What Do The Ingredients In Baby Formula Actually Mean For Infant Health?


What Do The Ingredients In Baby Formula Actually Mean For Infant Health?

Some parents are opting for European formulas for their babies, claiming they are “cleaner”. Credit: Katie Feather

Would you feel comfortable consuming a product that listed “whey protein concentrate” and “corn maltodextrin” on its list of ingredients? What about feeding it to your baby? Most of the ingredients found in baby formula are actually just carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and are perfectly safe—and necessary—for infant health. But this inscrutable list of ingredients is one reason why many parents are opting to buy European formula for their little ones. Word is spreading around parenting blogs and websites—and among parents themselves—that European formulas, with their simpler ingredients lists, are “cleaner” and therefore healthier for babies.

But is there any truth to this claim? Baby formula expert and clinical researcher Bridget Young, PhD and professor of pediatrics Anthony Porto, MD, MPH, join Ira to discuss what the data says about the differences between infant formulas, as well as what those ingredients actually mean for your baby’s health.

Baby formula nutritional facts
Nutritional information on baby formula. Credit: Katie Feather
Shelves with baby formula.
A variety of infant formula options. Credit: Katie Feather

 


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