There is hardly anything that can replace the benefits of breastfeeding for your baby. Experts agree that this is the recommended option for your child’s long term health and development. However, there are situations in which breastfeeding is hard to come by. This generally happens either because the mother is ill and unable to breastfeed, or because the baby might be sensitive to breast milk.
This is when a milk formula is considered. Whether commercial or homemade, formula has the role to simulate the properties of human milk and become a complete or partial substitute for it.
Commercial formula and its dangers
One of the dangers the commercial formula may present is the BPA, or bisphenol A, an organic synthetic compound usually found in the packaging of the product. It has been categorized as a hormone disruptor and linked to several health problems to the brain, breast or prostate, has been referred to as a contributor to ADHD, early puberty and risk of obesity.
One other risk of the commercial product is the processing under high heat it is exposed to, which typically leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products, called AGES. For the health and safety of your child, you might want to know that the AGEs present in the commercial form have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes and insulin resistance as well as heart diseases.
Homemade formula risks
Firstly, there’s a risk of an imbalance of nutrients and that the formula made in the kitchen doesn’t cover the right doses your baby needs of each nutrient. This could happen either because the recipe doesn’t properly cover the requirements or due to errors in measurements in the preparation. This might lead to excessive weight gain, undernourishment or other short and long term complications.
There’s also a risk of contamination and exposure to different types of bacteria to consider. This happens because there is no regulation to supervise or guidelines for a mother to follow in the preparation, handling and storage of the homemade formula. Meaning that while the homemade alternative may be safer and healthier for your child, it requires high caution.
Basics to making your own formula
Keeping in mind both the benefits and dangers of choosing the homemade milk formula, some mothers still prefer it over the commercial formula. If you’re one of them, here are the basics you need to know.
Generally speaking, the recommended recipe is the formula of raw milk for babies. It takes into account the information that the best alternative to the breast milk is considered to be the raw milk from grass-fed cows. It also accounts for making the formula easier to digest for your baby.
List of ingredients:
- Whole raw cow milk (2 cups)
- Water ( 2 cups)
- Liquid whey (1/4 cup). Never use the powdered, commercialized one, especially those that come from making cheese. You can make your own homemade whey or you can use those from raw milk, kefir, or yogurt.
- Acerola powder (1/4 teaspoons)
- Lactose (4 tablespoons)
- Coconut oil (2 teaspoons)
- Unflavored high-vitamin cod liver oil (1/2 teaspoon)
- bifidobacterium infantis powder (1/4 teaspoon)
- Quality cream (2 or more tablespoons) ,
- High-vitamin butter oil (1/4 teaspoon)
- Expressed sunflower oil (1 teaspoon)
- Nutritional yeast flakes (2 teaspoons)
- Gelatin (2 teaspoons)
- Extra virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)
- Put the water into a measuring cup. Try to get about two spoonfuls from it.
- When you have about 1 and 7/8 cups of water, pour half of it into the pan.
- Place it on medium heat.
- Add the lactose and gelatin in the pan. Dissolve.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the other half of water to make the mixture cool.
- Add the butter and coconut oil into the mixture.
- Place the other ingredients into a blender.
- Add the mixture into the blender.
- Place it in a bottle. Refrigerate.
There are variations of this recipe using goat milk, but not recommended due to the fact the goat milk is rich in fat, lacks folic acid and is low in vitamin B12. All of which are important to your child’s growth and development.