How to choose milk formula


Updated: 25.01.2021 17:01:38

Mother’s milk is the best food for a baby. But if a woman cannot feed a baby or wants to transfer him to a mixed diet, she buys a milk formula.


  1. The composition of the milk mixture
  2. Purpose
  3. Child’s age
  4. Adapted and non-adapted mixtures
  5. What mixture to choose

What to look for when choosing

types of milk formulas

The composition of the milk mixture

Many milk formulas use cow’s milk. Some substitute products are made from goat milk or soy protein. If a baby is diagnosed with lactose intolerance, he is assigned a mixture based on soy. Goat milk is used for allergies to cow protein. But the baby’s body may not accept food based on goat protein.

Milk formula should be similar to mother’s milk. Therefore, it contains proteins, vitamins, nucleotides, lactose, vegetable oils and other useful substances.

Sometimes the product is added:

  1. Prebiotics. They increase the distribution of beneficial lactobacteria and bifidobacteria in the intestines. Useful in the treatment of constipation, help get rid of problems with the intestines. With a lack of prebiotics, dysbiosis develops, atopic eczema develops, and the functioning of the immune system worsens.
  2. Probiotics. These bacteria improve the functioning of the immune system, are used for flatulence, and promote digestion. They are used to prevent allergic reactions.
  3. Bifidobacteria. Recommended for intestinal infections, help the body absorb food, improve immunity.
  4. Starch. Contained in anti-reflux mixtures that prevent frequent and profuse regurgitation. It is added to conventional milk replacers to normalize stools and increase the nutritional value of the product. If consumed at an early age, it can cause flatulence and abdominal pain.
  5. Gluten. This plant-based protein is added to most formula milks. But it can cause allergies or intestinal upset in children younger than a year old. Sometimes babies develop gluten intolerance.
  6. Iron. Used to prevent anemia.

Often in the composition of baby food includes palm oil, which contains a lot of fatty acids. But some doctors claim that its regular consumption causes bone loss.

Milk formula should not contain sugar. Sucrose can cause allergies, lead to flatulence and cause pain in the tummy.

Before using any mixture, you should consult with your pediatrician.


prescribing formula milk

For premature babies, high-calorie milk substitutes are used that contain more protein and nutrients than conventional mixtures. They are included in the diet of babies who weigh less than 3 kg.

Anti-reflux mixtures contain starch or other thickeners. They help children who suffer from frequent spitting up.

If the crumbs have problems with the intestinal microflora, sour-milk mixtures are prescribed. They have a positive effect on the immune system and increase the growth of “good” microorganisms in the intestines. They can be given after antibiotic therapy.

Hypoallergenic products are suitable for children prone to developing allergies. They contain hydrolyzed protein, which, unlike cow protein, does not cause an allergic reaction.

Sometimes for the prevention or treatment of anemia (anemia) mixtures enriched with iron are prescribed.

There are products that do not contain milk sugar. They are prescribed for children with lactose intolerance. If the disease manifests itself in a mild form, the mother feeds the child a formula with a low level of milk sugar. It is impossible to feed a child with therapeutic and prophylactic mixtures without the consent of a pediatrician.

Milk formulas for mothers

Not only children can use formula milk. There is a special diet for mothers that increases lactation and improves the composition of breast milk. It contains many minerals (potassium, iodine, sodium, zinc, chromium), vitamins (B2, B9, C, retinol, nicotinamide), taurine, pectin and other useful compounds.

Child’s age

child's age

The composition of the milk formula depends on how many months the child is. The older the baby, the more nutritional components and non-adapted milk protein are contained in the product. Therefore, manufacturers always indicate the age and stage of the mixture.

  1. “0” step is designed for premature babies and small babies.
  2. “1” – designed for children from birth to six months.
  3. “2” – designed for 6-12-month-old babies.
  4. “3” and “4” – used in the diet of one-year-old children.
  5. “5” – designed for children over two years old.

When moving to the next step, it is recommended to feed the child with a mixture of the same manufacturer.

Adapted and non-adapted mixtures

adapted milk formulas

Tailored products are created from demineralized whey. They contain many vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Due to this, the composition of baby food is similar to the composition of breast milk. Because of this, it is more expensive. Adapted mixtures are used for children from birth to a year.

Non-adapted products are made from whole milk and therefore should not be used on children under 6 months of age. They are less digestible and are often “poorer” than adapted mixtures in terms of the content of nutrients.

Even when using an adapted diet, the baby may experience health problems: intestinal upset, rash, colic and flatulence. Therefore, the mixture must be introduced into the diet gradually. If, following all the instructions, the baby’s body still does not accept the product, the mixture must be changed.

What mixture to choose

which formula to choose

  1. For children with low weight, you need to choose a zero-stage milk formula with increased nutritional value. For babies under six months, the product must be adapted. And in the presence of allergies or intestinal disorders, treatment and prophylactic mixtures should be chosen, but they cannot be used without the approval of a doctor.
  2. When choosing a milk formula, pay attention to the type of milk formula. Liquid foods only need to be heated. They are convenient to take on a trip or visit. After opening the package, the mixture must not be stored.
  3. Dry milk replacers should be poured with boiled water before feeding. They can be stored for a month after opening the package.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose the right baby food and the secrets of choosing porridge for the first complementary foods and recommendations for choosing a high chair for feeding your baby.

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Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.


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