European organic baby formula is what it sounds like: pure milk, non-clotted goat’s milk, and unprocessed fruits and vegetables. This means: all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are part of a normal, whole food diet can be found in these products. In many brands produced in North America, these same ingredients are only added after the fact. After all, it costs more to grow and process organic foods to make them available to consumers. The reason these companies feel they can get away with selling their products at a premium is because of the legal loophole allowing them to use the term “organic” on their labels.
differences in ingredients and not the differences in nutritional needs
To better understand the differences in European organic baby formula, we have to first understand how different these products are, overall. The vast majority of brands sold in this country are actually sold under the pretense of being “non-organic”. Through the years, as our knowledge of the nutritional needs of infants and our knowledge of genetic risks have increased, there has been a push to turn this team around and sell European-made infant formula as “organic”. (The only problem with calling these types of formulas “organic”, is that most people don’t know that the term refers to the differences in ingredients and not the differences in nutritional needs.)
probiotic live culture, enzymes, carbohydrates, and vitamins
Most European organic baby formula contains the four main ingredients: probiotic live culture, enzymes, carbohydrates, and vitamins. (The US government and non-profit groups are promoting the use of European-grown products call the rest of these ingredients “nutritious” or “life-enhancing”, but the US FDA does not allow these terms to be used on the product labels.) Most brands of European organic baby formula contain the vitamins and minerals found in breast milk for infants, or a combination of these ingredients that are similar enough for most infants to consume in their regular daily diet. There have been many studies done comparing typical US baby formulas to these healthier, European options, and the results show that babies who have been fed exclusively on these European-produced formulas for six months or more develop significantly lower incidence of common childhood diseases like ear infections, diarrhea, and bad breath, and they also show a significant decrease in allergies, rhinitis, and vomiting of infants.
organic baby formula offerings is probiotics
The biggest difference between traditional baby formulas and these healthier, European organic baby formula offerings is probiotics. While both are primarily made up of cultures, the Europeans go the extra mile and use a culture that is very sensitive to the digestive system of the animals it comes from. The result is a higher concentration of beneficial bacteria that helps to support the growth of healthy bacteria, along with increasing the acidity of the stomach, thus lessening the risk of ulcers in young children. As an additional benefit, the probiotic cultures add essential vitamins and minerals to the food the baby ingests. These European formulas are designed so that the baby gets all of the necessary nutrition for his/her developing body and digestive system.
probiotics naturally contain good bacteria
Interestingly enough, the probiotics that are found in these European formulas are actually not the live cultures, but rather a form of what is known as “prebiotics”. This is important because although many parents believe that probiotics aid in the prevention of diarrhea and other illnesses in their baby, there are actually some studies to indicate that they actually increase the risk of becoming ill. Since probiotics naturally contain good bacteria that help to maintain a healthy intestinal tract, it only makes sense that supplementing these good bacteria will help to protect the baby’s system.
The final difference between the European organic and traditional forms is that these do not utilize what is called “essential vitamins”. Essential vitamins are the types of nutrients that your baby needs the most at different stages of his/her development. Unfortunately, these vitamins are very difficult to absorb by a baby in the first months of life. For this reason, many parents have chosen the European formula simply because it is based on a form of “prebiotics” that is easier for them to take in. In addition, it is a less expensive option than some of the other brands available on the market today.