It is widely recommended by gynecologists and experts around the world that mothers use their own breast milk in order to feed the newborn baby. This is primarily because a mother’s own milk is known to have all the nutrition a new born baby would require and that is the natural way of nourishing a baby. However, it is also a fact that at times, some helpless mammas might not be able to feed their babies on their own. This could be because of various reasons like low milk supply or medical conditions of the baby or the mother.
In such cases, mothers often feel guilty about using baby formula and could also be reminded about how ‘Breast is Best’ by those around her. However, the guilt is absolutely unnecessary. Mothers need to know that by feeding the baby with a formula, they are still inclined to taking care of the baby and the nourishment, the love, the care is what matters at the end of the day.
Besides, unlike olden times, there are now some really high-quality baby formulas available on the market. However, while there are many, there are only some that are 100 percent organic in composition. As parents, you would obviously only want the best for your baby, and choosing a formula that is inorganic or is formed through artificial substances might not always be the best. While a lot of European brands (like Holle and Lebenswert) are breaking the market with their exceptionally high-quality organic baby formulas, some US companies like Organic Start and Little Bundle have also now entered the organic baby product market.
Before we get to the list of the best organic baby formulas, let us understand what determines a suitable baby formula
A baby formula, when used as a substitute for mother’s milk, becomes the source of essential protein, fat, carbohydrate, and vitamins and minerals for a baby. A good or a recommended baby formula would be an organic baby formula which uses the following –
- For Protein: Non-fat milk, skim milk, reduced-fat milk, whole milk (cow or goat), soy milk, amino acids, casein, whey powder, and whey protein powder. It should be known that breast milk contains about 60% whey protein, and 40% casein protein. Casein protein is digested slower than whey protein.
- For Fat: Organic formulas use a mix of vegetable oils; palm oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and others
- For Carbohydrates: Lactose (milk sugar), maltodextrin (plant-based sweetener and thickener), corn syrup solids, glucose syrup solids, brown rice syrup, or just plain regular sugar
- For Vitamins and Minerals: Iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. Fatty acids such as DHA and ARA could also be used for a good, organic baby formula. Brands might even add some bacterias, prebiotics, and/or probiotics to aid digestion
Non-organic formulas, on the flip side, might contain some really harmful ingredients like vitamins derived from petroleum, sulfate-based pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, corn syrup solids, etc. which should not even be considered to be consumed by adults. Let alone infants. Keeping that in mind, here are the Best Organic Baby Formulas of 2020!
1. HiPP Dutch
Made in Germany, HiPP Dutch is one of the best organic formulas out there. It is a skim-milk and lactose-based certified organic formula that contains both prebiotics (from plant fiber) and probiotics for digestibility along with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and whey powder (and whey protein) along with a mix of vegetable oils (palm, rapeseed, sunflower). It is composed in a recommended casein ratio of about 75/25, just like that of a mother’s milk, and contains lactic acid bacteria cultures (B.lactis).
The formula is free of any starch, gluten, maltodextrin, processed sugar solids, artificial preservatives or vitamins/minerals, soy (Stages 1-2), or GMO ingredients. In terms of its nutritional value, this very organic baby formula also stands up to the FDA and USDA recommendations.
2. Loulouka Stage
Also a European brand, Loulouka has lately stormed the market and for all the right reasons. This baby formula by Loulouka uses only sunflower, coconut, and rapeseed oils as sources of fat and is absolutely free of palm oil and soy oil. As for carbohydrates and protein, it uses skimmed milk as the primary ingredient and whey powder along with it; thereby arriving at the recommended whey to casein ratio, just like that of breast milk. Loulouka, in fact, adapted to the use of skim milk only in this year, 2020. Loulouka baby organic formulas also contain prebiotics (GOS), choline, amino acids (L-carnitine), and Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA), just like the HiPP formula. Though, they also go a step forward by including Omega-6 (linoleic acid), and inositol.
Loulouka baby formula does not contain any added sugars, palm oil, soy, GMO ingredients, synthetic nutrients or preservatives, starch, or maltodextrin. Loulouka formulas are offered in stage 1 for use from birth to 6 months, stage 2 for 6+ months, and stage 3 for 10+ months. Loulouka also can be called doubly-approved as it meets both FDA and USDA guidelines for infant feeding plus the EU infant feeding and strict organic food requirements.
3. Happy Baby
Keeping the composition very close to a mother’s milk, this formula uses lactose as the primary carbohydrate source and a macronutrient (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) profile that is close to breast milk. The protein in this formula is extracted from non-fat cow’s milk and whey protein concentrate. The fats are sourced from palm, soy, coconut, and safflower or sunflower oils. For the prebiotics, the formula contains FOS and GOS, has Omega 3 and Omega 6 (ARA and DHA), and choline. Happy Baby organic formula is free of GMO and contains no corn syrup solids /other sweeteners, maltodextrin, or food starch. Besides, the DHA is also extracted with a water-based process against hexane or other harmful chemicals. The kosher organic baby formula is even packed in a no-BPA packaging which gives it some brownie points.
The only problem, however, is that this formula contains only 1 mg iron per serving which is lesser than what other formulas contain. FDA and USDA advise against iron-reduced infant formulas. As for allergen information, this formula contains soy.
4. Lebenswert Stage 1 Organic Baby Formula
Made by a company based in Spain, named Bio land, Lebenswert formula is made from organic skim milk, organic whey, organic vegetable oils, organic lactose, and vitamins and minerals. Bio land has been a top baby formula company and with skimmed milk being its first ingredient, this one stands strongly against formulas that use brown rice syrup or lactose. This is because, for a fact, a formula that uses actual milk against using sugar (lactose and brown rice are sugars) as a primary ingredient, is obviously a better option. All farms and ingredients are also certified organic and the brand uses the profits to support the conservation of our natural resources.
The only little downside, however, is the absence of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to their formulas. Besides, Stage 1 does not include maltodextrin or food starch, albeit, at stages 2 and 3 those ingredients are added as carbohydrate sources.
5. Baby's Only Organic Formula with DHA
Marketed as a toddler formula, Baby’s only offers a variety of baby formulas. Talking of this particular formula, the Whey & Dairy with DHA version, it is formulated in close similarity to breast milk and it uses lactose as the primary carbohydrate. The proteins are sources from whey powder, non-fat milk, and whey protein concentrate. The fats, like most others, are extracted from soybean oil, coconut oil, and safflower or sunflower oil. It should be noted here that this formula is free of palm oil which makes it a really big deal! The Omega-3 (DHA) of Baby’s Only Organic Formula with DHA is naturally derived from eggs, choline, and lutein. Awarded ‘best in class’ baby formula brand in the US, this one really does stand out in terms of the quality of ingredients amongst all other US brands. Besides, though this organic formula uses egg lecithin, testing data found no detectable level of egg allergen in the formula.
As for a little put-off, this formula lacks Omega-6 fatty acids, prebiotics, or probiotics.
6. Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula
One of the best and original organic formulas on the US market today, the Earth’s Best Organic Infant formula is made as per the feedback and responses recorded through the changing FDA and USDA recommendations. Made from lactose as the primary carbohydrate, this one is very close to natural mother’s milk. For the fulfilment of protein, the formula uses non-fat cow’s milk and whey protein concentrate. For fats, it uses the generic palm oil, soy oil, coconut oil, and safflower or sunflower oils. Just like the Baby’s Only formula, Earth’s best is also very close to a mother’s breast milk macronutrient profile; and it also gets some bonus points for Omega-3 (DHA) and Omega-6 (ARA) that are supplied from Alpina and Algal oils, prebiotics, amino acids, and lutein.
However, what also needs to be noted here is that this formula can cause constipation in some babies by virtue of the high iron content (1.8mg per serving). But again, that is only a theory as no scientific evidence attributes high iron content to constipation yet.
7. Baby's Only Organic Lactorelief Formula
An extraordinary formulation, this one is the top choice for parents with babies that have issues around digesting dairy, such as gas, reflux, or bloating, aka lactose intolerance. A lactose-free kosher baby formula, this one has some really high-quality ingredients, is free of corn syrup, and has no genetically modified ingredients. Enriched with the goodness of essential fatty acids that converts to DHA (an omega-3) and ARA (an omega-6), it uses only naturally-sourced vitamins against petroleum-based substitutes. It constitutes of DHA from eggs against algae and even brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup solids- now you know what we mean by high-quality ingredients! The absence of such ingredients is, in fact, what makes this formula a friendly formula for babies with sensitive stomachs.
The only downside here is the fact that though it does not contain lactose, it cannot be ignored that it does contain syrup and malt dextrin as the primary source of carbohydrates.
8. Amazon Mama Bear Organic Infant Formula
Amazon runs a private label brand called Mama Bear and this one formula is amongst the many formulas the brand sells like Gentle, Sensitive, and Advanced. However, this made it to the list amongst others because this is the only USDA organic formula of all. Suitable for feeding right from the birth up to 12 months of age,
This formula is based primarily on the goodness of non-fat cow’s milk. Other ingredients of the Amazon mama bear formula include maltodextrin, corn syrup solids, and four oils: palm, soy, coconut, and safflower, or sunflower.
It should be pointed out, however, that this formula uses corn syrup solids and malt dextrin as the carbohydrate source instead of lactose. The bad news: both of these ingredients are not recommended for baby formulas. Lactose is ideally suited since it is also the primary carbohydrate in breast milk. It does have fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, it also contains prebiotics, Omega-3 (DHA and ARA), and Omega-6 (LA). But again, Omega-3 content in this is derived from M. Alpina oil and Cohnii oil, mostly by using a g hexane solvent, acid, or bleach as a part of their extraction. Hence, this one might not be your pick if you are looking for baby formula with a macronutrient profile close to that of a mother’s milk. But for parents looking for a lactose-free formula, this one, at under $1 per ounce, could be an option.
9. Similac Organic Infant Formula
Like most other brands, even Similac has a range of baby formulas including Pro-Advance, Pro-Total Comfort, Advance, Sensitive, Pro-Sensitive, Spit-Up, and Alimentum variants. The huge choice range with Similac can also cause parents to find themselves in a fix. But honestly, this baby formula, the Similac organic infant formula is far ahead from others. Based on organic non-fat cow’s milk and secondary ingredients including malt dextrin, sugar, and three oils: sunflower, soy, and coconut, this formula is suitable for babies from birth to 12 months of age. Though a baby’s body processes maltodextrin like sugar, the ingredient can be accepted here. This is because this formula does not use lactose or whey powder like some other formulas that eventually and indirectly add sugar. The use of sunflower oil works great as it negates the need of using the infamous palm oil. However, the soy allergen information should be taken into account. This formula also has vitamins and minerals like 1.8mg iron, 1.5IU vitamin, and Lutein, DHA, choline.
A minor issue with this formula could be its solubility issue. It is known to not dissolve in water completely which causes some grainy residue in the bottle if let alone for some time. You would have to shake the bottle again and again which could be a problem for babies sensitive to gas issues. It is also more expensive than other organic formulas, despite the use of less-preferred ingredients as spoken of before.
10. Holle Bio Pre Baby Formula
This one has a lot of things going right for a baby formula and let us tell you why. For the starters, the macronutrient profile of this formula is closest to a mother’s milk, meeting the USDA AND FDA regulations. The formula comes in two infant formula stages, Holle Pre and Holle Stage 1, both suitable for use right from birth, both containing the favourable Omega-3 and Omega-6 (LA, ALA, and DHA). Neither of the two variants uses any artificial flavours, thickening agents, colours, sweeteners, or chemicals that you can think of. There is a cow version that is made of organic whole milk (for pre) and skim milk (for stages 1+) and whey as the primary ingredient, followed by organic vegetable oils (palm, rapeseed, sunflower), and vitamins and minerals as secondary constituents. The other version, the goat version, is recommended for babies that are intolerant towards cow’s milk as it uses organic goat milk and lactose along with vegetable oils, vitamins, and minerals as its constituents. However, it is always recommended to consult an expert before switching formulas.
The only serious problem with this formula is that it is pricey. It stands at about $1.75 per ounce as compared to Baby’s Only Organic formula which stands at $1.15/ounce, and Loulouka at just $1.00/ounce. Besides, a less serious problem, it contains palm oil. But if you are okay with the price and the palm oil, this one is recommended for its seriously high-quality ingredients and other noteworthy constituents.
All said and done-
We hope we have now proved a point by listing down ten best baby formulas, supporting the stand with the in-depth insights on the ingredients and macronutrient profile – it is not wrong to use a formula for your baby! It is just as much a choice as only using breast milk. Educate yourself on what will suit your baby’s needs the most, pick from an organic formula that meets the recommendation of the experts and you really are good to go, mamma!