October 12, 2018


Do All Baby Formulas Have Corn Syrup?


Why is corn syrup in baby formula? If you don't want it there, where do you look?

As parents, you read the labels of foods to know what is in it. You may be alert to allergens, calories, or fat. There has been plenty of talk about high fructose corn syrup. Too much of it can lead to serious health problems including heart disease and diabetes. For your little one, it can be a problem in regards to childhood obesity. 

What is Wrong with Corn Syrup in Baby Formula? 

Manufacturers have been using corn syrup since they discovered the sweetener in the 1970s. It is less expensive than cane sugar and easier to obtain in the United States. However, it is artificial and processed, and the body does not process the artificial sugars the same way as natural sugars that come from direct consumption of fruits, vegetables, and even breast milk. In fact, it leads to obesity more than natural sugars because it does not signal the brain that you may be full.

So why is it in baby formula, or even organic baby formula? In the United States, high fructose corn syrup is considered natural. The same is true for other syrups such as brown rice syrup. Some U.S. formulas may use corn syrup solids as a gentle alternative for babies who cannot tolerate lactose, the natural sugar that comes from milk. Also, syrup is cheaper while meeting the nutritional needs of infants according to federal guidelines. 

What Can Be Used in Baby Formula Instead of Corn Syrup? 

While American companies may still rely on corn syrup, baby food companies from Europe cannot fall back on corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, and similar, overly-sweet sugars. In fact, they were all banned by the European Union in an effort to combat childhood obesity and potential over-feeding children with artificial sweeteners.

As mentioned before, lactose is the natural sugar that comes from milk. This includes all milks from cow, goat, even breast milk. High-quality organic baby formula will look to lactose to satisfy the carbohydrate requirement that is easy for babies to digest. Another carbohydrate that is used is organic maltodextrin. While it is often derived from corn, it is neither a sugar or a sweetener. The role of maltodextrin in many baby formulas is to balance the natural sweetness of the milk and any organic lactose that is added to it. It is also a natural thickener which helps babies feel satisfied.

Which European Organic Baby Formulas Use Lactose?

Hipp Organic uses lactose in all of its formulas from PRE stage to toddler milk. It also has lactose in its specialty formulas for acid reflux and hypoallergenic. However, it can use less lactose for those with sensitive stomachs. Holle and Lebenswert only adds lactose in its PRE stage milks.

Which European Organic Baby Formulas Use Maltodextrin? 

Holle, an organic baby food company that follows Demeter guidelines for organic farming, and Lebenswert, which is part of the Bioland organic foods organization, both exceed European Union organic standards for baby foods. Even though it only uses lactose in its PRE stage milks, it uses maltodextrin in its stages from newborn to toddler. It is easy for babies to digest, comes from organic sources, and has almost no taste or sweetness that masks or takes away from the sweetness of the milk they use. 

If you do not want to feed corn syrup, or any other syrup for that matter, to your baby, then the high quality organic baby formulas from Europe share your goal in stopping the rise of childhood obesity. These products are also 99% organic with foods that are natural, nurturing, and free of dyes, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and other ingredients that your baby can be sensitive to. Plus, your baby will find them sweet enough.


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