March 31, 2021 20 min read
Trying to find the right baby 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.
This is for all parents out there who are looking for the perfect organic baby formula for their little one. This article is supposed to be a guide and offers some recommendations.
Of course, your decision which milk formula to feed should always depend on the individual nutritional needs of your baby, your personal preferences and the advice of a pediatrician.
Table of Contents
In the basic concept of organic milk formula is a formula which consists only of organic ingredients:
All truly organic baby formula must have the appropriate certification. The notion of organismic certification depends on the state regulations of the producer's country.
European products are certified by European Commision. In the USA, products are certified with the USDA NOP seal of approval.
This is evidenced by the certification on the packaging, which guarantees organic quality of products.
The certification rules and regulations vary from country to country. The certifications stipulate the growing, processing, storage, shipping, and packaging of organic baby products.
The United States has a body called USDA that regulates the certification of organic baby formula. It has categorized certification of organic products into livestock, crops, multi-ingredient products, and wild crops. The United States has other certification plans such as the National Organic Program (NOP) and the Organic System regulation program.
The European Commission has made the EU-wide label for organic baby formula mandatory in the region. Apart from the public EU-Eco-regulation certification program, there are other private certification programs. The private certification programs include Demeter International, Bioland, and the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).
European standards for organic formula are very strict. For example, they prohibit the use of added sugars in formula, such as sucrose (plain sugar) or corn syrup. Additionally, at least 30% of all carbs in the baby 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.
The inaccessibility of possibly harmful remains of agricultural products, such as insecticides, GMOs and hormones. You can be sure that the formula you give to your baby doesn't have harmful substances that have all the opportunities to enter the product as a result of the agricultural process.
Not counting this, the production won't be adding artificial colors and conservatives, tastes or taste improvements. And nearly the number of powerful processed ingredients, components should stay near to their own true form.
European biological certificates, such as Demeter and Bioland, go beyond the EU biological stereotype and are considered some of the most challenging in the world. They insist on biodynamic agriculture, which means self-sufficient agricultural practices (for example, food and fertilizer are made of personal production). Their stereotypes exceed a conventional biological certificate, going beyond measures when it comes to animal-welfare and sustainable development.
The German organic baby food company HiPP has even introduced an additional organic label for their milk formulas. 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.
The choice of the organic baby formula depends on many factors. Formulas are divided according to different characteristics. Pediatricians recommend not making a decision on your own, and obtain advice from a specialist. He'll take into account the peculiarities of your baby's body, if any. It'll tell you in detail how to track the reaction to formula.
If the mother makes the decision on her own, she needs to know how to categorize baby formulas, and refer to ratings of tried and certified products.
Types of baby formulas depending on the different criteria:
Liquid and powder. There are no special recommendations on the choice, but powdered formulas last longer and are more readily available on the market.
According to their purpose, products are divided into lactose based, hypoallergenic, special (like Anti-Reflax and Comfort formula by HiPP) and lactose-free. The choice depends on the characteristics of the baby's body.
Therefore, it is necessary to get a doctor's consultation before taking a lactose-free or hypoallergenic formula.
Sour milk options are indicated for regurgitation, colic, dysbacteriosis. A hypoallergenic supplement will help your baby in case of a severe allergic reaction. Lactose-free formula is shown in case of intolerance to cow's milk.
Significant difference in the mixes by age. It is best to choose baby formulas that are divided into stages. Each stage of the formula has a unique and most balanced composition. For example, give a newborn baby formula shown for children over a year should not be given. They contain too much non-adapted protein.
The main mass of organic baby formula is made on the basis of cow's milk, which includes beta-lactoglobulin. When entering the child's stomach, the formula reaches a curd-like consistency and only then begins to be digested under the influence of the stomach juice.
Fatty acids contained in dairy products provide energy to enterocytes (intestinal cells). Due to this fact the cells renew themselves quickly. Milk of cows contains a lot of microelements, which help to assimilate iron.
Goat's milk baby formula is special for babies who have a reflex to cow's milk or soy intolerance. Protein and fatty acids, which are in abundance in goat's milk, are easily assimilated. On the basis of this milk and create adaptive nutrition, which does not cause allergies. The baby formula on this basis is suitable for almost all kids.
In world practice, soy-based products are not recommended for consumption by children. That is why, unfortunately, the disadvantages of such food are greater than the pluses:
Soy formula is a therapeutic adapted dairy-free food for babies in their first year of life. They are not intended to be fed to "healthy" children who are tolerant of milk protein and lactose.
Lactose-free and soy-free formula can only be prescribed by a pediatrician, after a laboratory examination of the child. This formula should be used to feed children who have:
Hypoallergenic baby formulas and their composition:
HiPP HA Combiotiс is a new generation of hypoallergenic breast milk substitutes developed on the basis of hydrolyzed (split) protein and containing:
It is clinically proven that the combination of hydrolyzed protein with a complex of probiotics and prebiotics:
It should be noted that HiPP HA and HiPP special milk do not hold the organic label, because of the hydrolysis of proteins, which makes it an even better digestible formula. Still, you can be sure that all of HiPP’s special milk comes in traditional HiPP quality!
Hypoallergenic formulas are not universal. If one child will be fine with the consumption of goat's milk, the other may have an allergic reaction, everything is individual. When choosing a formula for your child, you should first of all consult your pediatrician!
What is this baby formulas for and what does it consist of? Antireflux is a milk product that reduces regurgitation when taken. The consistency of this product is very thick, but beyond that, the formula has the ability to thicken in the baby's stomach. The thickener is carob gum, a dietary fiber of natural origin. The fiber swells in the acidic environment of the stomach, and its contents become thicker. Carob bean gum has a penetrating effect and helps relieve constipation in young children.
This baby formula is sometimes recommended as a treatment for persistent disorders in a child.
Comfort dry baby formulas not only helps with digestive problems, but also provides all the baby's needs for healthy growth and development. Digestive problems are quite common during the first days and sometimes months of a baby's life. It is during this period that the gastrointestinal tract does not work well, there is often bloating, colic, and a tendency to constipation. All this is accompanied by bitter crying of the baby and anxiety of the whole family.
This is where organic baby formula comes in handy with its many benefits:
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 Europeanregulation, 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.
Organic baby 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 formulas, 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 baby formulas 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 stage 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 baby 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.
Breast milk for babies is a universal source of all nutrients. It contains dozens of different vitamins and elements. When choosing a organic baby formula for your baby you should first pay attention to the composition of the product.
It is important for the health of an infant that the formula is balanced in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, which must be present in the baby formula.
Now let's look at what should go into baby formula.
Casein and whey protein are the main components of goat or cow's milk. In fact, they form the basis of the building material for the child's body and act as a catalyst for various biochemical processes. Moreover, baby formulas from birth to 6 months of age contain mainly whey proteins, and baby food for children over 6 months of age contains casein.
Taurine is the name given to the free amino acid, which is necessary for the growth of the body for the full development of the child's central nervous system, as well as for the eyesight.
Lactose (milk sugar) - this substance is of great importance in the nutrition of children under one year of age. The fact is that lactose promotes faster absorption of iron and calcium by children, which are necessary for the full life and development of the child. In addition, it improves nutrition, provides the child's body with energy and creates favorable conditions for the development of good microflora.
Dextrin Maltose is a natural carbohydrate that promotes the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestines.
Linoleic acid is a fatty acid that is vital for the formation of the human brain as well as for the eyes tissue. In common products it is found in the composition of sunflower, coconut, soy and corn oils.
Prebiotic fibers - these substances regulate the entire herbal system, and in combination with probiotics promotes the development of healthy microflora in the body and increases the protective properties of the immune system.
Probiotics are now included in the composition of the infant formula of practically any manufacturer. These are microorganisms that are responsible for stimulating the growth and reproduction of the intestinal healthy microflora, they increase the protective properties of the child's body
Also, the composition of the infant formula includes: zinc, manganese, iodine, copper and selenium - minerals necessary for the normal development of the child.
Depending on the age of the child, the composition of the children's bag can be enriched with vitamins and trace elements. It should be noted that the content of these nutrients in the baby formula is much higher than in the breast milk, because they are much more badly absorbed from the formulas.
So, we've figured out the basic ingredients in organic baby formula milk. Now let's look at the list of ingredients to avoid when choosing formula.
Sugar can be a very dangerous product for small children. It turned out that this product causes lack of B vitamins in children, which are extremely important for normal digestion of small children and assimilation of carbohydrate-containing products by their body. In addition, sugar changes the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in children's blood, increasing the level of one of them (namely calcium) and decreasing the content of the other.
This disorder causes calcium not being assimilated into the body in the required amount, this microelement is released from the body together with the urine or begins to form deposits in the bone tissues. Impaired calcium assimilation can provoke the development of rickets in children or negatively affect the formation of teeth and bone tissue, in general. That is why it is so important to choose children's mixtures, purees and porridges without sugar or to give preference to products containing its substitutes.
Disputes about the benefits and harms of soy in baby formula have been going on for a long time. But no matter what arguments "for" and "against" were made, one thing is clear: the children's food should not in any way contain genetically modified soy!
You can experiment with your health as you want, but it is definitely not worth risking the future generations! As for natural soy, you should not give healthy children a diet of soy as well - it is essentially therapeutic nutrition, and only a doctor-pediatrician should prescribe it to the child, and no one else.
Unfortunately, palm oil is very popular for children's food production mainly because it contains palmitic acid found in the mother's milk. At the same time, the palmitic acid molecule of breast milk is structurally different from the one derived from palm oil. This acid in the composition of palm oil, getting into the intestines of the baby, links with calcium, making it insoluble soap, which is quite dangerous for the baby, because it leads to the formation of colic and constipation.
Therefore, we recommend to keep a close eye on the composition and buy children's formulas without palm oil, if you do not want to have problems with poisoning and the health of your little one.
Many mothers, of course, are aware that the children's food must not contain gluten in any way. What is wrong with this vegetable protein, which is found in most cereal crops? This substance is in principle poorly broken down in the body of some children, which can provoke the development of such a disease as "celiac disease" (gluten heteropathy). Gluten is an "insidious" substance that prevents the absorption of many beneficial substances. Adul's organism can cope with its presence, but in the children's food is not desirable.
Gliadin is a substance contained in the shell of cereals which provokes necrosis of the intestinal villi. These villi are necessary for the absorption of nutrients into the body, in fact, they are responsible for the nutrition of our body. I don't think we need to explain the dangers of a lack of nutrients in a child's body. Over time, your baby's body will become more "indifferent" to the effects of gliadin.
Phytin is a very unnecessary substance for small children - substances that interfere with the absorption of calcium, salts and vitamin D. The problem is that phytin contains phosphorus - again, a substance that links the calcium salts, not allowing them to be absorbed.
Here’s an easy-to-understand overview of our organic baby formula’s main ingredients explained.
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.
Holle cow’s milk formula is made in Germany and comes from biodynamic farms, which makes it one of the highest quality organic infant formula. The ingredients are kept as simple as possible without unnecessary additives or processing and without any corn syrup or other syrup solids. Essential fatty acids and DHA, natural minerals, and vitamins support the healthy development of the eyes, brain, and nervous system. It can be fed either exclusively or as a supplement from birth onwards. Demeter certification surpasses conventional European organic standards making it exceptional in its quality.
❤ 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)
Holle Goat Stage 1 contains LCP‘s (DHA and ARA) derived from algae, whereas most other formulas use fish oil. It can be suitable for children who have problems digestion cow’s milk: Due to a different protein and fat structure and less lactose it is easier for the body to digest. It comes in trusted organic Holle quality which means there are no pesticides or chemicals used at any stage of its manufacturing process. Essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins in age-appropriate amounts are added and make it one of the best organic follow-on formulas.
❤ Easily digestible
❤ Small list of ingredients
❤ Whole goat milk powder
❤ No palm oil
❤ Holle compensates their CO2e emissions
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
HiPP Dutch is one of the best European organic baby formulas suitable for babies from birth. What sets it apart from other HiPP formulas is their starch- and maltodextrin-free composition. The only carbohydrate is lactose. The lactose and organic whey provide your baby with the necessary energy they require to grow and learn as best as they can. The organic formula comes in famous HiPP quality and a finely selected ingredients list. Just as in HiPP German, the added probiotics and prebiotics help your child develop a healthy immune system.
❤ Lactose as only energy source
❤ Large, air-tight container
❤ Contains probiotics and prebiotics
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
Loulouka’s infant formula is made from organic whole cow’s milk from Switzerland. The contained fat helps the body to transport and store so-called fat-soluble vitamins, ensuring an organic formula that makes the best of its ingredients. Additionally, Loulouka decided to introduce a baby formula to the European market that does without any palm oil, to ensure a high sustainability standard. For better digestibility, the formula never contains any starch, maltodextrin, or soy. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids boost the development of the brain and nervous system. Loulouka formula consists of milk from grass-fed cows from Swiss organic farms.
❤ High-quality Swiss milk
❤ Lactose based formula
❤ Sustainable vision of the company
❤ No starch or maltodextrin
❤ Certified Organic (EU Organic)
For better digestibility, HiPP Comfort provides you with a baby formula low in allergens and adjusted to be especially easy on the tummy. As in hypoallergenic formula, the milk proteins are broken down into smaller bits to prevent that a baby’s organism perceives them as foreign and thereby causes an allergic reaction.nAddtionally, it is more gentle to a baby’s digestive system due to reduced lactose content and an adjusted fat structure that is closer to that of breast milk. The organic whey provides your child with the same energy as other formulas and omega-3, omega-6, and added DHA ensure the best development of the brain and nervous system.
❤ 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
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.
Let's remind you of the main rules when choosing organic baby formula:
Our team hopes that we have been able to give you as much help as we can on your journey into the world of infant formula. If you are still undecided about your baby formula choice, try rereading the guide again and get more advice from your pediatrician.
After all, the list of formulas is endless, and your baby is one and unique. So choose the best one for it!
The Best Organic Baby Formula 2021 Guide will be updated regularly, always providing you with the latest information!
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