Which European Formula Can I Use For Allergies?
If your baby has an allergy, choosing the right formula can be stressful. While others can pick any brand they like, you find yourself scanning ingredients lists like a hawk.
You may have more options than you think. There are several allergy-friendly options available from European organic brands – with the added benefit that these formulas are free of the pesticides, hormones and harmful additives that may cause extra upset to already sensitive tummies.
What are allergies vs food sensitivities?
Allergies are when a usually harmless (or beneficial) substance is seen by the body’s immune system as a threat. The immune system attacks it, leading to reactions like wheezing, rashes, vomiting and even anaphylactic shock (though this is rare in babies).
Food sensitivities or intolerances are more common but less serious than allergies. They happen when the stomach can’t break down or react to certain foods – additives are a common trigger. Symptoms are usually constipation, diarrhea, vomiting and/or stomach pain.
3 allergy and sensitivity-friendly formulas you could try
There are several European organic formulas that are designed specifically for babies with allergies, intolerances and sensitivities.
If your baby has been diagnosed with an allergy, we recommend you check with your pediatrician before you choose a formula.
HiPP Hypoallergenic is specifically designed for babies with a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA). It comes in 3 stages – Stage Pre for 0-3 months, Stage 1 for 0-6 months and Stage 2 for 6-12 months.
It is made with organic cow’s milk, which has been treated to break down the proteins that cause an allergic reaction – giving you all the nutrition of a regular HiPP formula, without the allergy risk. Some allergy-friendly formulas are soy-based, but babies who are allergic to cow’s milk are often also allergic to soy.
As well as this, HiPP Hypoallergenic contains pre and probiotics derived from breast milk, which can help your little one develop the right balance of bacteria in their gut, making digestion easier. This can be particularly helpful for babies born via c-section, which can upset the delicate balance in the gut.
Stage Pre is starch-free, because some newborns struggle to digest starch, and all HiPP Hypoallergenic formulas are free of gluten, egg and peanut oil. They use fish oil for vital, brain-healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
HiPP Comfort isn’t suitable for babies with allergies, but is designed to help babies with sensitive tummies who might have trouble breaking down milk proteins or be intolerant to lactose. It can help reduce colic, bloating and constipation.
It has reduced lactose and contains hydrolyzed whey protein. These are smaller milk proteins that are easier to digest. It also contains beta-palmitate, an easy-to-digest fat that is similar to the fats found in breast milk.
Like HiPP Hypoallergenic, it contains natural pre and probiotics, omega 3 and 6 from fish oil, and is gluten, egg and peanut free.
Goat’s milk formulas
Both Holle Goat and Nannycare formulas are made with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is naturally closer to breast milk and easier to digest than cow’s milk, with gentler, smaller curds that many babies find easier to break down.
Goat’s milk formulas can be suitable for those with a cow’s milk allergy, and they can also be helpful for those with sensitivities.
Both Holle Goat and Nannycare are free of gluten, soy, eggs and peanuts. Holle Goat is also fish-oil free, while Nannycare uses natural fish oil. Nannycare is starch-free, but Holle Goat includes starch.
What if my pediatrician recommended a different allergy-friendly formula?
We’ve found that many doctors aren’t aware of European organic formulas, and they’ll often recommend a brand high in corn syrup or made using soy. These can help with allergies for some babies, but they’re often not the best choice in terms of nutrition.