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How to find safer alternatives to trendy European baby formulas

It’s no secret how much research parents put into raising a child, especially when it comes to nutrition for their baby.

In recent years, American parents have taken interest in European baby formulas, believing them to be purer and more nutritious. As these formulas are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and cannot be sold through official U.S. distribution channels, parents often go to great lengths to buy these formulas through unregulated sellers.

The following are some things to consider when looking for a safer alternative:

To provide parents with a safer, FDA-approved option, U.S. manufacturers have recently launched their own version of these formulas, which are made with a specific type of milk protein called A2.

For example, the leading brand Enfamil has started selling a new A2 formula that contains milk proteins from European cows that naturally produce the A2 milk casein protein*. The milk proteins are pure and easy to digest and the formula doesn’t contain table sugar, corn§, artificial growth hormones or GMOs. It is also the only leading American formula that includes the brain-building nutrient DHA in a global expert-recommended amount**.

Cows historically only produced the A2 protein, but it is believed a mutation introduced the A1 protein. Enfamil’s new formula has A2 proteins that come from the milk of European cows that still naturally produce the A2 milk protein, which is similar to that found in human breast milk. Emerging evidence suggests (in young children and adults) A2 milk is less likely to be associated with digestive discomfort.

These A2-producing cows are fed a diet consisting of grass, soy and minerals, and are never given antibiotics or growth hormones.

“While European baby formula brands claim to be superior to American companies, the lack of FDA oversight for these is concerning,” says Dr. Christina J. Valentine, a neonatologist and dietitian dedicated to maternal and infant diet and health, and medical director at Nutrition, RB. “For parents looking for a formula with an expert-recommended amount** of brain-building DHA and no table sugar, corn§, artificial growth hormones or GMOs, Enfamil Premium A2 Infant Formula could be the good choice for their little one.”

* A2 protein from skim milk.

‡ When hereditary fructose intolerance is a concern.

§ Corn as a source of carbohydrate.

** WHO recommended amount of DHA is 0.2%-0.36% of total fatty acids. Enfamil® = 0.32% of total fatty acids.

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