By Karen Gill, Milk Drunk Contributor and mom of three
I emigrated from Ireland, to the USA a few years ago. We combination (breastmilk & formula) fed our twins in Ireland. When I gave birth to our little American baby, I was very interested in how the formulas we fed our babies in Europe and America compared. After some research on this we opted to feed our American baby European Organic Formula – here’s why….
When I examined the contents in the formulas on the US market, I noticed many unfamiliar ingredients listed such as corn syrup, brown rice syrup and maltodextrin.
Breast Milk is naturally sweet and contains lactose which is a naturally occurring milk sugar. I wanted a formula that was close to breast milk and only had lactose with no other added sugars. I was conscious of feeding my newborn added sugars that were unnecessary and worried about obesity.
Formulas that are made with only lactose as the sugar are more digestible for babies. The European formulas also add in pre and probiotics which helps with digestibility. One of our twins had a sensitive stomach so this was a big consideration for me.
3. Diet of the cows that produce the milk and farming practices
Another reason for our choice was I felt more assured about what cows are being fed in Europe. Most formulas there use milk that comes from cows that are grass fed and pasture raised. Also, there are no chemical fertilizers or pesticides used in the soil and therefore none in the cow’s milk formula I was feeding my baby. When I looked at this more closely I realized that American cows are routinely fed different things such as grains, corn and soy. This gives a different flavor to their meat and different nutrient content to their milk.
4. Brand Trust
We trusted the brand we used while we lived in Europe, there was a level of openness and transparency that I didn’t necessarily encounter here. In the USA most formulas are produced by pharmaceutical companies. Some of the ingredients and benefits felt confusing.
Overall, I just felt that I had more peace of mind feeding our baby European infant formula. European formulas are more heavily regulated on what can be used by way of ingredients including added sugars. Also, the powder was much finer and easier to mix than the American one and it smelled better. I guess the most important critic; our baby, guzzled it, thrived on it, and is now a strapping threenager.