Organic baby formulas: What you need to know

Photo Credit: Ana Tablas, Unsplash

The rise in allergies and various food intolerances have made us more conscious in terms of our nutrition choices. We look for healthier and often organic alternatives, including those for our babies.

The advent of organic products has infiltrated the baby food industry. From organic baby formulas to organic cereals, treats, snacks and meals made with organic ingredients only.

As moms we know breast milk is the best food for our babies. Although breastfeeding provides much more than just nutrition, in the event when exclusive breastfeeding is not possible or where donor breast milk is not feasible, infant milk formula is considered an effective alternative. 

Our choice to consider an organic baby formula would be no different to us wanting to make our meals with organic based ingredients. If this is important to you then offering your baby an organic formula as their first organic meal can be a great start.

What is the main difference between organic and non-organic baby formulas?

Organic formulas are created without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionising radiation, which in theory makes them safer than non-organic formula choices.

The above sentence suddenly makes all the non-organic formulas on the market look evil. This however is not the case. Even the entry level standard baby formulas have to meet all the nutritional requirements, as dictated by the relevant bodies, such as CODEX.

They must contain a certain number of vitamins and minerals in certain quantities, and be made up of an acceptable blend of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in order to be labelled as an infant formula.

Premium infant formulas contain additional ingredients over the ones mentioned above for increased nutritional benefits. These are prebiotics and probiotics for good gut health as well as Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and AHA (or AA) that are beneficial for baby’s eye and brain development.

So whether you offer your baby entry level formula product, premium formulation or an organic alternative, stay assured that each one of these options meet the required criteria and are an acceptable food for your baby if you can’t breastfeed.

Currently available on the South African market are two organic baby formula brands: HiPP and Holle.

HiPP or HOLLE?

We are often asked, “What’s the difference between HiPP and Holle?” after all, they are two European companies with very similar standards. Both companies follow extremely high organic standards, though their certifications bear different names.

REPUTABLE BRANDS

Both Holle and HiPP have been creating baby formula for a long time. HiPP was founded in Germany in 1899, and Holle began in Switzerland in the 1930s. Both brands have refined their expertise over the years to produce the safe, simple, and nutritionally-complete formulas.

HiPP and Holle are both approved and certified organic by the European Commission.

FARMING STANDARDS

HiPP and Holle both use very similar Biodynamic farming standards. Holle is a Demeter certified company, whereas HiPP is a Biodynamic certified company.

Both Demeter and Biodynamic certifications require very strict adherence to organic, sustainable farming. At the very heart of Biodynamic and Demeter farming is a deep respect for land, animal and community welfare.

Both certifications provide for sustaining soil fertility; maintaining diverse natural and agricultural lands and minimizing ecological impact.

Both certifications require proper animal husbandry and respect for livestock, over large scale production, including proper nutrition for animals so that they can produce their very best.

These certifications prohibit the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, GMO’s, antibiotics, steroids and hormones. Biodynamic and Demeter farms are involved in bettering their communities as well as producing pure organic foods for everyone.

There are a few small differences between the two certifications, including things like beliefs on clipping a cow’s horns, and which animals make good breeding stock. At their cores, however both certifications are the same and produce the same high standard organic products.

OTHER DIFFERENCES

The main difference between HiPP and Holle products are in the unique sets of ingredients. Holle produces high quality, simple and pure organic formula. HiPP formulas have pre/probiotics and added DHA. Additional similarities and differences are listed in the table below:

Nutrients

Holle

HiPP

Carbohydrate

Lactose with added organic maltodextrin

Lactose

Protein

Protein ratios similar to breast milk

Protein ratios similar to breast milk

Prebiotics & Probiotics

No prebiotics or probiotics

Prebiotics

DHA & ARA

DHA from fish oil

Stage 1&2 formulas: ARA & DHA from fish oil

Stage 3 HiPP formulas: ARA

Organic

EU certified & Demeter biodynamic certified

EU certified organic

 

HiPP and Holle are both known for their high organic standards and purity. In either case, be well assured that your baby is getting the very best. After all the price might be a determining factor with HiPP being more affordable on price per gram.

Remember to always consult with a registered health practitioner before you consider the introduction of infant formula product supplementation or changing from the existing formula product your baby is on to a new alternative such as an organic formula.

Head to MyMilkClub store for more information on Holle and HiPP formulas also available as AUTOMILK subscription


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. MyMilkClub reserves the right to its opinions and fully supports the notion of promotion that breast is best in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) infant feeding guidelines. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life, and continued breastfeeding with complementary foods for up to two years of age. Breast milk is the best food for infants. Good maternal nutrition is essential to prepare and maintain breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not possible, an infant formula may be used according to the advice of registered health professionals. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards.