Healthy babyWith the recent recall of some formula many use to feed infants, finding the right food for your baby may be more difficult than expected. Some families may become frustrated and could be tempted to take matters into their own hands by trying to make their own.

Even with the best of intentions or a recipe you find from a reliable website, creating your own formula is a bad idea – and likely is bad for your baby’s health.

Infants need a very specific balance of nutrients to grow. For families that cannot or choose not to breastfeed, we recommend an infant formula approved by the Food and Drug Administration which can provide the right nutrients when prepared properly. 

FDA-approved formula follows strict guidelines for ingredients and how they are stored to support a child’s healthy growth and development. 

Homemade formula made from internet recipes may not have enough vitamins and iron for a baby, or could have concentrations of salt or other items that your baby’s kidney and liver cannot process. Regular dairy products, such as cow’s milk, might lack vitamins, protein, and calcium, or those items might be difficult for an infant’s body to absorb. 

Your baby’s first year is an essential time for the brain and body to grow. Missing the proper nutrients can result in long-term health effects, including limiting the baby’s ability to grow and learn. Adding extra water dilutes those important nutrients. It’s also important to use the right formula for your child’s age; formula designed for toddlers is not the same as that prepared for those less than 12 months old.

If you cannot afford approved formula, here are places you can turn to for help:

  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Mothers who qualify based on income can enroll in WIC to receive vouchers for formula.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): You can use your SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer card to buy formula. If you are enrolled in WIC, you also might qualify for SNAP.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): This program offers temporary cash assistance to qualified families,