Breast milk is definitely the best choice for a newborn child. But, a mother may not be able to produce milk in sufficient quantity to feed her child, or she may decide not to breastfeed for any other reason. In such conditions, milk formula emerges as the next best option. It can replicate the nutrient values of breast milk to some extent. At the same time, a right type of formula with proper ingredients can lead to a healthy overall growth of the baby. When making a selection, here are the baby formula ingredients to look for:
The Iron Content:
Iron is an important mineral for the brain development of a baby. In several studies, it was found that lack of iron in the diet can lead to deficiencies in development of motor skills and thought processing. Even if you are breastfeeding your child, it is advisable to introduce some amount of iron to supplement its requirements.
DHA and ARA:
There are two main types of fatty acids in the breast milk namely DHA and ARA. They are important for the neural growth of your baby. You should look for the best milk formula fortified with these fatty acids.
What About the Probiotics?
These are the microorganisms that thrive in the gut of your baby. You should look for this content in the baby formula ingredients as well. The babies who are born by caesarean should be essentially given probiotics. It is essential to prevent the diseases like fever, diarrhoea, and gastrointestinal disorders. It will also keep your baby safe from the allergic reactions.
The Level of Proteins:
This nutrient provides amino acids that are essential for overall growth and development. Breast milk has two kinds of proteins namely whey and casein. In the infant formulas, you can find whey protein concentrates. However, it is equally important to ascertain the amount of proteins in the formula. It shouldn’t exceed the maximum limits prescribed for the infants. Remember, too much of proteins given during first two years can cause obesity at a later age.
The Content of Vitamins:
These are important nutrients for various functions in the body. Your baby needs vitamin E for developing the nervous system, vitamin D for healthy bones, vitamin A for healthy skin, vitamin B & C for absorption of folic acid and iron.
Apart from these nutrients, there are many additional ingredients used in the baby formulas. It includes vegetable oils that are used for producing the similar amount of fatty acids found in breast milk. Sugar is another ingredient commonly found in these formulas to enhance their taste and match it to the breast milk which is usually high in sugar.
When buying baby formula, you should know about these ingredients to make better choices.