Food that has been specially designed, manufactured and marketed to feed infants and babies who are less than twelve months of age, is referred to as infant formula. Most infant formulas are sold in powder form while few infant formulas are sold in liquid form.
The American Academy of Pediatrics purports that there is no partial or complete substitute for breast milk, which is still the best food for infants. However, commercially prepared formulas are fed to young infants whose mothers are unable to breast feed them.
Types of Infant Formula
Today, the market is flooded with different kinds of infant formula. However, it has to be emphasized once again, that only women who are unable to breastfeed their infants due to some medical or health complications, economic problems or societal pressures should feed their infants formula milk. Through this article we will examine some of popular types of infant formula.
Most doctors prescribe cow’s milk formula for very young infants, as cows milk is akin to human breast milk. The immature digestive tract of young infants will not be able to digest the proteins present in cow’s milk. So the proteins in the cow’s milk are altered to suit an infants system. Some infants develop severe allergies after drinking cow’s milk formula. In such an event, stop feeding your infant cow’s milk formula and instead switch to soy based formula. Some popular brands of cow’s milk formula are Nestle Good Start Supreme and Similac Advance.
Soy Based Formula
Infants who are allergic to cow’s milk formula or those infants who suffer from lactose intolerance are normally fed soy based formula. In fact, most infants suffer from lactose intolerance so it is best to feed them soy based formula from the very beginning. Soy milk formulas are prepared from plant proteins which have been altered, so that infants can digest the formula easily. If your child suffers from regular colic pain or if you are raising your infant as a vegan then it is best to give him/her soy milk formula. Popular brands of soy based formula are Similac Isomil and Enfamil ProSobee.
If your infant develops allergic reaction to both cows milk and soy based formula, then you can switch to feeding him/her elemental formula. Elemental formulas are specialized infant formulas which are ideal for infants who are lactose intolerant as this formula is prepared from hydrolysate proteins. This formula milk is normally given to infants who are suffering from some health complications and to infants born prematurely.
Lactose Free Formula
Lactose free formulas as the name indicates are completely devoid of lactose. These formulas have been specially manufactured for infants who cannot digest or cannot tolerate lactose. However it has to be noted that lactose free formulas are prepared from cow’s milk and hence has cow’s milk proteins in them. Similac lactose free and Nusobee are lactose free infant formulas.
DHA and ARA Infant Formulas
These are infant formulas which have been fortified with DHA and ARA. ARA and DHA are long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Formulas which contain DHA and ARA are very similar to breast milk in composition. Formulas which contain these two supplements are though to boost a baby’s overall growth and development. Similac Advance and Enfamil Lipil are examples of DHA and ARA enriched infant formulas.