Over the years we have received calls from thousands of mums, dads, and grandparents, all needing their very important questions answered and we enjoy taking care in doing so.
To help us better understand what matters to families now (particularly in these strange COVID days) and to help us figure out how we can help more, we recently ran a survey with 500 mums across the UK who are currently using formula, either partially or fully. Over the coming weeks and months, we will share some of the interesting facts we discovered.
We may also be able to help dispel one or two myths, so stay tuned…
First-off, one striking fact emerged – that only 48% of Mums knew which type of milk the formula they were using was based on. Yet we also know how super important it is to all mums to know exactly what they are feeding their little ones. So, this result could only signal to us just how confusing the formula landscape is!
To help unravel and simplify this confusing topic, we’ve crafted a simple guide.
There are three main types (other than soy formulas or those available on prescription):
Cow’s milk-based formulas (all the mainstream brands…)
Specialist formulas such as comfort milks, anti-reflux, hungry baby milks and so on (also based on cow’s milk)
Goat milk-based formulas
Our survey included mums who were using all of the above – and what we saw was that 48% using well-known mainstream brands or specialist formulas did not know what they were based on (when given a choice of cow’s milk, goat milk etc to choose from). This was not true, however, for mums using Nannycare, who all understood that goat milk formed the base.
All infant formulas must include carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Pre-determined levels of each have been carefully thought through, after many years of research and understanding by specialist paediatric panels, before being set in legislation. You can therefore be very assured that all formulas approved for sale in the UK are safe and essentially very similar in terms of their end composition and nutritional value. They have to be, or they can’t be sold!
So, you really don’t have to worry whether everything the baby needs is included – the law makes sure it is – so you can relax! The main and key difference between formula products, and the first thing to really understand, is in fact the base milk they are made from – whether it is cow, goat or soy.
And this is exactly why we put such emphasis on the quality of our Nannycare goat milk base. Not all goat milks are equal since the majority are produced primarily for the very popular cheese market. In contrast, our special Nannycare goats are selected to produce milk with a protein profile which is more suited to feeding babies. Our goats are nurtured within a Co-operative of 71 farms in some of New Zealand’s richest pastures. All farms, as members of the same Co-Operative, have high-quality and uniform standards. Their sole focus is to produce the best quality goat milk for use in making baby formula. The care they take even extends to gentle transportation to ensure the nutritional integrity of the milk is maintained. Our Nannycare formulas are then made in a world class facility, purpose-built solely for making goat milk formula.
From time to time non-essential (optional) ingredients are approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for addition to food or baby formula over and above those which are compulsory by law. This means there is recognition that these extra ingredients are of potential value for a certain purpose but, while safe to add to food, there is yet a limited body of evidence. If eventually the body of research becomes substantial enough and it becomes clear that all manufacturers of baby formulas should add the ingredient (plus the optimum amount to add is also known), then in general this is also the point it will become compulsory and added to legislation. However, it is not always the case that optional ingredients are eventually proved to be needed and made compulsory.
At Nannycare we tend to take a conservative view on non-essential ingredients, adding them only when we are assured the body of evidence is clearly enough to prove a potential benefit and equally important, it is also clear what the optimum amount is to add. This is also likely to be close to the time that such an ingredient would be included in legislation, as happened very recently with DHA.
We believe it is best to take a conservative view because your baby has a delicate, developing system. Unnecessary or extra nutrients over and above those required still have to be stored or excreted (just as when we take supplements our bodies don’t absorb). This can place an extra unnecessary burden on the baby’s delicate metabolism and we believe it’s better to stay on the side of keeping it simple and gentle for baby.
With love and care from the Nannycare team
Breast feeding is best for babies. Always consult your healthcare professional for feeding advice.