European Baby Formulas: Why They Are The Gold Standard
As a mom, you want nothing but the best for your baby. When it comes to formula, you want a brand that you can trust to provide your child with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. That's why European baby formulas are the gold standard. Here is a closer look at what makes these formulas different and why they may be the best choice for your baby.
European baby formulas tend to use different ingredients than their American counterparts. If you're looking for a non-GMO or organic formula, you'll likely have more luck with a European brand.
Natural, Organic Ingredients Without GMOs
When it comes to baby formula, European brands are the gold standard. That's because they use natural, organic ingredients without any GMOs, which means they're closer to breast milk in terms of nutrition.
Organic ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. That means they're better for your baby's developing immune system. And while you might think that synthetic nutrients are a safe option, they can actually be toxic themselves or be processed with toxic solvents. That's why European formulas don't include synthetic nutrients like taurine, L-carnitine, and L-methionine.
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are created when scientists insert foreign genes into crops to make them resistant to herbicides or pests. However, there is no evidence that GMOs are safe for human consumption. In fact, some studies have shown that it may toxically affect several organs and cause health problems.[i] For this reason, all European baby formulas are GMO-free, so you can be sure that what you're feeding your child is free of any harmful chemicals or substances.
The Right Carbohydrate
One of the biggest differences between European and American baby formulas is the type of carbohydrate used. In Europe, lactose is the carbohydrate of choice, while in America, processed sugars are more commonly used. Lactose is a carbohydrate that is found naturally in breast milk, and it's been shown to be easier for babies to digest and absorb. Lactose-based formulas are, therefore, much closer to breast milk in composition than formulas that use processed sugars.
While some babies may be born with lactose intolerance, most babies produce the lactase enzyme, which helps them digest and absorb lactose more effectively. For formula-fed babies, lactose aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to ensure that they develop strong bones and teeth. In addition, lactose provides a source of energy for growing babies.
Finally, it's worth mentioning that lactose has a lower glycemic index than processed sugars. This means that it won't cause blood sugar levels to spike as dramatically after feeding. For babies who are prone to gastrointestinal issues, a low glycemic index formula can make a big difference.
No Refined Sugars
In the United States, it is common for formulas to use processed, refined sugars such as corn syrup, syrup solids, or brown rice syrup. These types of sugars are unhealthy for your baby and have been linked to childhood obesity. In Europe, added sucrose is prohibited in infant formulas. This means that European baby formulas do not use any type of refined sugar.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. In 2017-2020, approximately 13% of children in the United States aged 2-5 were struggling with obesity.[ii] Childhood obesity can lead to a number of health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, blood pressure problems, and sleep apnea.
Type of Protein in European Baby Formulas
One of the key ingredients found in most European baby formulas is whey protein. Whey protein is a type of protein that is derived from milk. It is easy for babies to digest and has been shown to promote healthy growth and development. Many American baby formulas use soy protein instead of whey protein. Soy protein is not as easily digestible as whey protein and can actually lead to gastrointestinal distress in some babies.
European Formulas Contain DHA and ARA
All formulas sold in Europe are required to contain DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for early eye and brain development. European formulas also typically contain ARA, another fatty acid that plays an important role in cognitive development. In other words, when it comes to providing your baby with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive, European formulas are the better choice.
DHA: The Key to Optimal Brain Development
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is found naturally in breast milk. DHA is essential for optimal brain development. In fact, studies have shown that babies who consume formula with DHA score higher on cognitive tests than those who don't.[iii] That’s why its added to all infant formulas sold in Europe.
ARA: Supporting Healthy Cognitive Development
ARA is another type of fatty acid that is often added to European baby formulas. ARA has been shown to support healthy cognitive development. ARA works together with DHA to promote optimal brain health.
When it comes to baby formula, Europe definitely has higher standards than the United States. In Europe, baby formula is subject to much stricter regulations than it is in the United States. The European Commission has set very specific guidelines about what can and cannot be included in baby formula, and these regulations are strictly enforced. For example, one regulation requires that all European baby formulas contain at least 26% milk fat – which is higher than the 20% required in the U.S.
Better Quality Control
Since European infant formulas are subject to such strict regulations, it stands to reason that they would also undergo more rigorous quality control testing. And indeed, that is the case. In Europe, baby formula manufacturers are required to test their products for quality and safety throughout the manufacturing process – and not just once the product is finished. That means that there are fewer opportunities for something to go wrong – and if something does go wrong, it's more likely to be caught before the formula ever reaches store shelves. European manufacturers also use a clean room method to disinfect all equipment and surfaces before each batch, reducing the possibility of contaminants such as salmonella or E Coli.
Top European Baby Formulas
There are a number of high-quality European baby formulas available that can give your little one the nutrients they need to develop healthily. Let’s take a look at some of the best European baby formula brands so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your family.
The first brand on our list is HiPP, a German company that has been producing baby food for over 100 years. What sets HiPP apart from other brands is its commitment to using only organic ingredients in its products. All of their infant formulas are made with milk from pasture-raised cows that have never been treated with hormones or antibiotics.
In addition, HiPP formulas are some of the most gentle on a baby's tummy, thanks to their unique combination of probiotics and prebiotics. This makes them a great choice for babies who are struggling with gas or colic.
Another excellent European baby formula brand is Holle, a Swiss company that has been making organic baby foods since 1933. Like HiPP, Holle formulas are made with milk from pasture-raised cows and do not contain any artificial additives or preservatives.
One way that Holle goes above and beyond other brands is by using Demeter-certified ingredients. Demeter is the world's strictest certification for organic farming, and it ensures that crops are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. So if you're looking for the highest quality formula possible, Holle is definitely worth checking out.
When it comes to finding the right baby formula for your family, there are a lot of factors to consider. But if you're looking for a high-quality product made with organic ingredients, then HiPP and Holle are two brands that should definitely be on your radar. Both companies have a long history of producing safe, healthy, and nutritious products that will help your child develop and grow in the best way possible. So no matter which brand you choose, you can rest assured knowing that you're giving your little one the very best.
The Bottom Line: European Formulas Are the Best Option for Your Baby
When it comes to choosing a baby formula, there's no need to overthink it—go with a European formula, and you can rest assured knowing that you're giving your little one the best possible start in life. These formulas tend to use different – and often better – ingredients than American formulas, and they're subject to much stricter regulations. As a result, European baby formulas undergo more stringent quality control testing – which means that they're more likely to be safe and effective than their American counterparts.
Shop for European Baby Formulas Online
If you're interested in trying out a European baby formula for your little one, you can find a great selection online at Mommy Formula. We carry all of the top brands, so you're sure to find one that your baby loves! We offer free shipping on ALL orders, so stock up today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I refrigerate prepared baby formula?
Prepared baby formulas can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. However, after that, the humidity in the fridge can cause the formula to clump up, making it less effective. If you plan on storing prepared baby formula in the fridge, be sure to use it within 24 hours for the best results.
How long will an open formula container last?
When you open a container of baby formula, it is important to be aware of how long it will stay fresh. The storage life of an opened formula container varies between manufacturers, with some formulas staying fresh for up to four weeks.
Is it okay to use a whisk or blender to mix baby formula?
The safest way to mix infant formula is by shaking the formula and water inside the baby bottle. Whisks and blenders can be difficult to clean properly and can increase the risk of getting germs into the prepared formula. Spoons are much easier to clean but may still contaminate the formula.
Do I need to wash the baby formula scoop?
Properly storing formula is key to preventing contamination, so if possible, keep the powder in its original container with the lid tightly closed. When you're ready to feed your baby only, open the container and scoop out the amount you need. Since contact with water is what can cause bacteria to grow, as long as the powder stays dry, you don't need to worry about cleaning the scoop. However, if the scoop does happen to get dirty - say, it fell on the floor - be sure to clean it carefully and allow it to dry completely before adding it back to the formula container.
Are your baby formulas authentic?
Parents have enough to worry about without having to question the authenticity of their baby formula. At Mommy Formula, we only source from manufacturers or certified wholesalers. We care about our customers and want them to be confident that our products are fresh, uncontaminated, and authentic. Our team goes above and beyond to ensure that every product is of the highest quality. So parents can rest assured that they are giving their babies the best possible start in life.
[i] Dona A, Arvanitoyannis IS. Health risks of genetically modified foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Feb;49(2):164-75. doi: 10.1080/10408390701855993. PMID: 18989835.
[ii] Childhood Obesity Fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[iii] Mitmesser SH, Jensen CL. Roles of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the term infant: developmental benefits. Neonatal Netw. 2007 Jul-Aug;26(4):229-34. doi: 10.1891/0730-08184.108.40.206. PMID: 17710956.