Sunday, April 30, 2023

Is homemade baby formula safe?.. Deficiency of some minerals such as iron and calcium

Babies need nutrients in a specific balance to grow healthy:

not too much of anything and not too little. Breast milk contains exactly all the nutrients and in the amounts needed, and infant formula can provide excellent nutrition when families cannot or choose not to breastfeed. But keep in mind:
It is important for the baby's health to use only products that meet standards set by the federal government and to prepare them according to label instructions.

The risks of homemade baby formula recipes:

While homemade formula recipes circulating online may seem healthy, less expensive, or an answer to baby formula shortages, they are risky. Homemade formula may not be safe or meet your baby's nutritional needs. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that some home formula-fed babies have been hospitalized for hypocalcemia (low calcium), for example.

Why can't I make my own formula or use cow's milk or milk replacers available on dairy shelves at the grocery store?

Although feeding babies cow's milk or preparing homemade formulas were common practices in decades past, they are not considered safe or recommended practices now. In the United States, laws and other government regulations require that baby formulas sold in stores meet strict ingredient standards intended to promote healthy growth and development.

The FDA also oversees how approved formulas are manufactured and stored. The government inspects both the formulas and the facilities where they are made on a regular basis to make sure that established standards are met to prevent contamination and spoilage.

Formula mixes made with ingredients found online or from other sources may not have certain vital components, such as enough iron or vitamins for the baby. Or they may contain too much salt or other nutrients that the baby's kidneys or liver are not equipped to digest in large amounts.

Also, regular dairy products like cow's milk or alternatives like soy, hemp, or almond milk are not designed with the right amount of very important nutritional sources including protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins that a baby needs. Even if they appear to have enough from the label, the chemical forms of nutrition may not be easily absorbed by the baby's body. Or, certain ingredients can affect each other (like calcium and phosphorus) in ways that aren't ideal for things like bone growth.

Why are the nutritional needs of the baby so specific?

The first year of a baby's life is extremely important for the development of the brain and body. If your baby does not consume certain essential ingredients in formula, even for just a few days or weeks, this can have long-term consequences for your baby and affect their ability to grow healthy and strong and do well in school. . Homemade formulas can also have contamination problems and cause infections or even serious problems with high or low levels of minerals such as calcium or electrolytes such as sodium.

The chemicals on the infant formula label are scary. How do I know they are safe for my baby?

The label lists the names of specific chemical forms of ingredients such as calcium and iron. These are ways considered safe to feed a baby. All FDA reviewed formulas have been shown to lead to good infant growth.

Can I buy formulas online that have been imported from other countries that are supposed to be better for babies?

No. These formulas have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not always transported or stored safely. They are usually very expensive and offer no benefits for babies that have been proven by research studies. Despite what you may read or see online, there is no scientific evidence that imported formulas are any better for babies than the formulas you can find on your supermarket shelves.

Can I make the formula work by adding a little more water than the directions say?

No, although it may seem like a good way to save money, FDA-approved baby formula is designed with the proper nutritional amounts as described on the product label. Adding more water decreases and dilutes nutrients and can cause serious growth problems or imbalances in essential nutrients such as salt that can lead to serious health problems.

Can I use toddler formulas if my baby is less than 12 months old?

No, it's not a good idea because the nutritional needs of babies are not the same as those of young children. Also, infant formulas have not been evaluated by the FDA in the same way as infant formulas. Look at the formula label and make sure it says it's formulated for babies. If you have any questions, ask your pharmacist or pediatrician to help confirm that you are choosing the best formula for your baby.

What can I do if I don't have enough money to buy formula?

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC):

Mothers who qualify based on their income can sign up for WIC to receive coupons for formula. For more details on how to fill out the application, visit the USDA website.

National Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

You can use your electronic benefit transfer card (formerly known as food stamps) to buy formula. If you are enrolled in WIC, you may qualify for SNAP.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):

This program offers temporary cash assistance to families who qualify. Locate the TANF program office in the state where you live here.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on formula feeding:

If you feed your baby formula, always make sure:

  • Choose a formula that has been evaluated and meets the minimum nutritional requirements established by the US Food and Drug Administration, FDA.
  • Prepare according to label directions, unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician to meet your baby's specific needs.

It is important that you DO NOT do the following:

  • Do not make a formula to make at home with store-bought ingredients, such as powdered cow's milk or raw milk and sugar.
  • Do not feed your baby under 1 year of age cow's milk or any other milk substitute you find in the dairy section of the supermarket, such as almond milk or soy drinks (sometimes it has the word milk on it). label).
  • Do not use formulas imported from other countries that have not been evaluated by the FDA.
  • Do not add water (water down) to formulas when mixing powdered formula or add water to ready-to-feed liquid formulas that are not concentrated.