Finding the right formula to feed your baby isn’t always easy. There are products made from whole milk and even soy milk, some with essential fatty acids, and some that are designed with specific nutrient balances for children with various dietary requirements. There is not a single top rated baby formula – but there are some great options out there.
Different Types of Formula
There are three main types of baby formula. Powdered, liquid concentrate, and ready to use. The ready to use formula is highly convenient, and it’s a good option for people who are going travelling. They can pack the formula and use it without worrying about whether the water is safe in that area. Once opened, though, this formula must be used within 48 hours. Powdered formula is shelf-stable, but it takes time to prepare and it can be annoying to get it to mix well. Liquid concentrates are easier to mix, and offer a good balance in terms of price and convenience.
Baby Formula Ingredients
Most baby formulas are based on cow’s milk, but the manufacturer will treat the protein to make it easier for a baby to digest. Soy milk is a good option for vegan families, or for babies that cannot digest cow’s milk. Again, the manufacturer alters the protein to make it easier for babies to digest. There are other lactose-free formulas, too, which have corn syrup added to them to replace the lactose.
Some formulas are ‘extensively hydrolized’ which means that the proteins are broken down into smaller parts. Doctors often recommend this kind of formula for babies that have difficulties absorbing nutrients. Finally, metabolig formulas are sometimes given to babies that require a specific nutrition program.
Top Rated Formulas
Assuming you are buying formulas off the shelf, instead of having them prescribed by a doctor, then these are some of the best formula choices commonly available in supermarkets like Walmart, Target, Amazon and WholeFoods.
Enfamil Infant Formula
This formula is designed to be as close as possible to breast milk, and is intended to be used by babies up to the age of 12 months. The formula includes dual prebiotics, and helps babies to develop a strong immune system, as well as supporting the growth of the brain.
Enfagrow Toddler Next Step
This baby formula is designed for kids aged 1 to 3 years old. It has a great balance of essential nutriends, and includes Calcium and Vitamin D to promote healthy bones and teeth.
Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder
Babies who have slightly sensitive tummies may like the Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder formula. This is an easy-to-digest formula that contains essential fatty acids and helps to promote good digestion.
Similac Go & Grow
This gluten free baby formula is designed to be close to breast milk in terms of ingredients – including featuring Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The formula also includes Galactooligosaccharides, and Lutein, which are two nutrients that are found only in breast milk, making this one of the clear candidates for a top rated baby formula.
Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula
This infant formula is rich in proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It contains DHA and ARA, and it has a casein to whey ratio that is balanced just like breast milk. The formula is free from growth hormones, steroids, antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides, and it meets the FDA’s requirements for FDA nutrition so you can feed your child while knowing that they are getting everything that they need, with no nasties.
There are many other infant formulas on the market, but the above are some of the top rated baby formula products on the market. If you’re not sure what to use, ask your physician for a recommendation.