If there is a need to start bottle-feeding for different reasons, parents usually face many questions like how often to feed, in what quantity, and what breast milk substitute is better to choose for your little one. In today’s variety of baby food, it’s easy to get confused. To find out what to pay attention to when selecting the feeding for a kid, you can read this article.
Types of Formula
First of all, infant milk differs in consistency. They are:
- Powder. Such type must be diluted with water to the desired consistency according to the instructions printed on the package.
- Liquid. It can be fed immediately, and it needs to be warmed up. The undoubted advantage of this type is that it’s not possible to make mistakes with the dosage of powder or water during the preparation.
The content of each formula differs a lot. However, the determining criterion will be the degree of processing of cow milk protein. There are the following types:
- The adapted type has content that is as close to human milk as possible. It’s made based on demineralized whey of cow milk. That is why adapted feeding is the best option for a newborn. Adapted infant milk fully satisfies the baby’s need for nutrients.
- A partially adapted type approximately repeats the composition of breast milk. This type of baby food lacks whey, and fats and carbohydrates are partially adapted. The content often includes starch and sucrose, which makes such baby food unsuitable for an infant.
- The unadapted feeding is made on cow milk protein.
The next are:
- Milk formula is similar to breast milk. There are often probiotics and prebiotics in the content, which will help the baby’s intestines and strengthen the immune system
- Dairy-free formula does not contain lactose and is needed for lactose intolerance
European Commission requires the baby food to be divided by age. It’s due to changes in nutrient needs as a child grows and develops like its gastrointestinal tract. Children under 6 months grow more intensively, they have faster metabolic processes, and they need more nutrients per kilogram of body weight. As a kid grows older, this need decreases. Therefore, when choosing food for a kid, it’s necessary to pay attention to the age of the child. For example, the Holle Formula has stages ranging from birth to 3 years old. Here is the age marking on the packages:
- 0 or PRE means it’s designed for premature and underweight children. It is the closest to breast milk and contains vitamins, trace elements, and polyunsaturated fatty acids
- 1 is intended for children from 0 to 6 months
- 2 is for kids from 6 months to 1 year
- 3 is made for those older than 1 year. It means the formula isn’t adapted, and its content is rich in nutrition and calories, vitamins, and minerals
There is special nutrition for babies with different issues:
- Therapeutic one is used according to the doctor’s indications for certain diseases
- Preventive nutrition will help with disorders of the digestive system
- Hypoallergenic infant milk is needed when there is intolerance to certain products
The Important Elements in the Content
The content should contain lactose. This carbohydrate is better for a baby than sucrose and fructose because lactose helps avoid constipation. According to the research by HealthyChildren experts, prebiotics and probiotics stimulate the intestines and help grow the good bacteria in the intestinal. Breast milk oligosaccharides must be present in the content because they help remove some harmful bacteria from the body and improve the intestinal microflora.
Infant milk should also be rich in nucleotides, vitamins, macro- and microelements, and minerals. While looking for the right feeding for your little one, always pay attention to the expiration date, the availability of the necessary certificates, and the absence of preservatives, dyes, GMOs, and flavors. Holle brand designs a range of baby food that is fully organic. It means the ingredients in the content are fully natural without any harmful elements.
Specialized and Medical Formula
In addition to the standard division of baby food for healthy babies, there are specialized nutrition types for children with special needs:
- Preemie formulas are for babies born prematurely. In such a case, a kid needs specialized nutrition because a baby assimilates and digests food worse. It has an increased need for vitamins and trace elements, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. You will have to feed a child until it reaches a weight of 4.5 kg.
- Fermented formulas contain bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, which help improve digestion. If a kid suffers from colic, then a diet with a lower content of lactose is prescribed. Children with intestinal microflora disorders are prescribed formulas with bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. With constipation, you should pay attention to nutrition with lactulose, which promotes the growth of bifidobacteria.
- Formulas with high iron content are appointed for kids with low hemoglobin in the blood. They can be included in the diet only after 4 months of age.
- Hypoallergenic formulas are prescribed for predisposition to food allergies. The difference is that cow milk protein is hydrolyzed.
- Lactose-free and soy formulas are necessary with a strong form of food allergy and intolerance to cow milk protein.
- Anti-Reflux formulas are prescribed by a pediatrician with frequent belching. It contains such thickener components as starch or carob gluten.
All treatment nutrition is prescribed and monitored by a pediatrician. When the symptoms are relieved, it’s recommended to finish the treatment diet and switch to the adapted formula.
The Ending Thoughts
- First of all, you should follow the recommendations of a pediatrician who will help you choose the best nutrition based on the characteristics and peculiarities of your little one.
- Adapted feeding should be used for newborns because it is easier to digest.
- Carefully study the content and make sure that such elements as taurine, carnitine and linoleic acid are present.
- When buying, pay attention to the integrity of the packaging and expiration dates.
- Mandatory compliance with the kid’s age and the stage.