There’s no lack of baby formula products in the US stores. And yet, many parents in Northern America choose European infant milks. It’s no easy feat: you can’t legally buy European formulas in the US. And still, people do their utmost to find a way.
But why is European formula so coveted among American customers? Is it worth all the trouble? What do the EU baby foods have that the US ones don’t? Let’s find out.
European baby formulas are healthier?
On a surface level, all infant foods are similar but European and US formulas have a number of differences. Some of these differences make parents believe that milks produced in the EU are a healthier option.
For example, US formulas are generally rich in iron. Iron isn’t an unhealthy ingredient per se but it is said to cause digestive issues such as constipation. This is why many parents whose babies are prone to these problems prefer buying European formulas.
Another thing is that European formula brands try to make their products as similar to breast milk as possible. This means that the majority of carbs in these foods come from lactose. It digests easily and unless your baby is lactose intolerant, is completely safe for your baby. On the other hand, US baby formulas often include corn syrup and sucrose. Many parents don’t see these components as healthy.
To be fair, it should be noted that not all American brands add sucrose and corn syrup to their products. Some European brands use carb sources other than lactose.
European infant milks are environmentally friendly
According to the EU regulations, dairy cows have to be fed only organic fodder in case farmers want to label their products as organic. European formulas are based on milk that comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows. What’s more, EU infant food brands use whole milk in their products.
Brands such as Hipp and Holle produce 100% organic baby formula: HiPP Baby Formula and Holle Formula.
European formulas are easier to understand
Far from all parents have degrees in chemistry, biology, or nutrition. When you look at the list of ingredients, you don’t want to see long and weird-looking names of chemical compounds. You just want to know what they are. European brands seem to understand that and offer short and simple ingredient lists and instructions.
European formulas are required to meet higher standards
Both European and US-based baby formula brands have to meet very strict requirements. But it seems like in the EU, these standards are more strict and specific. For example, you won’t find any GMO-based components in the European infant milks. No sucrose is allowed either. At the same time, US requirements for the same products can sometimes be vague.
There’s no denying that as a parent, it’s you who should choose what’s best for your baby. But whether it’s European baby formula or that produced in the US, remember to talk to your pediatrician before making a purchase.