Mother’s milk represents a unique biological and emotional foundation for a baby, being a natural type of food fully adapted to the digestive functions of the infant.
But for various objective reasons, many mothers have to switch their babies to formula. And then there is the question of how to choose the right product that’s as close as possible to mother’s milk. What vitamins and nutrients should be there in a formula?
Important nutrients that must be included in infant milk
- Protein. Breast milk contains 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per 100 grams. Some manufacturers believe that the protein content should be slightly higher than in women’s milk because the protein of cow’s milk is less digestible. Others prefer to mimic human milk as much as possible. For example, HiPP Dutch Stage 1 contains 1.2 grams of protein.
- Taurine. This amino acid is added to all formulas. It’s necessary for the development of vision, the nervous system, as well as for better absorption of fats.
- Vegetable oils. Some types of vegetable oils are added to all baby foods. Some manufacturers avoid adding palm and rapeseed oils to their products. However, these oils are still approved for baby food. For example, Holle Stage 4 has palm, rapeseed, and sunflower oils among its ingredients.
- Fatty acids (linolenic, linic, docosahexaenoic, eicosopetaenoic). They are necessary for the construction and functioning of cells, the development of the brain and the eye retina.
- Lactose (milk sugar). Important for child development. It improves digestion, the absorption of minerals, and promotes the development of lacto- and bifidobacteria.
- Prebiotics. These promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
- Probiotics help with digestion, strengthen the immune system, and fight allergies and infections.
- Nucleotides. These substances are important for child development and are involved in metabolism, building DNA, RNA, and strengthening the immune system.
- Vitamins and minerals.
- Choline. This substance is necessary for the nervous system.
Whatever choice you make, you can rest assured: all the baby foods on the market meet the standards in accordance with the regulation of the European Union and their production is strictly regulated.