In the baby infant formula, there are five major components that are used. They are protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. Along with these five components, there are also other nutrients that are present with them. It is based on these different nutrients that the various brands vary. Whey and Casein are the two types of cow’s milk protein that can be found in different proportions in different brands.
- Protein: Generally, casein and whey can be found in the ratio 2:3 in breast milk. Almost all formulas have the same content while there are others that have only whey 100 percent. If your baby has protein allergy, you should also avoid using partially hydrolyzed formula since they are not hypoallergenic. However, studies show that in order to reduce eczema, partially hydrolysed why formula are said to better than cow’s milk formula. In order to allow easy digestion, extensively hydrolyzed formula is used, which contains broken down protein. If babies have protein allergy, these formulas, also called hypoallergenic formulas, are used.
- Carbohydrates: A major component of carbohydrates is lactose which can be found in both formulas and breast milk. The lactose is made from cow’s milk and can also be used in the formula as carbohydrates. Special formulas, soy and lactose-free formula contains one of the following carbohydrates: modified corn starch, corn maltodextrin, sucrose or corn syrup solids.
- Fats: Breast milk has saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated in a blended and balanced manner. To match this fat, a variety of oils are used in formulas. These oils include high oleic sunflower oil, palm olein oil, coconut oil and soy oil. Studies have also shown that the use of palm olein oil or palm oil is said to decrease absorption of calcium and fat. This indicates that a formula that doesn’t have oil will also provide your baby with the same amount of calcium and fat. On the other hand, MCTs can be absorbed comparatively fast and hence are used to develop premature infants formula.
Most of the minerals and vitamins that are used in the formula are mentioned on the label and are also AAP recommended, for babies that are not breast-fed. Though there are a range of formulas available and many brands provide it, breast-feeding is the best food for your child exclusively till the completion of 6 months and even afterwards to maintain their immunity.