Prémichèvre). You can shop Prémibio formulas stages 1, 2, and 3 on our shop!
While the care of your baby should be monitored by your pediatrician, understanding what goes into your baby's food and making choices that promote their health and well-being can help you navigate your way through parenthood with ease. We know that was a lot of information to take in, to keep it simple and digestible here are a few things to remember:
Only infant formula that is appropriate from birth should be given to a newborn baby and formula should be chosen based on stages dictated by your infant's age.
Health problems and difficulty in digesting food will require a medical formula which you need to decide on with the guidance of your child's doctor.
When deciding which milk formula to feed your baby, the choice should always be based on the individual nutritional needs of your baby, your personal preferences, and the advice of a pediatrician.
Please be aware that this information is based on general trends evidenced in babies, it is in no way medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child's formula, and when choosing your child's formula. Always consult your pediatrician prior to making any decisions about your child's diet or if you notice any changes in your child.
Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.
⚠️ The Best Organic Baby Formula 2023 Guide will be updated regularly, always providing you with the latest information!
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