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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Choosing an Organic Formula

First let me begin with a thank you for all the support I received after posting my story about breastfeeding and formula feeding. I was blown away by the positive feedback I received and was especially touched by the moms who shared similar stories of challenges with birth, breastfeeding and other parts of motherhood. Hearing your stories about how you overcame unexpected challenges on your journey as a mom was inspiring! Thank you! 



Now if you've read my story about my short lived breastfeeding experience you know that because of a serious medical complication I had to stop breast feeding earlier than planned. Within a matter of hours I went from a breast feeding mom to a formula feeding mom and I knew virtually nothing about preparing formula and bottles or picking the right formula for my baby. I quickly turned to Google to find out if there were any organic formulas since I'm a big time health nut. 




Here's what I discovered...

There are three brands of organic infant formula currently on the market: Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula, Nature's One Toddler Formula (also known as Baby's Only Organic), and Similac Organic. I decided to look into Earth's Best and Nature's One because they were companies that dedicated all their products to the natural and organic foods movement.

 When searching for an organic formula, the first formula I came across was Nature's One. I was first interested in Nature's One because of their commitment to quality organic pediatric nutrition. Nature's One refers to their formula as "Toddler Formula" and I was confused about the label "Toddler Formula". Some internet sources said this was merely a "political statement" meant to promote breastfeeding the first 12 months, which conflicted with what Nature's One says about their formula. At least I'm not the only one confused about "Toddler Formula". But after talking with Sara at Nature's One she cleared things up for me: their formula is indeed formulated for babies 12 months and over. Glad I asked before I started mixing. Thanks, Sara!

 Like Nature's One, Earth's Best also holds a USDA Organic Certification. Earth's Best is a wide selling brand and was easy for me to find in stores including Babies R Us, Whole Foods, and Harris Teeter. Earth's Best offers both dairy, lactose sensitive, and soy infant formulas. (Earth's Best is formulated, like most formulas, for babies 0-12 months). I also plan to use Earth's Best baby food when Caroline first starts solids.

The major difference between the two brands I researched is the carbohydrate source used. Nature's One uses brown rice syrup because they say it helps keep blood sugar more stable than other carb sources. However, brown rice syrup vs corn syrup or glucose syrup is still a debate so for now I'm going to stick with the more widely known and used carb sources in formulas (corn or glucose syrup). So for now Caroline is on Earth's Best infant formula and I've been pleased with it and plan to use it till her first birthday when I plan to use Nature's One Toddler Formula as I'm transitioning her to milk just to make sure she gets all the nutrients she needs. 




And I don't want you to get the wrong impression, I don't eat ALL organically. In fact, a majority of my pantry isn't organic- it's expensive and we've got bills to pay. But there are certain things I like to splurge on and buy organic, and for me infant formula is one of them. 

And if you're a mom- whether formula feeding or not- I highly recommend you check out The Fearless Formula Feeder. It's a fantastic blog and online community dedicated to infant feeding and providing an open platform for moms to share their experiences with infant feeding without judgement from others...check it out! 

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