European formulas- What's the hype?
There has recently been an increase of parents and caregivers wanting to start their little one on one of the many European baby formulas.
What's the attraction?
I have a few hypotheses as to why these formulas have become so popular within the United States. Perhaps, it is that many are advertised to be produced from grass-fed cows, or that they are organic. The other belief is that many parents get advice from their social media friends and support groups. I always suggest being very cautious when joining these groups and inquiring about advice. Sometimes these groups can increase a new parent's anxiety and on many occasions, the advice can be just flat out wrong. When in doubt, consult your child's pediatric provider.
As a parent, you want the very best for your child. As a pediatric provider, my goal is the same!
Why I don't recommend these formulas:
They aren't sold at stores within the United States, so they have to be purchased from third-parties online
These formulas do not meet FDA requirements. Formulas that are sold within the United States MUST meet specific and strict criteria
Some of these formulas are not as nutrient-dense and may not meet the FDA nutrition requirements
Labeling is not always in English, which can lead to improperly mixing the formula. This can be extremely dangerous for the infant either way (if the formula was too diluted or made too thick)
Since these formulas must be shipped from third parties and overseas, there is a possibility they are exposed to temperatures that could "spoil" the formula or cause a loss of essential vitamins and minerals
If there happens to be a recall on one of these products you may not be made aware, as there is no system in place to notify buyers
As a pediatric provider, it is my duty to research and educate my families in order to keep your children healthy and safe.
When breastfeeding/breastmilk is not an option, your infant will need formula. It is best to choose a brand that is registered with the FDA, to ensure your child is getting fed with a formula that meets strict requirements and is properly regulated.
Until next time,