If you’re a new parent, you’ve probably heard breast milk is your baby’s healthiest food. Unfortunately, some mothers experience low milk production due to medication use, hormonal issues, or prior breast surgeries. Therefore, they use milk formula to supply their babies’ nutritional needs.
If you’re considering a formula different than the one recommended by your doctor and pediatrician, it’s essential to know what ingredients are included in each product. This aids in identifying the formula that promotes your baby’s growth and health.
Here are the ingredients your baby’s milk formula should have:
One of the most important nutrients in your baby’s milk is protein.
Protein helps with growth and development and plays a vital role in brain function. Babies must get at least 16 grams of protein daily during their first six months. This equals one ounce of meat or poultry, one egg, 1/2 cup of cooked beans or lentils, or two tablespoons of peanut butter.
When choosing a formula for your baby, ensure it has enough protein (about 20 grams per liter). Some formulas have more than others, so check the label before you buy. You must also be aware of how they are prepared and stored properly. Learn more at Serenity Kids.
Your baby’s milk formula should have carbohydrates. The right amount of carbohydrates is vital for your baby’s growth and development.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of fuel and energy. Carbohydrates include both simple and complex sugars, starches, and fiber. The most common carbohydrates in breast milk are lactose, a simple sugar, and sucrose, a complex sugar.
Carbohydrates are needed to help maintain normal blood glucose levels, essential for brain function. They may also help prevent low blood glucose levels in infants not getting enough calories from breast milk or formula.
Your baby’s milk formula should have omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the health of your infant.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient your body needs but can’t make alone. They’re also found in breast milk, so babies get some from their mother’s diet.
But because breast milk doesn’t contain as much omega-3 as some other foods and babies don’t drink enough to get the recommended daily amount, it’s vital to give your baby formula with added omega-3s.
Iron is an essential mineral that forms red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your baby’s body. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which can cause symptoms like lethargy and irritability.
Iron-fortified formulas are available for infants who have been diagnosed with anemia or who are at risk of developing it. If your baby has normal hemoglobin levels, only give them iron supplements if your baby’s doctor instructs them.
It’s important to note that too much iron can harm your baby. Too much iron may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation, so check with your doctor before adding supplements to your child’s diet if they have anemia.
Zinc is an essential mineral for your baby. It helps their growth and development and is also important for their immune system. Breast milk is naturally rich in zinc, but so is a formula.
Zinc is added to all formulas based on cow’s milk or soybean proteins. Suppose your baby takes a formula without cow’s milk or soybean protein, like a hypoallergenic formula or lactose-free or whey-free. The manufacturer may add more zinc than usual to ensure your baby gets enough of this vital mineral.
Calcium is a mineral that’s essential for healthy bones and teeth. It also helps with muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Your baby’s milk formula should have calcium because it’s one of the essential nutrients for your baby.
Due to the low calcium concentration in breast milk, infant formula must be supplemented with additional calcium. Infant formulas are formulated to have the same amount of calcium as human milk, but this may vary from brand to brand.
The amount of calcium in breast milk changes as your baby grows. On the other hand, the amount of calcium in a formula doesn’t change, so the amount in your baby’s formula should be the same as that in breast milk.
As a parent, you want to be sure you’re giving your baby the best start possible. That’s why using a quality formula containing all these important nutrients is essential.
Now that you know what ingredients your baby’s formula should have, check the label before you buy. You want to avoid ending up with a formula that doesn’t meet your baby’s needs!