Baby formula from Europe is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, despite the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that it is not only illegal to purchase it but that it is unsafe for your baby to consume. Because of the rise in popularity, more baby formula brands in America have started to adopt some of the same features as European formula. This includes not using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and being organic. Baby formulas with these qualities that are made by US-based brands are now becoming increasingly available across America.
Let us take a look at European baby formula to see how it is in comparison to some of the other types of formulas currently available for purchase in the United States.
American baby formula versus European baby formula
When it comes to baby formula, things are done somewhat differently in Europe. By understanding exactly what these differences are, parents can save themselves time and make sure that they make the correct choice for their baby. Whilst being organic and not using GMOs is not a legal requirement in Europe, it is a commonplace given the fact that there is lots of organic farming being done there anyway.
- American baby formula – both American and European formulas are good for acting as substitutes for or as a supplement to breast milk. There are a couple of differences between them that are worth pointing out. For instance, formula from the United States is often sweetened using certain plant ingredients like sucrose or corn syrup. Whereas in Europe, they are sweetened using animal-based products. In order to provide your baby with a greater source of energy, many American baby formulas contain milk from various different animals, including goats and cows. If required, then lactose-free baby formulas are available, and these are typically made from soya.
- European baby formula – just like American baby formula is, European baby formula is made as an alternative to breast milk. Because breast milk is naturally sweet-tasting, the baby formula in Europe includes lactose that comes from cows. In addition to this, it includes different types of animal milk in order to provide all of the protein that babies require. In fact, Europe was one of the very first places to introduce goat’s milk into the baby formula as an alternative to cow’s milk. The food guidelines in Europe are generally much more restrictive than what they are in America. For example, in Europe, it is recommended that older infants should have 1.7 mg of iron, whereas, in America, it is recommended that they have between 0.15 mg and 3.30 mg.
- Breastmilk – where possible, most parents choose to give their babies breast milk as it is both developed and sourced by the mother, so it is 100 percent natural. The nutrients that are in it are perfect for giving babies the proteins, carbohydrates, and energy that are required for them to grow and develop. It also includes essential vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K. Also present in breast milk are various hormones, enzymes, and living cells that cannot be added to baby formula. The benefit of having living cells, such as leukocytes, present is that it helps babies to fight off infections.
European baby formula comes in stages
Most of the formulas made in the United States are one size fits all, and then these are followed by toddler milk. However, the top european baby formula, EU certified baby formula is made in different categories based on the age of a baby. Each of these stages has been specially tailored to the required European regulations for the specific age bracket that it is aimed at. This ensures that they get all of the nutrients etc., that they require in order to develop correctly. For instance, each formula is made up of the perfect blend of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, and fats that is needed for a specific developmental stage.
Why do American parents want European baby formula
Over recent years, a large number of parents in the United States have been taking it upon themselves to use European baby formula. The reason for this is that many of them use probiotics, and goat’s milk, do not contain GMOs, and the main sugar is lactose.
With European rules and regulations regarding baby formula being much more restrictive on what ingredients can be included, the content tends to be much more natural and usually organic also.
One example of this is arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are required to be added to European baby formula but not American baby formula. Many parents in the United States like this, and so they tend to favor the European-made stuff over the baby formula made in America.
The ingredients included in European formula are very much tailored to the specific needs of a baby as they go through the various different developmental stages. Even better is that very few preservatives are added to a baby formula that is made in Europe. This can be proven to be highly beneficial for those babies that have sensitive digestive systems.
The risk of importing baby formula from Europe
Given the fact that European baby formula is actually illegal in the United States, the product can be seized at the border, so you may never receive it. Then there are various issues around shipping, recalls, and language differences, which all make importing baby formula from Europe rather risky.
- Shipping – it is impossible to know how well the product will be shipped, so it may turn up damaged.
- Recalls – if there so happens to be a recall on the baby formula, then parents in the United States may never know this and so will continue to use it.
- Language – most products coming from mainland Europe (i.e., not the UK) will come in packaging that is not in English. This means that you can quite easily misinterpret the instructions and do something wrong.