Disclaimer: World Health Organization recommends that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition up to six months old and combined with food for up to two years.
Relax, Protein Factory ain’t going mainstream! Don’t worry. My #1 focus will always be bodybuilding products, but for this article, just consider it my public service announcement to help with this current baby formula shortage situation. Because I have some valuable insights.
The baby formula shortage here in the United States (because it ain’t happening anywhere else in the world, believe it or not!) has me inspired to write this article. Because there is a relationship between protein powders that you can buy on my website and baby formulas, so I figure it does fit in with my blog. Baby formulas are essential baby meal replacement powders. They contain protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals. I have been formulating sports nutrition meal replacement powders for over two decades. MRPs made for bodybuilders are not too much different than baby MRPs. That makes them easy for me to analyze and share my opinion of them with you. Look, some of you might not be interested in this article, but many of you probably have a baby or know someone who does. Please share with them this blog post.
I have always known that most baby formulas today are GARBAGE on the mass market shelves. Not only that, but they are downright bad for the babies’ health. Therefore, let us look at some popular baby formulas, and I’ll tell you why you’re better off just giving them protein powder and some vitamins.
I created a rating system. Human breast milk is the best for babies, with the highest ranking. Ranking goes from 0 to 5 nipples.
In addition, I just analyzed the main ingredients. All the other ingredients are just vitamins and minerals. Nothing special. What counts is what makes up 95% to 98% of the entire formula.
Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder, Gentle Soy
My rating is disgusting man boobs 1/2 nipple.
The name alone should make one run for the hills. Soy, are you fucking kidding me? I’d love someone to debate me on the use of soy for babies instead of milk proteins. There is not one reason anyone, let alone babies, should be consuming soy. But it gets worse.
Look at this lineup of ingredients. It’s essentially four ingredients. Corn maltodextrin, vegetable oil blend, hydrolyzed soy protein, and sugar. They can’t be serious. Is this what they want babies to consume? In all honestly, I’d be embarrassed if I sold this to someone.
Simply Organic Baby Formula by Enfamil
Rating: 1.5 nipples
I give them an A for the effort by the organic ingredients, but it takes a significant downside for me when I see they used SOY. Look, the use of soy in baby formula or even protein powders for that matter, has one reason and one reason only, PRICE. This formula is just four ingredients as well—nonfat milk for the protein, vegetable oil blend, lactose, and maltodextrin.
Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Baby Formula, Ultra Gentle Formula
Rating: 2 nipples
This formula is 3 ingredients. Lactose, hydrolyzed whey protein, and an oil blend. I have them points for using hydrolyzed whey protein and being organic, but I deducted some points for using krappy oils, including soy oil.
Nestle Nan Pro Toddler Drink Powder, Original
Rating: 1 nipple
The first two ingredients are reduced mineral whey and skimmed milk powder. But it gets bad….maltodextrin, what a garbage ingredient ot use. Then an oil blend, then calcium citrate and lactose.
PurAmino Hypoallergenic Infant Drink
Rating: 2.5 nipples
This is interesting as they do not use protein powders but instead a blend of amino acids. However, the first ingredient is corn syrup solids, which immediately makes me suspect the formula. But what I like about this formula is they tell you the percentage of ingredients they used, which I like a lot. After the amino acids, they used MCT and a couple of other oils, and some starch. Not a bad formula, too bad they just used a protein powder instead of the amino acids. But this formula is decent. The one issue I have with it is the source of protein. In my opinion, free-form amino acids are questionable for triggering muscle protein synthesis.
Amazon Brand – Mama Bear Gentle Baby Formula Milk-Based Powder with Iron
Rating: 1.5 nipples.
Hmmmm, who would have thought that Jeff Bezos knew anything about baby formulas? Guess he does..NOT! The first ingredient is corn syrup, which is just processed sugar, then nonfat dry milk, palm oil, hydrolyzed whey, and then an oil blend. On the plus side, at least it does not have soy. But major thumb down as the first ingredient is sugar.
Kendamil Stage 2 – Organic Follow On Milk Formula
Rating: 4 nipples
This is a great formula. Most of the ingredients are real and organic. No soy, no corn syrup, no maltodextrin, or high fructose corn syrup. Here are the ingredeints: Organic whole milk, Organic skimmed milk, Organic lactose (from milk), Organic demineralised milk whey protein powder, Organic vegetable Oils (sunflower, coconut, rapeseed), Organic Galacto-oligosaccharide (from milk).
Little Oak Natural Goat Milk Infant Formula 2
Rating: 4.5 nipples
This New Zealand-made baby formula has four main ingredients which are, goats milk, lactose, oil blend, and GOS. I cannot find anything wrong with this formula. It is one of the best in the world. Honestly, how do you compare this formula to the Gerber one, which was mainly soy and sugar? Not even comparable.
Rating: 4.5 nipples
One of my favorite things about this infant formula from New Zealand is that it was formulated by Fonterra. My New Zealand whey protein is from Fonterra. This formula contains great ingredients plus other essential micronutrients that I did not see in mass-market formulas.
Milk solids (Demineralised whey powder, Skim milk, Lactose, Whey protein concentrate), Vegetable oils (contains soy oil), Reduced fat cream powder, Arachidonic acid (from M. Alpina oil), Fructo-oligosaccharides, Docosahexaenoic acid.
Enspire Infant Formula with MFGM & Lactoferrin
Rating: 3.5 nipples
This is the best American formula I could find. No corn syrup, maltodextrin, or sugar in the main ingredients. Its main ingredients are nonfat milk, oil blend, whey protein concentrate, and lactose. It also contains lactoferrin and other micronutrients.
Making Your Own Baby Formula
I invented protein customization about 20 years ago. People would go to proteinfactory.com and request, for example, 50% whey, 25% egg, and 25% casein. Essentially, customers can choose any percentage they want.
Technically we can do the same thing for baby formula. The main ingredients are straightforward, and they are broken down as follows: approximately 10 % Protein, 50% carbs, and 25% fat. The ingredients are easy to find.
Let us do that, shall we?
First is the protein powder. I would go with my native whey protein concentrate or a hydrolyzed whey protein powder.
Next is the carbohydrates; I would go with goat milk lactose.
Now some fat, most infant formula companies use sunflower oil, soy oil, mct oil, or flax oil.
I would go with goat milk cream and a combo of sunflower oil and flax oil.
Next are the vitamins and minerals. These can easily be found, and one would simply add them to the formula.
Finally, we come to a problem, and that is ARA and the DHA. From what could determine, consumers cannot purchase these vital oils for infants. I found them from various manufacturers, of course, but these companies only sell business to business.
In conclusion, baby formulas are not much different than bodybuilding meal replace powders. And just like the sports nutrition industry, the baby formula industry is filled with junk, low-quality products disguised as high-quality products. The truth is, the unsuspecting parent looking for the best baby formula is going to buy a low-quality powder because they are not trained to differentiate the good vs bad vs ugly formulas. The parent is going to be fooled by slick marketing. The best baby formulas are NOT made in America, they are made mostly in New Zealand.
And for the record, nothing can compare to breastfeeding. It is the ultimate nutrition for the newborn. Breastmilk will change as the baby gets older and even changes at night to help the baby sleep. Mother nature is a miracle worker for sure.
If you would like me to review a baby formula email me or text me 732-901-9600.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.