More and more parents are choosing infant organic formula for their babies, and there are many more options on the market than there were even just a couple of years ago, allowing parents to start their children on organics from the very beginning.
Why Choose Organic Formula?
Infant organic formula is a great choice because it keeps your baby from consuming a product that has been produced with pesticides and other chemicals. Organic formula, just like organic food in general, is a good choice when you want a natural product that hasn't been produced with chemicals.
Whether you're looking at organic dairy-based formula or organic soy formula, all organic formulas are produced with certified organic ingredients. That's particularly comforting to people looking for dairy formulas, because conventionally produced milk comes from cows that are fed feed grown with pesticides, and the cows themselves are often treated with hormones and antibiotics that people don't want around their children.
The major downside to organic formula for many people is the price. Regular baby formula is expensive enough, and when you add on the premium that is charged for organic products, that can make the formula cost prohibitive.
One can of Earth's Best organic formula, for example, cost about $21 at one online store, while a similar amount of a non-organic formula at the same store cost about $17.
Dairy Versus Soy
There's a big debate in some communities about whether dairy or soy is best for infant organic formula. Some people say that dairy is too difficult to digest at a very early age, so soy is a better choice.
Others argue that introducing soy products too early might lead to a soy allergy. Arguments can be made on both sides that people in different cultures throughout history have introduced either soy or dairy to children at a very young age without ill effects.
If you're wondering what sort of formula is best for your child, it's a great idea to talk with your doctor before choosing a product. Mention to him or her that you want to go organic, and see what product or type of product is recommended.
Buying Infant Organic Formula
Organic formula can be purchased at many natural food stores, as well as online. Buying online may be a better option for you because buying in bulk can get you a better price, but check out the shipping cost before you order.
If your local natural food store offers a case discount on products, that's another good way to save money on formula. You also may be able to find some brands at discount stores like Wal-Mart and other grocery store chains, which might get you a better price.
Wherever you buy it, there are a few main brands that you will find:
- Similac Organic Infant Formula is a dairy formula that is USDA certified organic and includes essential fatty acids that help with brain development.
- Earth's Best has both organic soy and organic dairy infant formulas, which can be purchased either with added iron or added fatty acids.
- Baby's Only organic formula comes in soy and dairy varieties and also has added fatty acids.
Choosing Formula Feeding
All makers of formula note that breast milk is best because it is the ultimate naturally derived food that is made to support the growth of a child. But of course not everyone has the option of breastfeeding. Whether you're formula feeding because your child was adopted, because you're working full time and can't pump, or for any other reason, choosing the best formula you can will give your baby the best start in life. Picking an organic formula starts your child off on a path of healthy, mindful eating that you can hopefully continue into the solid-food years.