Best Organic Baby Formula of 2017

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Best Nontoxic Baby Formula of 2017

For mothers who don't breastfeed their children, a great baby formula is a necessity.

Choosing not to breastfeed is a choice that you'll have to make on your own, but if you do decide to go with a formula, you'll want to make sure that you choose the right one and that it includes everything that your child needs to grow up happy and healthy.

Unfortunately, navigating the minefield of baby formula varieties is a lot harder than you may have expected.

As crazy as it sounds, many baby formulas contain toxic ingredients that are unhealthy for your child and may include unintended side effects on your baby's growth and development.

I don't need to tell you that at this point in your child's life, it's crucial that they get the nutrition that they need and deserve.

Luckily, here at Nontoxic Reboot, we've combed through the research to find the best organic baby formulas for you to use in 2017. We've searched to find the absolute best formula choices on the market that are free from these toxic chemicals.

Top 5 Organic Baby Formulas

Conventional Baby Formula

Most standard baby formulas you can buy include toxic ingredients that have been proven to cause harm or are extremely suspect.

These ingredients can include harmful GMOs as well as corn and soy. Harmful refined sugars such as corn syrup and maltodextrin are common in baby formulas.

Most standard baby formulas you can buy include toxic ingredients that have been proven to cause harm or are extremely suspect.

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Synthetic ingredients such as harmful proteins, vitamins, and minerals are also commonly found along with unhealthy fats and dangerous neurotoxins.

For a closer look at some common ingredients found in typical baby formulas, this YouTube video gives a quick look and analysis of the ingredients in a popular baby formula by Enfamil.

What Chemicals and Materials Are Found in Most Baby Formulas?

Chemical or Material

Health Hazards

Safe to Use?

Fatty Acids

ARA and DHA

  • Vertigo
  • Drowsiness
  • Neuropathy
  • Anorexia
  • Diminished reflexes

NO!

Palm Oil

  • Forms a "soap" in the child's intestines
  • Decreased bone density

NO!

Carrageenan

  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Stomach inflammation
  • Possible carcinogen

NO!

Soy

  • Hurts sexual development and reproduction
  • Hurts thyroid function
  • Hurts immune function
  • Hurts brain development 

NO???

More research needed - We lean towards NO

Fatty Acids - ARA (M. Alpina Oil) and DHA (C. Cohnii oil)

Verdict: No!

The fatty acids ARA and DHA are both found in natural breast milk. As a result, many manufacturers add these fatty acids to store-bought baby formulas as well.

The problem is that ARA and DHA that are included in formulas are not the same. They are usually extracted from algae and fungus using hexane.

According to the World Health Organization, hexane can cause a variety of problems including vertigo, dizziness, and drowsiness from just one exposure, and neuropathy, anorexia, and diminished reflexes with long-term exposure.

The National Organic Standards Board (NSOB) has disapproved of the use of hexane extraction. Unfortunately, the USDA still allows it in the United States, and many formula brands use it to include ARA and DHA.

Palm Oil

Verdict: No!

Palm oil is also found in most baby formulas and is meant to emulate the palmitic acid which is found in breastmilk.

It has been discovered however that infants do not properly absorb palm oil. Instead, palm oil forms as "soap" in the child's intestines, and can lead to decreased bone density.

Refined Sugars (Corn Syrup, Sugar, Brown Rice Syrup, Maltodextrin)

Verdict: No!

Another component of breastmilk that manufacturers try (and fail) to replicate is its sweet taste. Manufacturers sweeten baby formulas with the use of unhealthy refined sugars such as plant-based sucrose, brown rice syrup, and maltodextrin.

Lactose is the most similar sweetener to the breastmilk found in humans. Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not use it because of the cost. Instead, they opt to use toxic sweeteners in its place.

Synthetic Preservatives (Ascorbic palmitate and Beta-carotene)

Verdict: No!

Most formulas, even many organic ones, use ascorbic palmitate and beta-carotene to preserve baby formulas. These are specifically used to prevent the algal qualities of ARA and DHA from turning rancid, but these synthetic preservatives can be toxic.

The NSOB doesn't approve, but the USDA allows these synthetic preservatives to remain.

Synthetic Nutrients (lutein, lycopene, nucleotides, taurine, l-carnitine and l-methionine)

Verdict: No!

In addition to synthetic preservatives, most formulas also include synthetic nutrients which are also toxic.

Synthetic nutrients including lutein, lycopene, nucleotides, taurine, l-carnitine and l-methionine have all been found to cause harm. These synthetic nutrients are banned in places such as the EU, but the USDA continues to allow them to be used.

Carrageenan

Verdict: No!

Also very common in baby formulas is carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed and is used as a thickener in baby formula.

Carrageenan can cause serious problems, however. It has been found to cause ulcers, tumors, and stomach inflammation.

Animal studies have led some to believe that carrageenan is very dangerous, but there remains some skepticism. The International Agency for Research on Cancer also suspects that it is a human carcinogen.

Soy

Verdict: No?? More research needed

Soy also has some dangers for infants, and should only be used if the child has an allergy to milk. Studies have suggested that the use of soy can be dangerous for babies, although this doesn't necessarily hold true for people of all ages. There is still some debate, however.

Soy has been shown to hurt sexual development and reproduction, thyroid function, immune function, and brain development due to the high level of phytoestrogens it contains.

On top of that, most soy is genetically modified. A weed killer called glyphosate has been found in soy in one particular study.

Nontoxic Baby Formula

baby feeding from infant formula

So hopefully you're now seeing why standard baby formulas just don't cut it and are generally not ideal for giving to your child. Fortunately, we're about to take a look at some of the better baby formula options out there.

While few baby formulas on the market today are perfect, some are way better than others. Our nontoxic choices below sidestep the issues of standard baby formulas and exclude many of the dangerous ingredients that are found in typical baby formulas.

Unfortunately, even the best organic and nontoxic formulas have some issues, and each of them contains at least one or two questionable ingredients.

Breastfeeding remains the best choice for your child, but if you do choose to go with a formula your best bet is to find a good formula that is as nontoxic as possible.

Breast or bottle, as long as you are feeding your baby with LOVE!!

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Before we look at our top 5 nontoxic baby formulas, I'll give you a quick rundown on some of the main ingredients you can expect to find in a good nontoxic baby formula.

What Chemicals and Materials Usually Make Up Nontoxic Baby Formula?

Organic Milk

Most nontoxic baby formulas will have organic milk in their recipe. While infants with an allergy may need to go with a soy formula, most children will benefit by going with cow's milk.

A great baby formula will have organic milk that comes from healthy, pasture-fed cows that have been raised on biodynamic farms.

Organic Whey Protein

Many nontoxic baby formulas will have whey protein instead of synthetic proteins. Whey protein is the much healthier option and is more digestible and clean compared to soy protein and synthetic alternatives.

Vegetable Oils/Fish Oils

Nontoxic baby formulas will contain healthier vegetable oils such as sunflower oil or safflower oil. It may also use fish oil instead.

As we mentioned above, palm oil is best to avoid. However, even the best nontoxic baby formulas aren't perfect, and some will still contain a small amount of palm oil as well.

Lactose

The best baby formulas will include lactose. This type of sweetener is the one that best replicates the sweetness and thickness of breastmilk, and is the one that babies will find the easiest to enjoy and digest.

It is a much cleaner sweetener than the artificial and refined sugars which are often used in baby formulas.

Certifications

When looking for nontoxic baby lotions, there are several certifications that you will want to keep a look out for.

To earn a certification, products will have to meet certain set requirements, and these certifications will give you a good idea of what the products are. Certifications will appear as a logo or symbol on products.

Organic Certification

The USDA administers this certification, and its label appears on organic products. This label indicates that the product has met the organic standards set by the USDA.

Other countries have similar organic labels and criteria, but typically each of these demonstrates the avoidance of synthetic chemicals as well as genetically modified seed.

Non-GMO Certification

The non-GMO label appears on products that meet the standards of the non-profit organization, The Non-GMO Project. It denotes that the product doesn’t use any GMOs.

Gluten-Free Certification

The gluten-free label will flag the absence, of wheat and other grains that contain gluten. This is particularly useful for people who have Celiac Disease.

Top 5 Organic Baby Formulas ... Reviewed

So now that we've gone over the main ingredients in standard baby formulas, I'm sure you're wondering which ones are the best.

There are several good options for a nontoxic baby formula that we'll go over below. While none of these formulas listed below are perfect, they are the best that can be found.

These formulas have minimized the number of harmful ingredients they contain and are made of much more natural and organic ingredients instead.

Unfortunately, for people in the U.S., some of these formulas are hard to get a hold of, but it is possible. Several of these are made in Europe and may have to be special ordered.

Many of these are also more expensive than regular baby formulas but will likely be worth it to you due to their increased health benefits.

HiPP Formula

Price

$$$

Our Rating

I believe that HiPP formulas are pretty much the best organic baby formula that you can find on the market today. This organic baby formula brand is based in Europe and is superior to most American-made formula options out there.

The formula is made from all natural ingredients and has many great qualities that we look for in a nontoxic baby formula. For one thing, the HiPP formula is made primarily of organic skim milk and whey protein and is much cleaner and safer than other formulas.

The HiPP formula also contains organic DHA and ARA that is derived from fish oil, rather than algae and fungus with the use of hexane.

The Holle Lebenswert formula which is listed below has many of the same benefits of HiPP, but the HiPP formula also contains helpful prebiotics.

HiPP also edges out over Holle because it uses lactose as a sweetener in both the stage 1 and stage 2 formula. Holle Lebenswert only uses lactose in the stage 1 formula.

There are some problems with the HiPP formula, however. It does contain a bit of palm oil, but because it is mixed with other oils such as coconut and sunflower oil, it's not too big of a deal.

The other issue with HiPP is that it is hard to attain in the U.S. It can, however, be obtained through a vendor such as Organic Baby Food GmBH.

If you choose HiPP, be sure to go with the pre-made version because the powder version has been found to have a high aluminum content.

PROS

  • Lactose as a sweetener
  • No synthetic DHA, ARA, or preservatives
  • Contains prebiotics

CONS

  • ​Contains Palm Oil
  • Powder version has high aluminum content (pre-made version is ok)
  • Can be difficult to obtain in the US

Holle Lebenswert Formula

Price

$$$$

Our Rating

Very similar and almost equal to the HiPP formula in a lack of toxicity, attainability, and ingredients, the Holle Lebenswert formula is excellent and one of the best choices for a nontoxic baby formula.

If you're in Europe, this formula should be easy to obtain. In the U.S. however, you will run into much more difficulty.

The regular Holle formula is great, but it had the drawback of including maltodextrin. In 2015, the Holle Lebenswert formula surfaced and was improved over the standard Holle formula.

The Stage 1 of Holle Lebenswert contains no maltodextrin. It includes lactose as a sweetener instead. Unfortunately, the Stage 2 formula still has it.

Like the HiPP formula, Holle uses all organic ingredients including milk from pasture-fed cows. It has no synthetic DHA or ARA and no artificial preservatives.

The farms of the Holle brand are organic, and the farms have been certified as not only organic but also biodynamic.

The big drawback, as with HiPP formula, is that Holle Lebenswert is difficult to obtain if you're living in the U.S. It can be obtained through a vendor such as Organic Baby Food GmBH.

PROS

  • Lactose as a sweetener in Stage 1 formula
  • No synthetic DHA, ARA, or preservatives
  • Made from pasture-fed cows
  • Farms certified organic and biodynamic

CONS

  • ​Stage 2 formula still contains maltodextrin
  • Can be difficult to obtain in the US

Baby's Only with Whey Protein

Price

$$$

Our Rating

One of the best formula options in the United States is Baby's Only. Unlike some of the others on this list, Baby's Only formulas are easy to obtain in the United States making it a great option.

The standard Baby's Only formula was good, but it unfortunately contained brown rice syrup, which was an issue as it a dangerous sweetener.

The Baby's Only with Whey Protein formula, however, has switched out the brown rice syrup for lactose instead, making it a much safer option. The lactose also is much more closely similar to that of breast milk.

Some harmful ingredients still exist in Baby's Only with Whey Protein, however. The formula contains a couple of synthetic ingredients, including nucleotides and taurine. The formula also has soy lecithin listed as an ingredient which is not ideal and can be harmful.

All in all, though, this Baby's only formula is a pretty good choice that rises well above typical formulas.

It should be noted that this says 1 year and up, but this is only because the company believes that a baby should be breastfed for at least the first year.

PROS

  • Lactose as a sweetener
  • No synthetic DHA, ARA, or preservatives
  • No palm oil
  • Easy to obtain in the U.S.
  • Organic cow's milk

CONS

  • ​Contains nucleotides
  • Some soy ingredients

Plum Organics Formula

Price

$$

Our Rating

Plum Organics is the newest option on this list and is a more recent addition to the list of organic baby formulas. The plum organics formula has a lot of good things going for it which make it better than the typical formula.

The Plum Organics formula is lactose based and includes no corn syrup solids like other formulas do. All the ingredients are organic and use skim organic cow's milk.

The plum organics are also easier to obtain in the US than other options and is also more affordable than the European brands listed above.

The drawbacks of this formula are that there are some harmful ingredients including palm oil and some soy lecithin. All in all, however, the plum organics formula is one of the better choices of a nontoxic formula in the U.S.

PROS

  • Lactose as a sweetener
  • Easy to obtain in the U.S.
  • Organic cow's milk
  • More affordable than other organic formulas

CONS

  • ​Palm oil ingredient
  • Some soy ingredients

Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula

Price

$

Our Rating

The Earth's Best Organic formula is another good option for people and has a lot of great things going for it. For one, it is much easier to get a hold of than the European brands above.

It also is composed of lactose making it a good option that is close to real breast milk, making it similar to some of the others on this list. Like the HiPP formula above, it also has prebiotics in it which are helpful for increasing your child’s overall health.

Unfortunately, this formula falls short due to the addition of syrup solids as well as the dangerous hexane-extracted DHA and ARA.

PROS

  • Lactose as a sweetener
  • Easy to obtain in the U.S.
  • Prebiotics
  • More affordable than other organic formulas

CONS

  • ​Hexane extracted DHA and ARA
  • Added syrup solids (sugars)

Written by Ashley

Chief editor here at Nontoxic Reboot. I'm passionate about providing you with the best and easiest ways to make your world healthier and a little less toxic.

For mothers who don’t breastfeed their children, a great baby formula is a necessity. Choosing not to breastfeed is a choice that you’ll have to make on your own, but if you do decide to go with a formula, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the right one and that it includes everything that your child needs to grow up happy and healthy.

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