The Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formula
Children even as young as infants can develop a sensitivity to food. A food intolerance is a sensitivity that can lead to discomforts such as colic, reflux, or upset stomach. A food allergy occurs when the body reacts to certain food. Reactions range from skin rashes and eczema to hives and bloody stools. In severe cases, anaphylaxis is a result.
Infants rely on breastmilk or baby formula as their primary source of nutrition for the first six months before they can start solids. If a pediatrician or allergist confirms that there is an intolerance or allergy to ingredients such as milk, milk protein, or lactose, then a parent wants to be able to find the right kind of food that will reduce the likelihood of a reaction.
The best hypoallergenic baby formulas are available to infants who are dealing with food intolerances and allergies so that they can grow and be healthy with fewer incidences of reactions. Some of the baby formulas are organic and some originate from other countries. We have listed seven of the best hypoallergenic baby formulas both in stores and online.
The 7 Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
The best hypoallergenic baby formulas are better than others for reasons of ingredients and ability to reduce the incidence of reactions. Some products are better for certain circumstances and symptoms.
HiPP HA is ideal for cow milk sensitivity or allergy. It contains prebiotics for digestive healthy just like regular HiPP, but it also has no casein (the milk protein that can trigger an allergic reaction). The whey protein is extensively hydrolyzed, or broken down into smaller pieces to reduce allergies and make it easier to digest.
HiPP Comfort is similar to HiPP in its efforts to reduce symptoms. It is also extensively hydrolyzed with zero casein, but it also has reduced lactose and modified fats to make it even easier for a baby to digest.
Kabrita is a goat milk formula that can bring relief to some babies who are sensitive to cow milk protein. It is not hydrolyzed, but it has naturally smaller proteins and less casein so that it is easier to tolerate. Kabrita also has prebiotics.
Similac Alimentum is one of the U.S. formulas recommended for babies who have been diagnosed with milk protein allergies. When HiPP HA or Comfort do not work on reducing or relieving allergy symptoms, Alimentum may be the next step because it is even more hydrolyzed than HiPP.
Enfamil Nutramigen is another U.S. formula that is even more hydrolyzed than HiPP brand. For this reason, it is recommended for babies who have been diagnosed with milk protein allergy.
EleCare is an amino acid based formula. When a baby cannot tolerate formula that is hydrolyzed, the next step is amino acid. EleCare still contains the vitamins and nutrients necessary for a baby’s growth and development. It is also more expensive and may require a prescription.
Neocate is another brand of amino acid based formula. Just like EleCare, it is for babies who cannot tolerate any other type of formula. Neocate contains nucleotides to improve a baby’s immune system. It is also more expensive and may require a prescription.
What Types of Hypoallergenic Formulas are Out There?
The ingredients and methods used to produce hypoallergenic formulas help parents find the right product for their child’s allergies. Some ingredients are swapped while proteins are hydrolyzed more extensively than others.
Soy formulas are plant-based from soybeans with all of the same required nutrients as milk-based formulas. It is an ideal type of formula for those who cannot tolerate dairy. The drawback is that those babies who are allergic to milk protein will have the same reaction to the proteins in soy formulas. There are also concerns about the long-term effects of soy for babies.
Goat Milk Formulas
Goat milk formulas is an option for babies who are sensitive to milk protein. Goat milk has naturally smaller proteins and a softer curd that is easier to digest. Kabrita as well as Holle and NannyCare are all brands that produce organic goat milk formula. This type of formula is good for babies with milk protein sensitivity but not allergies.
Goat Milk - Holle
Goat Milk - NannyCare
Extensively Hydrolyzed Formulas
Extensively hydrolyzed formulas means that the proteins (casein or whey) are broken down so small that it is less likely to trigger allergic reactions. HiPP HA is broken down about 86-87% while Alimentum and Nutramigen are closer to 93%.
Amino Acid Based Formulas
Amino acid based formulas are unique compared to hydrolyzed formulas because it uses the building blocks of proteins - amino acids - rather than the whole molecule. Since the protein is so small, it is easier for a baby diagnosed with severe milk protein allergies to digest it with a reduced risk of an allergic reaction.
Why are European Hypoallergenic Formulas Better than US Formulas?
European baby formulas are preferred by parents for many reasons over US formulas. The EU has guidelines that are more strict than US regulations.
- Types of sugars. European baby formulas are not allowed to use processed or refined sugars as they are too sweet for babies. US formulas will add more sugars to improve the taste of the product.
- Preservatives. Synthetic preservatives are not included in European hypoallergenic formulas. Nor are natural preservatives that can have negative effects. Carrageenan, a common preservative and emulsifier, can actually cause inflammation and digestive system damage.
- Synthetic nutrients. Baby formula is fortified to ensure that all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that are crucial to growth and development are included in every feeding. However, some of the ingredients selected by some US companies are toxic or processed using neurotoxic solvents. Toxins and neurotoxins have adverse effects on a child’s physical and mental health including developmental problems and attention deficits. These ingredients and methods are prohibited in the European countries.
- Taste and smell. Anyone who has opened a new container of US hypoallergenic baby formula understands the harsh, foul smell of the product. US companies will suggest that the smell comes from the hydrolyzed proteins. European companies do not have to mask a smell or taste, therefore they do not have to add extra sugars or sweeteners to make it more palatable.
What are Really Bad US Formulas?
The top three bad US formulas that are some of the best hypoallergenic formulas in the US. The reasons why they are bad are the reasons why European baby formula is better than them. Sugars such as corn syrup solids and corn maltodextrin make almost half of the formula.
The choice for the best hypoallergenic baby formula depends on the severity of a baby’s allergic diagnosis. For milk protein sensitivity, a baby may find more relief with a goat milk formula or HiPP HA. If that does not work, HiPP Comfort may be more tolerated because of the reduced lactose and fats. The extensively hydrolyzed brands of Alimentum and Nutramigen may not have everything you want in a baby formula, but it will be less likely to trigger allergic reactions. For the most severe allergies, Neocate and EleCare are the most expensive, but the most tolerable for the infants who need it.
To find the best organic hypoallergenic baby formulas from Europe that we offer, search on our website and have the best product you need delivered to your door.