There is nothing more soothing than holding your bundle of joy in your arms as offering them soothing nourishment. While paediatricians always recommended breastfeeding as the best option, high-quality infant formula is equally nutritious. There are four main types of infant formula; cow milk, soy, goat milk, and lactose-free. There are a few other types on the market as well, but they are less common. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants who are not breastfed to consume iron-fortified cow milk formula, but for some, soy-based formula is a better option. Let’s take a closer look at soy milk infant formula specifically.
Why Can’t I Feed My Infant Regular Soy Milk?
Soy milk is a healthy alternative to regular cow milk, however, just like cow milk, it is not formulated for immature digestive systems. Soy milk in its regular form is not broken down enough for a immature digestive system to process. Soy milk and cow milk alternatives also don’t contain the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and proteins for an infant to thrive. Soy milk that you find in the store is created by cooking soybeans. They contain both natural sugars and added sugars in addition to fiber and soy protein. This plant-based milk is a healthy alternative to animal milk, but should never be given to an infant under the age of 12 months.
What Is Soy-Based Formula?
Infant formula is intended to be an nutritional equivalent alternative to breast milk. Soy-based infant formula is also a replacement for breast milk in addition to being an alternative to cow or goat milk-based feeding options. Soy-based infant formula is created using the proteins from cooked soybeans. These processed beans are the base of the infant formula and its main source of protein. In virtually all instances, soy-based infant formula is lactose-free and created using a different sugar base. Like most infant formula, it is available in both powder and liquid form.
Soy-based formula for infants was created as an alternative for babies who are unable to tolerate cow milk or goat milk proteins. Infants who have to access to breast milk, or who for whatever reason are unable to exclusively breastfeed also can benefit by consuming soy-based infant milk. Soy-based infant formula accounts for as much as 40% of the available brands in the US, although the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages the use of cow milk infant formula instead.
How Do I Know If Soy-based Formula Is Best For My Child?
In most cases, the AAP recommends children be given cow milk infant formula or goat milk infant formula of they have problems with GERD or colic. There are certain times when animal milk proteins are not tolerated, in which soybean-based infant formula is an acceptable alternative. Babies who suffer from genetic conditions such as galactosemia are actually unable to process galactose, which is one of the sugars in lactose. Conditions such as this are exactly why soy-based formula was created.
Another reason soy-based formula has gained popularity even among those without milk allergies or genetic conditions is due to the increasing awareness of food allergies. Lactose intolerance and food allergies are sometimes tied to cow milk infant formula, though most intolerance tends to resolve as the child ages. Some parents believe that avoiding cow milk infant formula in favor of plant-based infant formula will help their children avoid developing allergies later on in life. There is no scientific proof of this theory, however, it doesn’t prevent many parents from following this line of thinking.
What Is Added To Soy-based Formula?
Soy-based infant formula is a healthy choice for any infant that suffers from lactose intolerance, hereditary lactase deficiency, or galactosemia. Vegan families who want to avoid introducing animal protein into their child’s diet may also benefit from the use of soy-based infant formulas
Properly formulated soy-based infant formula has been proven to offer adequate support for proper cognitive development. Most soy-based formulas are fortified with iron and enriched with essential nutrients such as calcium, lutein, DHA, prebiotics, zinc, and AA. The protein in the infant formula that accounts for 95% o the protein is a soy-isolate.
There is no saturated fat or cholesterol in soy-based infant formula, unlike traditional cow milk formula. Although they have different types of fat, they are still a good source of nutrition for growing babies. Soybeans are also a high-quality source of important dietary proteins. Soy-based infant formula has essential amino acids without the need of using animal sources.
What To Look For In A Good Soy-based Infant Formula
Like with any infant formula, you want to be sure to select the best one for your baby. Soy-based infant formula is available from many brands, both local and international. Although soy-based infant formula is vegan, that doesn’t mean they every brand offers the healthiest choice. When looking for a healthy infant formula that is plant-based for your child, there are a few things you should look for.
Choose a brand that offers organic and sustainably produced soybeans. Also, look for those that limit the amount of added sugars and fillers in their infant formula. Many great soy-based infant formula brands actually come from Europe, where standards are much higher than those in the US. In addition, most farms in Europe follow biodynamic farming practices which makes the food and ingredients they produce much more nutritious.
Plant-based infant formulas should also be fortified with iron, calcium, DHA, and other nutrients to help support healthy development. Although plants are naturally full of vitamins, growing babies need a specific concentration in order to thrive. Even cow milk and goat milk formulas are fortified to ensure the right balance of nutrition for young babies as they grow.
Healthy Feeding With Mommy Formula
Here at Mommy Formula, we care about the health of your child. If you have any questions regarding our European infant formulas or any of our soy milk-based formulas, we are happy to help. Leave us a comment down below, or reach out to our customer service via email for more information.