When the reality TV star announced she was feeding her baby homemade goat milk formula, everyone had an opinion. She was applauded by some for her all-natural approach, and vilified by many for abusing her position of influence and promoting an unproven choice. Like many moms, Kristin says her baby can’t tolerate cow milk formula. So when exclusive breastfeeding is not an option what’s a parent to do?
In the absence of a perfect solution it’s understandable that parents are willing to try anything to help their child. We get it – in fact Kabrita USA was born when naturopathic doctor and Kabrita USA co-founder created a homemade goat milk formula for her own child.
Even supported by complex spreadsheets, expensive ingredients and well-validated sources through her medical contacts our co-founder knew the risk associated with DIY formula and dedicated herself to helping future parents find a safer, regulated alternative.
While we may want “all-natural” for our children – a quick search for homemade goat milk formula yields over 100,000 results – it’s not as simple as it might seem.
Commercial formula is patterned after breast milk, itself an incredibly complex food.
All formula (like breast milk) contains macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and protein and important micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
The FDA factor
The FDA heavily regulates infant formula and guidelines determine which ingredients are permitted. Within the regulations there are a range of ingredients each manufacturer must choose to meet nutritional requirements, as well as different sources for each ingredient.
All infant formula (for children under 12 months) is tested and must go through a clinical trial for safety, growth and tolerance before being sold and/or labeled as infant formula. Clinical trials typically cost millions of dollars and take over a year to complete. Toddler formula falls under FDA regulations but does not require a clinical trial.
In addition to the clinical trial, infant formula must be manufactured in an FDA-approved facility. All approved facilities must follow specific manufacturing practices and have had a formal audit conducted by the FDA.
Options for children with cow milk sensitivity
Due to the strict regulations in the US, there are currently a limited number of formula feeding options for children with cow milk sensitivity. Cow milk sensitivity symptoms can include mild to moderate spit up, congestion, digestive discomfort, colic and eczema. The following table outlines the various feeding choices parents have.
Ultimately every baby and every situation is unique. Your healthcare professional is the best resource to guide your feeding decisions. If you suspect that your child may be sensitive to cow milk protein, or are simply looking for an alternative, we suggest you take this information to your healthcare provider and discuss feeding choices together in order to make an informed decision.
Kabrita is dedicated to helping parents navigate their child’s nutritional journey. Please visit our blog for additional product and nutritional information.
Nourish your intuition
Carolyn Ansley is CEO of Kabrita USA. Our mission is to provide the highest standard of goat milk nourishment, and inspire parents and healthcare providers with expert nutrition education.
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