Baby formula, baby food or simply baby formula, first milk or infant milk or powdered baby milk, baby formula or baby food, is a commercially produced food specifically designed and sold for feeding infants and small children under the age of twelve months, usually prepared in powdered or liquid form from powder or solid food. Invented in 1920, baby formula quickly became popular due to the popularity of baby food manufacturing and marketing. The main purpose of baby formula is to provide nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the child. It is often considered one of the most important factors in determining the nutritional status of an infant. Baby formula has been found to be effective in meeting the nutritional requirements of infants in various studies over the years.
Types of baby formula include: lactose-free or lactose-reduced formulas, which do not contain lactose; soy formulas, which contain soybean and casein proteins as ingredients; and rice/pea formulas, which contain rice or peas proteins as ingredients. In addition, there are various other types of baby formulas including mineral, flavor, convenience, and protein-rich formulas. The baby formula market is today highly diversified with new nutritive combination’s being introduced on a regular basis.
There are several reasons why a baby formula is popular among new parents. One is that most of these formulas are readily available and are much cheaper than breast milk. Breast milk has the advantage of being readily available at all times and is also easy to clean, sterilize and store. Furthermore, breast milk provides a natural, latching moisture, which helps in preventing infections and eliminates the risk of developing the common illnesses associated with cow’s milk such as diarrhea, colic and lactose intolerance. On the other hand, baby formula can be easily mixed and compared with the breast milk, thereby assuring safety and convenience.
The major disadvantage of using baby formula is that the nutritional needs of newborn babies cannot be met through this type of feeding. Baby formula is basically formulated to provide the basic requirements of infants, whereas breast milk exclusively feeds the infants’ primary requirements. Also, the composition of breast milk varies depending on the season, thus it is not always possible to use the same composition of baby formula as that of breast milk. Newborn babies cannot properly digest formulas made from cereals, fruits, vegetables, grains and so on.
Most doctors and experts believe that babies can obtain adequate amounts of essential nutrients through breast milk. Furthermore, human milk is believed to be more suitable for developing babies due to the presence of antibodies and other immunity boosting factors, which are generally not present in formulas made from cow’s milk. However, the allergic reactions to formula from cow’s milk are not observed in human babies, but this fact should not discourage people from using this form of feeding for their babies. If a baby suffers from an allergy to a particular formula, it is best to check with the pediatrician or an expert in infants, before deciding on a formula to feed your child. It is important to note that some babies are unable to tolerate certain lactose contents, which should also be taken into consideration.
It is advisable to read various baby formula reviews, so as to determine the various pros and cons of using different brands of these formulas. This will help you choose the most appropriate formula for your baby. Moreover, these reviews also reveal the effects of breastfeeding, whether or not the babies appear satisfied with the taste and texture. Most of these reviews are based on customer experiences and most websites contain customer feedbacks about various brands of these formulas. These reviews are an ideal way to get unbiased information about various formulas.