When deciding how best to feed your baby, there are several options available. Infant formula is convenient and nutritionally complete, and a worthy alternative if you choose not to breastfeed. There is a growing interest in organic baby formula, as it is assumed to be of better quality than regular varieties.
But is this really the case? In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the differences between organic and regular baby formula, and whether it represents a significant improvement that justifies the often-inflated price.
What are the differences between organic and regular baby formula?
Organic baby formula is a type of infant milk that is comprised of non-GMO, natural ingredients that have been grown and handled without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Regular baby formula will not necessarily contain a specifically organic profile, although some ingredients in regular formula may still have these attributes.
As is the case with organic food in general, it is assumed that organic formula comes with significant health benefits, over and above that of regular infant milk. As such, these products are usually significantly more expensive.
What are the health benefits of organic formula?
Whilst it is true that organic baby formula is derived from ingredients that are natural and not genetically-modified, current research does not indicate that there is a significant health benefit to using an organic product over regular formula. In an article from 2006, nutrition experts Faidon Magkos, Fotini Arvaniti, and Antonis Zampelas stated that “There is currently no evidence to support or refute claims that organic food is safer and thus, healthier, than conventional food, or vice versa.”
Whilst there is still research to be done, current understanding does not point toward an inherent superiority of organic baby food. Parents may find that the environmental benefits of an organic formula to be worthwhile, and some babies might prefer the taste, but in terms of nutritional profile, organic and regular formulas are equal.
Is it worth the investment?
This depends entirely on your preferences. If you’re inclined to choose natural ingredients more generally, then organic baby formula may be the right choice for your baby. Take into account the increased cost of feeding your child with these products; over time, this can constitute a significant expense. The most important thing to remember is that if you decide not to use organic formula, you are not doing your baby any harm. Both varieties will provide the nutrition they need to be healthy and happy!