Most of us want to be able to breastfeed our babies, especially when they are our first. However, things do not always work out and many mothers decide a backup plan is in order. This usually constitutes… Formula.
The formula is not all that bad, but plant-based formula, a good one, is a hard find.
So, even if you are very hopeful that you will be able to breastfeed your little one just fine, knowing what plant-based formulas you can get can just be that security you need.
Is There A Vegan Baby Formula?
Vegan baby formula is indeed a thing. However, it is extremely complicated trying to get your hands on it. It was not really introduced until recently, but there are healthy formulas, or at least ones healthier than what was originally in the formula.
Most formulas are not vegan, and there are so many regulations around formulas, so it can be tricky to get your hands on them.
Of course, you have to remember there are different formulas, PRE, and stages 1 through 4. PRE stands for preemies/ premature babies. Then 1 is for 0-6 months, 2 and 3 for 6-12, and 4 is for toddlers over a year old.
Even vegan baby formula needs to tell you what age it is for, due to the nutritional requirements we have as we grow.
Best Vegan Baby Formula Alternatives Listed
Here are some of the best vegan baby formula alternatives I have found.
- Bebe M First Infant Baby Formula.
- Baby latte.
- Else Nutrition Plant-Based Complete Nutrition for Toddlers.
- EleCare Hypoallergenic Formula.
- Neocate Infant with DHA & ARA.
- Sprout Organic Plant Based Infant Formula.
- Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic.
- Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula.
What Is Vegan Formula Made Of?
The vegan formula is a baby formula without any cow’s milk or other animal by-products. In the US there are many plant-based formulas, but they cannot say they are totally vegan as they contain vitamin D3, which comes from sheep’s wool.
Vitamin D3 is very important for immunity and bone development in infants but it does mean the formula is not totally vegan, so most people seek out vegan formula internationally. Many will contain soya beans, but some may be made from coconut, rice protein, corn, or almond.
In the UK there are two formulas available. One of these is Bebe Mandorle.
This is what the ingredients list looks like for this vegan baby formula:
“corn maltodextrin* (EU origin), vegetable oils* (coconut*, sweet almond*, rapeseed*), hydrolyzed rice protein* 16.5%, corn starch*, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), minerals (calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium phosphate, potassium chloride, magnesium phosphate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, iron sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B5, vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin K, vitamin B8, vitamin D, vitamin B12),
What To Look For In Plant-Based Formula
The main thing you should be seeking out in a plant-based formula is the nutrients your baby needs to grow and be healthy. You need to see what you would similarly see from breastmilk; protein, fat, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, B, A, D, E, and K, water, carbohydrates, and compounds for fighting infection as well as others.
Soy Free And Dairy Free Formula
A soy-free and dairy-free formulas are not easy to find, however, in the US, you can find a few.
Here are some options:
- Else Plant-Based Complete Nutrition for Toddlers
- Baby’s Only Organic Pea Protein Formula.
- Neocate Infant DHA/ ARA (Hypoallergenic).
None of these options are cheap. Baby’s Only is the cheapest at $14.99 per 12.7 oz, whereas Neocate is the most expensive at $39.12 per 14.1oz.
Vegan Baby Formula UK
There are two primary brands of vegan baby formula in the UK, one we already mentioned Bebe M, and the other is Premiriz.
Bebe M is hard to get ahold of, especially if you want the Stage 1 formula, as you likely need to ship this in from Europe.
Then you have Premiriz, which you can get for babies from birth to 365 months. It is French as in all in French but can be ordered online.
You can get dairy-free formulas but note these do tend to include vitamin D3/ lanolin, from sheep wool.
Vegan Organic Infant Formula
Bebe M is probably the most popular option for vegan organic infant formula, however, you can also get Sprout Organic Plant-Based Infant Formula. However, this is shipped from Australia, So you may have to order in bulk, as it will take time to deliver.
There is also Else Nutrition Vegan Toddler Formula as well, which you can buy on Amazon.com.
Homemade Vegan Baby Formula
While you can make baby formula at home so you know it is vegan, I do recommend against this. Your baby’s nutritional needs are so specific, and you do not want to risk contamination, or being slightly low in any of these.
Our babies are so sensitive as they grow, and while they are much harder as toddlers and kids, they need strength to grow right now. It is best to avoid trying to make a formula yourself. If worried, speak to a nutritionist for help.
Can Newborns Drink Plant-Based Milk?
Newborns should not drink plant-based milk. It is okay for a toddler over 2 years old to be drinking plant-based milk as their main drink after they turn 2, however, newborns have very high nutritional needs that they do not meet.
Can I Give My Baby Oat Milk Instead Of Formula?
You must not give your baby oat milk in the place of formula. Babies need a lot of protein, fats, and nutrition. Oat milk does not meet these needs.
Why Can’t Babies Have Almond Milk?
Almonds and other nut milk cannot replace soy or dairy milk as they are low in fat and protein and will hinder your baby’s development.
Can I Give My Baby Vegan Formula?
It is your choice to give your baby vegan formula, however, you should ensure it is complete and meets their nutritional needs first.
Whether you are vegan or trying to raise your baby vegan – there are vegan formulas available on the market. So vegan mothers shouldn’t have to worry when it comes to feeding their babies.