Following on from our premiere video, Ready to Serve Meals in our 7 part series last week, this week’s video release is titled Infant and Follow-On Formulas.
Have you ever wondered why we produce 2 formulas: Infant Formula from Birth to 12 months and Follow-On Formula from 6 months to 12 months? Or what the difference is between our Infant Formula and Follow-On Formula? And why organic may be a safer choice for your baby? In this week’s clip we cover these questions.
Before we get into all that, remember that breastfeeding is best for babies for at least the first 6 months of their lives and we voluntarily comply with the World Health Organisation’s code of practice on this issue. However, we also recognise that breastfeeding isn’t always possible for many reasons. If breastfeeding isn’t possible, we believe the best alternative comes from an organic infant formula.
Why is organic a good choice for your baby?
Organic is a good choice for your baby because the product has been produced without the use of harmful chemicals or toxins in the organic food chain. Babies are very delicate and their little organs are still developing so they are less able to deal with these nasties. Exposure to pesticides and other toxins in food increases risk to babies and toddlers. These toxins can lead to allergies and immune system disorders later down the track.
What goes into our formulas?
Our formulas are 100% Australian made and are 100% certified organic by NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture in Australia). Our formulas are produced WITHOUT using any synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, growth hormones or GM ingredients. Only milk from cows which graze freely on lush certified organic dairy farms 365 days a year is used in our formulas. Importantly, we do not source any of our ingredients from China.
How do I know which formula to choose?
All infant formulas in Australia have to comply with strict nutrition guidelines as dictated by the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards and must meet all the complete nutritional needs of babies for the first 12 or so months of their lives at least. Our formulas meet these standards and we pride ourselves in the quality of the products we create.
Because we’re organic, our formulas are pure and simple. You’ll see they do not contain many of the additives found in some others. There are two reasons for this. First, a healthy baby’s digestive system is capable of converting the pure ingredients in our formulas to have all the nutrition they need to grow and develop. Second, many of the additions in other products do not meet the guidelines for organic integrity and cannot be used in our certified organic products.
That’s why, in our view, Bellamy’s Organic is A Pure Start to Life.
You know your baby best, before you decide to use formula you should always seek advice from your health professional.
In next week’s video clip, I’ll be showing you how to prepare a bottle of Infant Formula for your baby.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between our Infant Formula and Follow-On Formula? Or whether you should change your baby from our Infant Formula to our Follow-On Formula once they reach 6 months of age?
Well, we get these two questions all the time so I thought I would take some time to explain the answers to both, so that you know which baby formula is right for you.
The primary difference between our Infant Formula and Follow-On Formula is the balance of milk proteins. Both formulas have whey and casein proteins but in different proportions. Whey and casein proteins are found in cow’s milk, from which formula is made, and in human breast milk.
Formula for Newborns
Our Infant Formula is suitable from Birth to 12 months. The whey and casein milk proteins are balanced in our Infant Formula so that the protein content is whey dominant, with 60% whey and 40% casein. This is a similar ratio to breast milk. Whey is gentler on little stomachs and easier to digest. It is important that a baby who is formula fed from birth or under 6 months, starts with a whey dominant formula like our Infant Formula.
On no account should a newborn be fed natural cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Not only are these not suitable for babies, they lack other essential nutritional elements that are found in baby formula.
Our Follow-On Formula is suitable from 6 months to 12 months. This time the protein balance is changed so that it is casein dominant, with 55% casein protein and 45% whey protein. We change the balance because, as casein is slower to digest than whey, it may keep baby feeling full a little longer.
Formula and Breast Milk
Follow-on Formula may be more suitable for babies who are being weaned off breast-milk, or who are starting solid foods and have a more advanced digestive system. It may also be more suitable for babies over 6 months that are new to formula.
So, what if your baby is on Infant Formula and is over 6 months? Should you change to Follow-On Formula? And why do we provide these two options?
If your baby is satisfied with our Infant Formula and is over 6 months it is perfectly normal and safe to continue to use this up to 12 months of age.
We provide the two options because each baby is different and parents and carers are best to make the decision on what is best for their baby. If you are still unsure we would recommend that you have a chat with your infant health nurse and they can help you make an educated decision.
Both formulas follow a strict nutrition profile that is dictated by the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards, and both contain all essential vitamins and minerals recommended and required by those standards, so both our Infant Formula & Follow-On Formula will provide all the nutritional requirements your baby needs.
Just like all of our other products, both are 100% certified organic and both are 100% made in Australia.
Let’s talk poo… Not the greatest subject in the world, but part of your daily routine, right? Are you transitioning from breast milk to formula? You may have noticed that your baby’s poos have changed in frequency and colour.
Newborn Baby Poo Colour
Babies that are breastfed exclusively can go for a number of days without a bowel movement. This is perfectly normal. The colour of their poo is also normally a mustardy yellow colour.
But formula fed babies pass poo more often and it is usually darker in colour, like a khaki green. This change in colour is because formulas contain added iron for essential development and this colour is simply from the mineral iron passing through the digestive system. It’s not an indication that anything is wrong.
Breast to Formula
Just like adults, any change in diet will cause changes in digestion. For babies, changes in diet from breast milk-to-formula, from formula-to-formula, or from formula-to-solids, will cause changes at the other end too! This is all normal.
But you know your baby best, so if you think your baby is uncomfortable or more unsettled than usual, please consult your health professional.
Many mothers find that Bellamy’s 100% certified organic formula often works well to settle a baby’s system if they have been experiencing unusual bowel motions.
Thanks for reading our blog. We hope you found this information interesting.
•The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
•Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Baby formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
•A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding will reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
•If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.
It seems like a reasonable question for a mother to ask. What is the best baby formula in Australia? Can there be one? Do regulations make them all the same?
Baby formula comparison
Well, to start with, the regulations ensure that all baby formulas are formulated in such a way that they can, without feeding anything else, sustain a healthy baby in the first 12 months of their lives. So they are quite rightly aimed at complete nutrition and safety.
But that doesn’t mean that all formulas are the same. Some mothers see their baby do well on one baby formula but other mothers using the same formula may not find their baby is as happy. There can be many issues to consider when looking at formula choices. The best place to start is to talk to your health professional. Also consider using the best resource out there: other Mums! Mums will happily share their experiences and tell you what is working for them and their babies.
Another thing to consider when you are making an informed choice about formulas may be to look at how a company making formulas deals with its customers, how it chooses to operate and what sort of products it makes. As with any company, the values a business holds ultimately translate into the quality of the products they make and the service it provides. Fine. But how does that help make a comparison of baby formula?
In our view the guiding principles for the best baby formula would be to start with the purest ingredients which are sourced from the most reputable places with the highest quality standards, choose a product produced by people who demonstrate they are obsessed with quality and people who are single-mindedly passionate and experienced at what they do.
Organic baby formula may fit the bill
When you’re looking for food for your baby, you want the purest products. Since organic dairy farming practices ban the use of antibiotics, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, you’re off to a good start. So nutrition arguments aside, choosing certified organic products gives you confidence in purity.
That purity also relates to how products are made and marketed. Does the product contain only the essential nutrients a baby needs, or does it have “added everything” as a gimmick to attract by guilt?
The next thing is what else do they make? A company that makes only certified organic food is committed to the bigger picture of sustainability and social concern and isn’t just making expedient, cost-based decisions about ingredients.
Then there’s reputation. And not what they say about themselves. It’s what others say about them that counts. What sort of company asks or rewards people to “like” it on Facebook? That status should be earned, not bought.
So, although it’s hard when you’re looking at a sea of facings in a supermarket, there are ways to choose what fits with your values and your personal view of what’s right for your family.
The debate about milk certainly stirs the passions. At Bellamy’s Organic we get a lot of comments about goat and soy milk and how much better it is for babies. So is that right? And if that is right, why is baby formula still overwhelmingly based on cow’s milk after all this time? After all, there are plenty of goats about! And what about soy? We thought we should investigate.
The first thing we should say is that milk of any kind that is drunk normally by adults is not suitable for babies under at least 12 months. Newborn babies especially have very particular nutritional needs, best served by breast milk wherever possible.
Goat milk itself is low in folic acid and vitamins B6, B12, C and D. Raw goat milk should never be given to babies and young children.
Modified goat milk is now available as an infant formula in Australia for babies from birth. However, there has been quite a lot of investigation into goat milk baby formulas in Europe and you should be aware that currently the UK Food & Drug Administration (FDA) quotes an EU directive that states: “Goat’s milk-based formula should not be given to infants under 1 year”.
Some mothers feed their infants goat milk based formula on the basis that their child is “allergic” to cow’s milk. However The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) made this observation on the point: “…EFSA also concluded that there was no convincing data, either in the literature or submitted, to support the belief that the incidence of allergic reactions is lower when feeding goats’ milk based formula compared to cows’ milk based formula. EFSA published its opinion on 12 January 2006, confirming its previous view.”
There are two points to note here. First, in reality, the percentage of babies allergic to cow’s milk baby formula is about 1.8 to 3.4% and second at least two-thirds of children who are sensitive to cow’s milk will also be sensitive to goat’s milk.
Note, though, milk allergy and cow’s milk intolerance are different conditions. Some children are intolerant to the proteins found in cow’s milk, but they can ingest goat’s milk without any complications.
So, it’s a personal choice, but although the composition of raw goat’s milk is different to raw cow’s milk it’s no “healthier” on any published objective measure we could find, and certainly not when it’s in baby formula.
Soybean formulas are based on protein soy extracts supplemented with specific amino acids to make them close to that of human milk. The fat content is derived from vegetable oils, and carbohydrates are provided by cornstarch and sucrose. Iron, vitamins and minerals are also added.
During the last decade, many more women have chosen to use soy-based formulas for their babies, at their own discretion. The move towards soy based milks has probably evolved because of the misperception that it is ‘better’ than cow’s milk, or that it may help colic, or that the baby is unsettled and possibly intolerant, or allergic to a cow’s milk baby formula. The research to date does not support these claims and healthcare professionals’ usually only recommend soy milk formula in certain circumstances, for example if the baby has a metabolic disorder such as galactosaemia, or the baby truly has a cow’s milk intolerance.
In reality, as we said above, the percentage of babies allergic to cow’s milk formula is about 1.8 to 3.4%. Some babies, between 0.5% and 1%, are also allergic to soy milk formula. Also, soy formula should not be used as a method to treat colic or general fussiness unless recommended by a doctor.
Mothers who are into soy themselves perhaps have a natural tendency to feed it in the belief that it’s “better” or “healthier”. However, as a general rule soy formulas should only be used on the advice of a healthcare professional. The UK Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says in a report from 2011 “Soy-based formula should not be used unless prescribed by a GP”. Enough said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says cow’s milk based baby formula remains the closest to breast milk, which is known to be the best source of nutrition for babies.
Using cow’s milk as a base, the balance of the two milk proteins (whey and casein) are changed to make the formula whey-dominant, like human breast milk.
Cow’s milk-based formula can be fed from birth with confidence (although breast feeding is best if possible) because all formula for newborns is required to provide the complete and total nutritional needs when fed at the correct levels.
Bellamy’s Organic babyformulas are made with certified organic cow’s milk. Our cow’s milk comes from herds which are reared without the use of pesticides, antibiotics or artificial fertilisers. Only milk from cows which graze freely on lush certified organic dairy farms is used in our formulas.