The harmonious development of a child is only possible if a child’s diet is properly organized from the first days of his life. Rational nutrition that meets the physiological needs of the child’s body ensures normal psychomotor development of the child and increases its immunity and endurance against adverse environmental factors. Breastfeeding is usually the best option for child nutrition, but when it is not available, baby formula saves the day.
Types of baby food
Infant formula today has a range of adapted formulas, both highly adapted, less adapted, and partially adapted, according to the degree of closeness of its composition to breast milk. Highly adapted formulas include formulas that contain whey and several biologically active ingredients for baby formula (taurine, choline, lecithin, and inositol), which play an important role in the formation of the child’s body. They are intended for the nutrition of premature and newborn babies from birth to 6 months. A subgroup of less adapted formulas includes formulas containing cows’ milk protein – casein. These are intended for use by children in the second six months of life. Finally, partially adapted formulas are products that no longer contain nutritional supplements such as taurine, choline, and unsaturated fatty acids.
Organics is first and foremost about safety
Raw materials from certified organic areas can be used to manufacture organic baby formula. Special organic production areas are regions or individual farms which have been assessed for the production of plant and animal products suitable for baby food and dietetic nutrition.
Raw materials used in baby food production cannot contain hormones or genetically modified organisms. The safety of raw milk supplied for processing shall be confirmed by the following documents: a veterinary certificate confirming the absence of infectious diseases and monthly renewal of mastitis in the supplier companies; a hygiene certificate.
Characteristics of raw materials of non-dairy origin
The main ingredients for the baby formula of non-dairy origin are:
Fats. In the production of adapted baby milk products to approximate their fatty acid composition to that of fatty acids of breast milk they use refined and deodorized oils: corn, sunflower, olive, coconut, soya, linseed, animal fat (lard). Oils introduced into the composition of infant formula, provide an increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids in their composition in breast milk, and also contribute to better absorption of protein. Oils used in the manufacture of baby food products are applied full purification cycle (refined), or purified impurities and deodorized.
Minerals. The manufacture of dairy baby food used citric acid salts of potassium and sodium, iron preparations, and other minerals. The citric acid salts of potassium and sodium are necessary to approximate the clotting nature of the proteins in a woman’s milk. During their interaction with free calcium ions, a slightly soluble calcium citric acid salt appears. The reduced concentration of ionized calcium in milk promotes the formation, under the influence of gastric juice, of a delicate clump of casein that is easily digested by the child’s body. The use of iron in the formulation of children’s milk products makes it possible to compensate for the iron deficit in cow’s milk and bring it closer to the content in the mother’s milk. To adjust the macro-and micronutrient composition in the production of dry and liquid milk products for children use calcium hydroxide, citric acid, sulfuric iron, sulfuric copper, and zinc sulfate, balanced in composition and the ratio of individual macro-and micronutrient impurities.
Vitamins. Modern formulas of children’s milk products contain vitamin complexes or multivitamin premixes, which are mixtures of vitamins taken in proportions to meet the needs of children at different ages. Most of the vitamins in the premixes are contained in water-soluble forms. The use of vitamin premixes has a number several: simplification of the calculation and weighing of vitamins, uniform distribution of vitamins over the entire mass of the product, and precise dosage of vitamins.
Biologically active substances. Most often, to increase the biological value of children’s milk products specially selected strains of lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria, bifidogenic factors (oligosaccharides), enzyme preparations (lysozyme), and lactoglobulin. Of the lactic acid cultures intended for the production of sour milk products for children, mainly acidophilus bacteria are used.
So, when choosing a milk formula for your baby, pay particular attention to the ingredients and consult your pediatrician.