Best Organic Baby Formula Options

Best Organic Baby Formula Options

Raw Milk Baby Formula

Makes 36 ounces.

The ideal milk for baby, if he cannot be breastfed, is clean, whole raw milk from old-fashioned cows, certified free of disease, that feed on green pasture. For sources of good quality milk, see www.millersorganicfarm.com or check www.realmilk.com

If the only choice available to you is commercial formula, choose A2 Organic Baby Formula from Switzerland at www.organicbabyfood.shop?p=Hkwr-lcvp 

Homemade Baby Formula Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole raw cow’s milk, preferably from pasture-fed cows
  • 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below) Note: Do NOT use powdered whey or whey from making cheese (which will cause the formula to curdle). Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk.
  • 4 tablespoons lactose1
  • 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis2
  • 2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized), more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil3
  • 1/4 teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (optional)1
  • 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil1
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil1
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil1
  • 2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes1
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin1,4
  • 1-7/8 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder1, 2

1. Available from Radiant Life 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.


2. Earlier versions of this web page called for 1 tsp of bifidobacterium infantis and 1 tsp of acerola powder–these were typos.


3. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.


4. We do not recommend collagen hydrolysate, but only recommended brands of gelatin listed in the WAPF Shopping Guide.

Instructions

  • Put 2 cups filtered water into a pyrex measuring pitcher and remove 2 tablespoons (that will give you 1-7/8 cups water).
  • Pour about half of the water into a pan and place on a medium flame.
  • Add the gelatin and lactose to the pan and let dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • When the gelatin and lactose are dissolved, remove from heat and add the remaining water to cool the mixture.
  • Stir in the coconut oil and optional high-vitamin butter oil and stir until melted.
  • Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients into a blender.
  • Add the water mixture and blend about three seconds.
  • Place in glass bottles or a glass jar and refrigerate.
  • Before giving to baby, warm bottles by placing in hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER warm bottles in a microwave oven.


Variation: Goat Milk Formula

Although goat milk is rich in fat, it must be used with caution in infant feeding as it lacks folate and is low in vitamin B12, both of which are essential to the growth and development of the infant. Inclusion of nutritional yeast to provide folate is essential. To compensate for low levels of vitamin B12, if preparing the Milk-Based Formula (above) with goat’s milk, add 2 teaspoons organic raw chicken liver, frozen for 14 days, finely grated to the batch of formula. Be sure to begin egg-yolk feeding at four months.


Liver-Based Formula

Makes about 36 ounces.

Our liver-based formula also mimics the nutrient profile of mother’s milk. It is extremely important to include coconut oil in this formula as it is the only ingredient that provides the special medium-chain saturated fats found in mother’s milk. As with the milk-based formula, all oils should be truly expeller-expressed.

Ingredients:

  • 3-3/4 cups homemade beef or chicken broth
  • 2 ounces organic liver, cut into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons lactose1
  • 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis2
  • 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil1
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil3
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sunflower oil1
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil1
  • 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder1,2

1. Available from Radiant Life 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.
2. Earlier versions of this web page called for 1 tsp of bifidobacterium infantis and 1 tsp of acerola powder–these were typos.
3. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.

Instructions:

  • Simmer liver gently in broth until the meat is cooked through.
  • Liquefy using a handheld blender or in a food processor.
  • When the liver broth has cooled, stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Store in a very clean glass or stainless steel container.
  • To serve, stir formula well and pour 6 to 8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle.
  • Attach a clean nipple and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)

Q.  Why does the infant formulas include lots of vegetable oils like sunflower and olive oil? These are very high in linoleic acid.

A. Answer from Chris Masterjohn. The amount of sunflower oil and olive oil in the infant formula recipe provides the amount of unsaturated fatty acids found in the milk of modern American mothers. I have found compelling evidence that arachidonic acid and DHA are necessary for infant development, but not linoleic acid.  That said, linoleic acid serves as a precursor for arachidonic acid, so I think the formula should have some linoleic acid (mainly from the sunflower oil).  However, it is likely that current linoleic acid levels in breast milk are higher than they otherwise would be, not because they are needed, but because they are present in excess as a result of the consumption of vegetable oils.  So I think the amount of linoleic acid in the formula should be normalized to pre-1960 data for Americans, or, better, if they are available, to data from breast milk concentrations of mothers from traditionally living populations that had not yet encountered dietary vegetable oils at the time the data were collected. This would mean reducing the amount of sunflower oil by half.


Fortified Commercial Formula

Makes about 35 ounces.

This stopgap formula can be used in emergencies, or when the ingredients for homemade formula are unavailable.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk-based powdered formula1
  • 29 ounces filtered water (3 5/8 cups)
  • 1 large egg yolk from an organic egg, cooked 3 1/2 minutes (See recipe for egg yolk, below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil2

1. We are sorry to report that the Mead Johnson (Enfamil) Low Iron formula we previously recommended is no longer available. In fact, all commercial formula now contains iron, by FDA decree. The best choice for commercial formula today seems to be Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Formula. It contains iron but otherwise contains higher quality ingredients than any of the other commercial formulas. It is also the only brand on the market at this time without the Martek DHASCO and ARASCO additive. If you are forced to use commercial formula, make sure that baby is getting cod liver oil, either added to the formula or given with an eye dropper or syringe. As soon as possible, introduce solid foods like egg yolk, liver, meat and bone broths.

2. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.

Instructions:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly.
  • Place 6-8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle. (Store the rest in a very clean glass jar in the refrigerator for the next feedings.)
  • Attach a clean nipple to the bottle and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)


Egg Yolk for Baby

Egg yolk should be baby’s first solid food, starting at 4 months, whether baby is breastfed or formula-fed. Egg yolks from pastured hens will contain the special long-chain fatty acids so critical for the optimal development of the brain and nervous system. The whites may cause an allergic reaction and should not be given to baby until he is at least one year old.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic egg from a pasture-fed hen
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated raw organic liver, frozen for 14 days Note: It is VERY important that the liver be frozen for 14 days before using.

Instructions:

  • Boil egg for 3 1/2 minutes.
  • Place in a bowl and peel off shell.
  • Remove egg white and discard.
  • Yolk should be soft and warm, not hot, with its enzyme content intact.
  • If you wish to add liver, grate on the small holes of a grater while frozen. Allow to warm up and stir into egg yolk.


Homemade Whey

Makes about 5 cups.

Homemade whey is easy to make from good quality plain yoghurt, or from raw or cultured milk. You will need a large strainer that rests over a bowl.

If you are using yoghurt, place 2 quarts in a strainer lined with a tea towel set over a bowl. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Place whey in clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator.

If you are using raw or cultured milk, place 2 quarts of the milk in a glass container and leave at room temperature for 2-4 days until the milk separates into curds and whey. Pour into the strainer lined with a tea towel set over a bowl and cover with a plate. Leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator.

Source: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD.

 


Formula Making Tips

A reader shares her handy tips for making up formula quickly.

All three of my children have had slow starts with breastfeeding, so I appear to have low milk supply issues. We started supplementing with formula three months ago and my sweet baby girl is healthy, gaining weight, content, and an absolute delight.

I’d like to share a couple tips and tricks that help me avoid making mistakes–especially when I’m sleep deprived.

  • First, I took a permanent marker and wrote on the lids or packages of each ingredient how much I would need.
  • Then, on my printed recipe, I made a list of things I would need to get out: blender, small saucepan, spatula, measuring spoons, 1/4 cup measure.
  • I also like to add all the dry ingredients first so the measuring spoons stay dry. I add the oils last and don’t worry about washing them between each ingredient.
  • Finally, I keep all of my refrigerated ingredients together in one compartment of the door and all of my other ingredients together on one shelf in a cabinet. When it’s time to make formula, I get out all the ingredients and put each one away as it’s used to avoid accidental doubling.
  • Oh, and I mix in the cream after I’ve used the blender because it’s the cream that leaves the frothy bubbles on top that are difficult to mix in.

It takes me about 10 minutes now to mix up a batch. My basic routine looks like this:

  1. Set all tools, ingredients, and recipe on counter.
  2. Measure 2 cups water, remove 2 tbsp.
  3. Put half of water in small saucepan.
  4. Turn dial on stove to 3.5 (low heat).
  5. Add gelatin and lactose and set coconut oil nearby.
  6. Stir with baking spatula.
  7. In blender, add milk and whey (put back in fridge).
  8. Add all dry ingredients (put back in cabinet or fridge).
  9. Then add all oils (except coconut).
  10. Stir water mixture again.
  11. Take off heat, add coconut oil.
  12. Stir slowly until melted.
  13. Add remaining water and pour into blender.
  14. Blend for three seconds.
  15. Add cream and stir.

Since I only use enough for one or two bottles a day, I usually leave out what I’ll need for the next two days and freeze the rest in glass jars, putting what I’ll need for the day in each jar. Her needs have changed so much since we first started, so making one batch at a time suits us well. I feel confident that she is being nourished both by my breastmilk and by the homemade formula she now takes only at night. Thank you SO MUCH for posting the recipe, the testimonials, and the Q&A’s. I’ve read through each page at least twice!

Lori


Breast Milk and Homemade Formula Nutrient Comparison Chart

Based on 36 ounces.

These nutrient comparison tables were derived from standard food nutrient tables and do not take into account the wide variation in nutrient levels that can occur in both human and animal milk, depending on diet and environment.

Breast MilkCow’s Milk
Formula
Goat Milk
Formula
Liver-Based
Formula
Calories766856890682
Protein11.3g18g18g15g
Carbohydrates76g79g77g69g
Total Fat48g52g54g36g
Saturated Fat22g28g30g16g
Mono Fat18g16g16g12g
Poly Fat5.5g5.6g5.7g5.6g
Omega-3 FA.58g1.3g1.2g1.0g
Omega-6 FA4.4g4.2g4.4g4.5g
Cholesterol153mg137mg166mg227mg
Vitamin A*946IU5000IU5000IU20,000IU
Thiamin-B1.15mg1.05mg1.1mg.19mg
Riboflavin-B2.4mg1.2mg1.2mg1.9mg
Niacin-B31.9mg2.5mg4.4mg14.2mg
Vitamin B6.12mg.51mg.60mg.65mg
Vitamin B12.5mcg1.9mcg2.8mcg39mcg
Folate57mcg236mcg284mcg159mcg
Vitamin C55mg57mg59mg62mg
Vitamin D480IU450IU525IU460IU
Vitamin E***9.9mg6.2mg4.7mg4.9mg
Calcium355mg532mg548mgNA**
Copper.57mg.38mg.58mg1.9mg
Iron.33mg1.4mg2.2mg5.4mg
Magnesium37.4mg91.3mg96.1mg34.5mg
Manganese.29mg.034mg.12mg.24mg
Phosphorus151mg616mg729mg344mg
Potassium560mg949mg1228mg750mg
Selenium18.8mcg15.4mcg18.7mcg31.1mcg
Sodium186mg308mg320mgNA**
Zinc1.9mg2.8mg2.7mg2.5mg

* Vitamin A levels in human milk will depend on the diet of the mother. Nursing mothers eating vitamin A-rich foods such as cod liver oil will have much higher levels of vitamin A in their milk. Commercial formulas contain about 2400 IU vitamin A per 800 calories.

** Calcium and sodium values for homemade broth are not available.

*** Vitamin E values are derived from commercial vegetable oils. The vitamin E levels for homemade formulas will be higher if good quality, expeller-expressed oils are used.


 

Recipe Below Will Make36Ounces
IngredientQuantityUnit of MeasurePrice
Raw Milk2Cup$1.38
Liquid Whey1/4Cup$0.28
Lactose4Tablespoon$0.35
Bifodobacterium Infantis1/4Teaspoon$0.48
Cream2Tablespoon$0.09
Regular Cod Liver Oil1Teaspoon$0.11
High Vitamin Butter Oil1/4Teaspoon$0.31
Sunflower Oil1Teaspoon$0.03
Extra Virgin Olive Oil1Teaspoon$0.06
Coconut Oil2Teaspoon$0.13
Nutritional Yeast Flakes2Teaspoon$0.08
Gelatin2Teaspoon$0.20
Filtered Water1-7/8Cup$0.00
Acerola Powder1/4Teaspoon$0.06
Batch Total$3.54
Baby Formula Cost Comparisons
Brand/ProductCost/OunceCost/YearAvg. 1st Year Savings
Nourishing Traditions$0.10$953.89
Earth’s Best Organic with Iron$0.17$1673.93$720.05
Vermont Organics$0.15$1442.97$489.08
Bright Beginnings Organic$0.13$1238.56$284.67
Similac Organic Infant$0.16$1576.85$622.96
Enfamil Premium Newborn$0.15$1413.41$459.52

Below feeding schedule referenced from Earth’s Best website.

MonthFeedings/DayOz/FeedingDaily Oz
17.02.517.5
2-45.55.027.5
5-65.07.035.0
7-927.0
10-1224.0
1st Year Ounces9690

Recipe Directions

1. Add gelatin and lactose to half of the water and heat gently until gelatin is dissolved.
2. Stir in remaining water, coconut oil, and optional butter oil.
3. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.
4. Transfer to a very clean glass container, and store in refrigerator.

Feeding

1. Pour into a very clean glass bottle, attach nipple, and heat in a pan of simmering water.
2. Never heat formula in a microwave oven.
3. Shake bottle well and feed baby.


The featured photo of the raw milk baby formula was taken by Marybeth Marr and edited by Sandrine Perez

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