Baby formula, baby food or simply baby milk or first milk or baby formula, baby food or simply formula or powdered milk, baby formula is a commercially produced food intended for feeding infants and small children below twelve months of age, typically prepared in powdered or liquid form from powder bought in stores or from speciality websites. Most baby formula brands are nutritionally balanced to meet the needs of infants and small children in their first six months of life. There are baby food brands that are specifically targeted towards extremely premature infants who may not have developed the skills to absorb other types of nutrients normally found in normal growing babies. These brands often lack sufficient protein and other nutrients that a developing baby needs in order for him/her to grow strong and healthy. The infant formula that is sold in the market contains only minimal amount of protein, calories and other essential nutrients and are generally not at all suitable for infants who are at the later stages of growth and development.
Most baby food brands contain only minimal amount of vitamins and minerals, while others may include additional chemicals as well. Moreover, baby food products are usually frozen during storage. This causes the nutrients contained in them to become ineffective over a period of time. These harmful chemicals are not only unsafe for the infants but are also dangerous for the adult consumers as well. Most baby food products contain high levels of sugar that can cause health problems in adults.
In addition, most baby food products lack any nutritional value except for those that may be added by a particular brand. This is one of the major reasons why many mothers resort to using formula so that they can feed their babies at a low-cost. These baby food products are available in a large variety of flavors such as fruit, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, chicken and beef, among others. However, parents need to be careful when choosing baby food products as some of these products may contain harmful chemicals such as dyes and preservatives.
Some baby food products are made from organic or natural ingredients. It is advisable to check the ingredients label on the product so as to avoid buying baby food products with artificial coloring and flavoring. These artificial additives are actually harmful for an infant’s health because they may trigger a baby’s immature digestive system and increase his or her chances of developing allergies and food intolerance. Hence, parents need to be especially careful in choosing baby food products.
Furthermore, some baby formula manufacturers use cow milk and other animal by-products as their main ingredients. Although the baby receives sufficient amounts of vitamins, iron, calcium, protein and other minerals in his or her mother’s milk, it is not guaranteed that he will receive these nutrients in the exact quantities as obtained from cow milk alone. Also, infant formulas may contain small traces of small amounts of heavy metals such as lead that may prove detrimental for an infant’s health in the long run. Therefore, it is imperative that baby formula manufacturers remove any trace of heavy metals from their infant formulas.
New moms can also help in deciding which type of formula would be best suited for their baby by reading baby food recipe books and magazines. By doing this, they will have a general idea of the different infant nutrition needs of their baby. By combining baby food with breast milk or formula milk based on baby food recipe books and magazines, new moms can easily provide their newborn with healthy foods and at the same time develop a sense of responsibility towards their child. After all, they will one day give their children a lifetime of healthy meals.