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Beyond Melamine: What Else Is Hiding in Your Formula?

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Recently, testing done by the FDA confirmed that melamine and cyanuric acid are present in trace amounts in nearly every national brand of baby formula except those that use all domestically grown and USDA certified organic ingredients.


When this all came up, the most pressing concern was melamine. Poison in my baby formula—are you kidding me?! But after researching to find a formula that doesn’t have melamine or cyanuric acid in it, I found out a lot more that really made me a little angrier than I was prepared to be.


The main thing that I found so shocking was that almost every single formula I picked up at a grocery store, Walmart, Target, and even Babies R Us, all contained either corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and/or pure cane sugar. Many of the national brands, including the Walmart private label, Parent’s Choice, and other well-known, highly respected names list corn syrup or corn syrup solids as the first and primary ingredient.


Is it any wonder childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes are such an issue in this country? I hate to sound like I’m getting on my high horse, but seriously, who had the bright idea to use sugar as the main ingredient in infant formula when doctors, health providers, public service announcements and every other entity on Earth are constantly warning against children consuming too much sugar? ADD, ADHD, hyper activity, heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and problems with kidney function have all been linked to sugar consumption starting from a young age.


So let me get this straight—my five-year-old shouldn’t have sugar, but my four-month-old, sure! The ironic and insane part of it all is that mother’s milk and cow’s milk are naturally sweet tasting to a baby because they contain lactose. Why add sugar when nature made it with a sweetener already added that is safe for baby?


So I did some research to find out which brands don’t add sugar or corn syrup. Of course, this means you’ll have to shop for formula at places like Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, and other health food grocers. That also means that you’ll most likely be paying more for your formula. Even the best USDA certified organic formula made by Similac contains pure cane sugar. Too bad they have such a good thing going and are ruining it with that one ingredient. Brands that stay away from sugars are also generally the best choices in melamine-free formulas and are also almost all 100 percent organic and made here in the U.S. with ingredients grown right here at home.


There really are only three brands that stay away from both melamine and sugar—they happen to also be organic as a bonus. These brands are Earth’s Best Infant Formula with Iron, DHA and ARA, Bright Beginnings Organic Infant Formula, and Baby’s Only Organic Infant and Toddler Formulas.


Always be vigilant even if it takes a few extra minutes. It stinks that on top of everything else we have this to add to our to-do list, but better safe than very, very sorry. Good luck with your formula search! I’m here if anyone has questions or comments about which brands to trust, etc.

By Reinless Jane of Barefoot & Pregnant

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