Published on April 15th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe3
Similac Organic Formula: Is it healthier?
Choosing the best formula for your baby is tricky business! Similac makes an organic formula, but how healthy is this option for your child?
We know that breast is best, but some moms are not able to breastfeed for any number of reasons. If you can’t produce enough milk for your baby and can’t afford banked milk, formula is pretty much your only option, and choosing a healthy one can be a lot harder than you’d like.
I’m one of those moms who, despite a huge effort, hasn’t been able to breastfeed my baby, Darrol, and I’m not crazy about my options right now. We’ve been feeding him Similac Advance, since it’s available nearby, which helps a lot when I realize late in the day that we are on our last bottle.
When I was picking up more formula for my baby boy, I noticed that the store by my house was now stocking Similac Advance Organic. I have been feeling guilty about the ingredients in regular Similac; the formula contains conventional soy and dairy, and I hated that I was basically feeding my son GMOs and hormone-packed, factory farmed milk on a daily basis. Grabbing the organic formula seemed like a no-brainer.
How healthy is Similac Advance Organic?
I was feeling good about taking a little bit more control of my son’s diet! Not only was there organic formula that I could conveniently pick up, it was pretty affordable. It cost less than $1 more per bottle for the pre-mixed sort that we’d been using.
Since realizing that Darrol was going to be drinking formula long-term, my husband has been looking for the best place to buy it. Was the in-store price best? Could we find the same formula for less if we bought in bulk or online? He was looking at prices on Amazon when he came upon this review of Similac Advance Organic:
You think you’re doing something good for your kid when you invest a little more to get an organic formula. Sadly, that’s not the case here. This is a horrifically constipating formula…lots of pain and straining, guaranteed. Having to take measures to prevent this (offering juices, water, etc) is just not a sensible approach.
Also, the manufacturers use sucrose instead of lactose to save money, and they use a LOT of it. With the same sweetness as country time lemonade, Similac Organic’s sucrose-based formula may also set your child up for future diabetes. Check the NY Times article for more info on this.
Bottom line: painful constipation in the near term, possible diabetes and certainly a sweet tooth in the future…no, thanks!
What?? Obviously, we weren’t going to change our whole plan based on one review, so I took a look at the ingredients, and lo and behold, the third ingredient in this formula was sugar. As in, table sugar. As in, the stuff diabetes is made of. The regular Similac uses lactose, a milk sugar that our bodies metabolize differently from the granulated white stuff.
And the discomfort and straining? We fed Darrol the organic formula for one day before switching back, and the next day he was a mess. He basically cried all day long – straining to pass gas and to poop – and this babe just doesn’t do that normally. He’s totally snoozy and low-key.
So, what’s a responsible eater to do?
Honestly, I’m still sorting this out. For now, we’re back on the plain ol’ Similac Advance. I need to find some time to do more research on formulas, but between late-night feedings, diaper changes, and our work schedules, time to do that has been a little bit slim.
What about you, fellow formula feeders? Have you found a baby formula made from ingredients that you’re comfortable with?
Image Credit: Baby Drinking from a Bottle photo via Shutterstock
Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!
Use the buttons to connect with EDB on some of your favorite social networks!