Better baby food second edition

FAQ: Introducing Your Baby to Solid Foods | Patient Education

  • When will my baby be ready to start solid foods?
  • Why does my baby need solid food?
  • What foods should I offer my baby first?
  • How do I introduce my baby to solid food?
  • Can I put the cereal or baby food into my baby's bottle?
  • What are the next foods I can give my baby?
  • What should I look for when buying baby food?
  • Can I make my own baby food?
  • What foods should I not give my baby?
  • What are the signs my baby is allergic to a food?
  • How will my baby's stools change once I introduce solid food?
  • How often should I feed my baby?

When will my baby be ready to start solid foods?

Most babies grow beautifully on breast milk or formula for the first 6 months, and do not need any solid food before this age. Also, before 6 months of age, most infants have a reflex that causes them to push their tongue against a spoon, making it difficult for them to swallow solid food properly. Introducing solid foods before 5 to 6 months of age may also increase the baby's risk of developing food allergies and obesity.

Your baby will show readiness to eat solids in several ways:

  • Your baby's physical development allows him or her to sit without support. When babies can sit easily, they have usually lost the tongue thrust reflex.
  • Your baby watches you eat and demonstrates an interest in food.
  • Your baby is able to reach out and grab objects.

Why does my baby need solid food?

By 6 months of age, your baby has outgrown the amount of iron he or she received from you before birth. Now your baby needs an additional iron source to prevent anemia. Eating solid food also helps your baby learn many new things, including how to swallow food and, eventually, how to feed him or herself. It also exposes babies to many new tastes and textures.

However, between 6 and 9 months of age, most of the calories your baby needs to grow will still come from breast milk or formula. So, always feed your baby breast milk or formula before offering solid food.

What foods should I offer my baby first?

Since babies need extra iron, their best first food is an iron-fortified baby cereal. Once solid foods are introduced, babies do not absorb as much iron from breast milk — another reason to make sure that your baby's first food is a good source of iron.

How do I introduce my baby to solid food?

  • Choose a time when you and your baby are both relaxed and ready to enjoy mealtime.
  • Prepare an iron-fortified baby cereal, such as rice, barley or oatmeal infant cereal. Mix several tablespoons of dry cereal with formula, water or breast milk. The cereal should be the consistency of cream of wheat — smooth and semi-liquid.
  • Sit your baby in your lap or in a highchair.
  • Use a small spoon to feed your baby.
  • Your baby may look a little confused at first, and most of the first feeding may end up on his or her face, hands and bib. Don't worry. Your baby will gradually become more comfortable with feedings. Try talking gently to your baby to help him or her relax.
  • As your baby begins to enjoy mealtimes, increase the consistency of the cereal so it is like oatmeal. You can also gradually increase the amount of food you offer.
  • If your baby spits out the cereal, cries or isn't interested, stop the feeding. You can try again in a few days.

Can I put the cereal or baby food into my baby's bottle?

Please don't put cereal or baby food in a bottle. Your baby needs to learn the difference between liquid and solid foods. Babies need to learn how to move solid food around in their mouth, how to take bites from a spoon and rest between bites, and to stop eating when full. These are all experiences that help babies develop good eating habits.

What are the next foods I can give my baby?

You can give plain baby cereal for several months, but most parents enjoy offering their baby a variety of new foods.

After you've given your baby several different types of cereal, consider offering a vegetable or meat. Chicken or turkey is a good source of zinc for breast-fed infants. After your baby is enjoying several different vegetables, you can then try fruit.

After introducing a new food, wait four to five days before giving your baby any new foods, so you can watch for signs of an allergic reaction.

Be aware that cereal, applesauce and bananas can cause constipation. If your baby becomes constipated, you may try giving him or her an ounce or two of diluted prune or pear juice. You can mix your baby's cereal with prune or pear juice. Or, try offering extra fruits like plums and peaches.

What should I look for when buying baby food?

  • Choose single-item foods, like squash or bananas.
  • Always read labels. Make sure there is only one ingredient, and look for any added ingredients that can cause allergies, such as orange juice.
  • Avoid mixed baby foods, like baby dinners. They have less nutritional value and aren't a good value for the money.
  • Don't give your child "baby desserts." They add extra calories without being nutritious.

Can I make my own baby food?

Certainly. If you do, please remember:

  • Do not add salt, sugar or seasonings to your baby's food.
  • You can freeze extra food in ice cube trays, and defrost small portions later when needed.
  • Know that some vegetables, such as carrots, beets, spinach, collard greens and turnips, can contain nitrates, a chemical that can cause an unusual type of anemia. Don't cook these foods for your baby. Store-bought baby food has had the nitrates removed and is fine.

What foods should I not give my baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends giving peanut-containing products to infants at "high risk" of developing allergies between four and 11 months, in countries where peanut allergies are common.

Scientific evidence suggests that delaying the introduction of peanuts may be linked to a greater risk of developing peanut allergies.

However, babies who experience severe eczema, egg allergy or other related diseases in their first four to six months may benefit from seeing an allergist who can give patient-specific advice on early introduction of peanuts, the academy says.

Do not give your baby any honey for the first year of life. It can cause infant botulism, a type of food poisoning that can lead to death.

Also, remember that some foods can irritate your baby's digestive system. Avoid highly spicy or greasy foods. Also avoid foods that could easily cause choking, such as small candies, popcorn, raisins, grapes, or hotdogs cut in circles.

What are the signs my baby is allergic to a food?

If your baby as several episodes of vomiting after trying a new food, has diarrhea, develops a rash, or has swelling of the lips or eyes, he or she may be having an allergic reaction. Stop the feeding and call your baby's doctor.

How will my baby's stools change once I introduce solid food?

Your baby's stools may become firmer and may have a different, stronger odor. Some foods will appear in the stool undigested, and you may see peas, corn or tomato skins in your baby's diaper. Bananas often cause little black threads to appear in the stool. This is just the center part of the banana.

If your baby's stools become extremely loose, watery or full of mucous, the baby's intestinal tract may be a little irritated. Consider removing the new food from your baby's diet for a while. Irritation around the anus does not mean the baby is allergic to a food.

How often should I feed my baby?

Since most of your baby's nutrition still comes from breast milk or formula, you do not need to worry about how often you are offering solid foods. Feed your baby when it is fun, easy and convenient for you. Most babies enjoy eating once a day at first. Parents should let babies show when they are interested and how much they want to eat.

Used by permission of Jane E. Anderson, M.D.

Books – Melanie Potock


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Melanie’s latest books

For kids, for parents, for professionals!

Buy This Book

From an expert feeding therapist, here’s the authoritative guide on everything you need to know about responsive feeding.

Parents are tired of struggling with their child at mealtimes. It’s a familiar scene: Parent offers a spoon, loaded with nutritious food; Baby turns their head away and starts crying. Enter responsive feeding. Recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Academy of American Pediatrics, and UNICEF, responsive feeding is learning how to read your baby’s communication cues and your toddler’s often-very-strong preferences (hello two-year-olds!) rather than feeding them a predetermined amount.

Think of responsive feeding as a dance. For parents, it’s about engaging your baby, anticipating their moves, and taking turns to lead the choreography. The parent responds to baby’s communication and baby responds to parent. Because the parent is in-tune and present in the moment, they will connect and flow, making for a joyful experience!

Using evidence-based strategies, feeding therapist and speech-language pathologist Melanie Potock explains how to read your child’s cues to ensure happy mealtimes with happy kids. This book is designed to answer the most common questions about feeding babies and toddlers up to age three. It also debunks myths while offering practical tips on making mealtimes joyful and less stressful. It teaches a no-nonsense, straightforward approach to responsive feeding that’s focused on nurturing trust and communication between parent and child.

Buy This Book

Available in Spanish

The Story of How Kids Become Adventurous Eaters!

You are Not an Otter takes children on a food adventure, exploring all the ways that animals eat! Otters carry a favorite rock under their arms for cracking open clams, flamingos dip and drizzle water as they stand on one foot, and gorillas travel in troops to dine together in the jungle.

Parents will benefit from the expert tips on how to encourage children to try new foods, especially picky eaters, plus learn the importance of pretend play in early childhood development. Professional tips from pediatric feeding expert Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP include how to:

  • Use pretend-play to encourage kids to try new foods
  • Teach kids to be ok if something doesn’t taste good, at first!
  • Spark conversations about healthy eating
  • Help picky eaters try new foods
  • Bring happy kids to the table hungry and ready to try new foods
  • Encourage kids to eat mindfully

Buy This Book

Kids can learn to eat all sorts of vegetables—and have fun in the process.

Melanie has developed an easy, effective system to introduce children to vegetables as they embark on a lifetime of healthy eating. Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes features a year’s worth of family-friendly recipes along with practical, proven strategies for helping kids learn to become more adventurous eaters over time. Parents will learn how to introduce a new vegetable every week, plus creative and engaging ways to expose their kids to new foods. The book features 20 vegetables, organized by season, each with activities and recipes highlighting the program’s three phases to vegetable love: expose, explore, expand. Here a few examples of the creative fun that leads to yum! The turnip chapter includes:

  • Expose Kids to Turnips with Mr. Turnip Head
  • Explore Mashed Turnips with Bacon and Chives
  • Expand with a Sweet Treat: Monogrammed Mini Turnip Pies.

The kids are involved in every part of the activity process from washing the vegetable to eating delicious food they helped make. Using the “3 Easy E’s,” Coach Mel has created activities that will help children to become food explorers, not picky eaters!

Buy This Book

Now updated in a second edition – The award-winning parenting book on feeding babies, toddlers & big kids too!

Pediatrician Nimali Fernando and feeding therapist Melanie Potock (aka Dr. Yum and Coach Mel) know the importance of giving your child the right start on their food journey—for good health, motor skills, and even cognitive and emotional development. In this updated, second edition of Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater, they explain how to expand your family’s food horizons, avoid the picky eater trap, identify special feeding needs, and put joy back into mealtimes, with

  • the latest research and advice tailored to every stage from newborn through school-age
  • new guidance on pacifiers, thumb-sucking, feeding concerns, and barriers to eating well
  • helpful insights on the sensory system, difficult mealtime behaviors, and everything from baby-led weaning to sippy cups
  • and seven “passport stamps” for modern parenting: joyful, compassionate, brave, patient, consistent, proactive, and mindful.

Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater shows the way to lead your child on the path to adventurous eating. Grab your passport and go!

rating of the top 10 Russian and foreign brands with reviews according to KP

Goods for children are always under special quality control. Including food. After all, food for a baby is not only a way to satisfy hunger, but also acquaintance with different tastes and a guarantee of healthy development (1). Today there are many different brands. Among them, we selected the best manufacturers of baby food, based on the reviews of parents and expert opinions.

Rating of the top 5 Russian baby food manufacturers according to KP

There are many popular brands among Russian manufacturers of baby food. Basically, various purees, juices, cereals and dairy products are presented on the market. There are also formulas for babies, but in smaller quantities. The popularity of food is due to high quality and rather low (in comparison with foreign analogues) price.

1. "Agusha"

"Agusha". Photo:

Agusha is one of the most popular manufacturers of baby food in Russia. The trademark appeared in 1992 and has a wide range of products for children of all ages. Newborns are offered powdered milk formulas, babies from 4 months - a variety of purees, sour-milk products, water, older children - ready-made cereals (both dairy and non-dairy), juices, fruit drinks, compotes and fruit bars for a snack.

Thanks to the availability and variety of products, the manufacturer is confidently holding onto the Russian market. The safety and quality of Agushi is also confirmed by some neutral studies. For example, fruit cottage cheese, as well as kefir from this brand, received the highest rating from Roskachestvo (2, 3).

However, some parents are confused by the rather high price of certain items.

The main characteristics
Manufacturer Pepsico Russia
Assortment puree, Dry Milk mixes, porridge, fruit bars , recommended ages C Founded 1992
Pros and cons

There are mixtures in the product line; a wide range of.

High price for some items.

2. FrutoNyanya

FrutoNyanya. Photo:

FrutoNyanya baby food brand products are distinguished by a wide range and wide distribution in stores. Among the products of the brand you can find: a variety of cereals (with or without additives in the form of, for example, pieces of fruit), vegetable, fruit and meat purees, water, dairy products, juices, fruit drinks and nectars, snacks. For children prone to acute reactions to certain products, a special line of hypoallergenic food is offered.

Some of the brand's products have received high ratings from Roskachestvo, for example, biocurd, buckwheat porridge (4, 5).

Nutrition from this brand is designed for both the first complementary foods and for babies after a year. The composition contains salt and sugar, which are not recommended for children under one year old.

Main characteristics
Manufacturer Progress
Assortment purees, drinks, soups, snacks, cereals, snacks, water
Recommended age from 0 months
Founded 2000
Pros and cons
There are hypoallergenic products.

May contain allergenic ingredients (eg sugar).

3. "Grandmother's Lukoshko"

"Grandmother's Lukoshko". Photo: ru

The manufacturer has been present on the Russian market since 1999. The main product is a variety of purees, which are available in glass jars and soft packs. For example, apple puree from this brand received the highest rating from Roskachestvo in all analysis criteria and was awarded the Quality Mark (6).

For older children, prepared meals, meatballs, healthy snacks such as fruit lozenges and biscuits are available. Also, "Babushkino Lukoshko" produces children's herbal teas. Salt in some products is not always welcomed by parents.

The main characteristics
manufacturer "Sivma"
Assortment puree, finished lunch, drinks, fruit pastures
Recommended age from 4 months
Founded 1999
Pros and cons

Relatively low price in the segment; varied products.

There may be undesirable auxiliary components in the formulation (eg salt).

4. "Subject"

"Subject". Photo:

"Theme" offers products for children from 4 months to 3 years. The assortment includes a variety of meat, fish and vegetable purees, dairy products, ready meals and juices. But fruit purees are not presented. Packaging 一 is one of the distinguishing features of the brand. Thanks to special tin cans, the products are reliably protected from sunlight, which prolongs the shelf life. Also, many products of the brand are available in non-spill packages, so it is convenient to take them with you on the road. According to the results of the research, cottage cheese and juice "Theme" received the highest rating from Roskachestvo (7, 8).

5. Diaper

Diaper. Photo:

All ingredients for production are supplied from our own farm. The manufacturer claims that thanks to this, it is possible to set fairly low prices for products.

The potential buyer is offered fruit and vegetable purees (some with cottage cheese), soups, various juices and fruit drinks, as well as water. Some of the products are hypoallergenic. The composition does not contain unnecessary components: salt, sugar and preservatives. Meat and fish products are not represented in the product line.

The main characteristics
Manufacturer "Gardens Podonya"
Assortment puree, cream-soups, cereal
Recommended age C 40 months of ° Cite. 2005
Pros and cons

Low price in the segment; simple and clear structure.

Lack of meat and fish products in the assortment.

Rating of the top 5 foreign manufacturers of baby food according to KP

There are many foreign companies that produce baby food on the Russian market. A century of history, many years of experience and a good reputation helps to supply the market with quality products, which are preferred by many parents.

1. Gerber

Gerber. Photo: yandex.

The assortment of the American manufacturer includes products for children from 4 months. In supermarkets and online sites, you can find vegetable and fruit purees, cereals, healthy snacks, juices, and desserts (cottage cheese treats, smoothies, and others). Hypoallergenic food is also provided. For example, dairy-free buckwheat porridge of this brand is highly appreciated by Roskachestvo experts, who noted the safe composition of the product without dangerous and harmful substances, including no added sugars (9).

The manufacturer claims that the high prices are due to the corresponding quality, which is ensured by strict standards and adherence to technology.

The main characteristics
Manufacturer Nestle
Assortment puree, porridge, snacks, desserts
Recommended age ° from 4 months from 4 months from 4 months of from 4 months of from 4 months of from 4 months of
Founded 1927
Pros and cons

Hypoallergenic products; natural composition; high quality.

High price in the baby food segment.

2. HiPP

HiPP. Photo:

German manufacturer's products are suitable for children from birth. Infants are offered hypoallergenic powdered milk formulas enriched with vitamins. For feeding - various purees, cream soups, cereals, and as a snack for older children - snacks and dairy desserts.

Meals are made exclusively from natural ingredients, without added sugar. The high price, according to the manufacturer, is due to the use of special technologies and high-quality products.

The main characteristics
9 months 9 months 9 months 9.0025
manufacturer HIPP
Assortment puree, cereals, drinks, snacks, dry dairy mixtures
Recommended age
Country of origin Germany
Founded 1957
Pros and cons

Natural composition; There are baby formulas in the assortment.

High price of products.

3. Fleur Alpine

Fleur Alpine. Photo:

Natural baby food of premium quality. The range includes purees, cereals, cookies and juices - both regular and for children prone to allergies or intolerant to gluten. In addition to the usual products, the manufacturer offers olive oil (from 6 months) and sauces (from 3 years).

From time to time, the products of this brand come under the attention of experts from Roskachestvo and Roskontrol. For example, Three cereals porridge showed excellent results: a good composition with dietary fiber and no foreign impurities, the appropriate taste, color and smell (10), and buckwheat porridge meets the advanced standards of Roskachestvo, except for the increased protein content (11).

Not all products on the official website can be purchased in a regular store. However, they can be purchased on marketplaces.

High price; Not all brand products are easy to find on offline sites.

4. Semper

Semper. Photo:

The Swedish company offers a wide range of products for children of all ages. Dry milk formulas are suitable for newborns, and there are even specialized ones that are best used for constipation. Some of them are designed for babies older than six months. For crumbs older than 4 months, the manufacturer offers a variety of vegetable, meat, fish and fruit purees, cereals, juices and children's tea with vitamins. In addition to the usual products for children, there are wellings — oatmeal and multi-cereal porridges with natural additives, cookies, and meatballs.

Roskachestvo examined this brand's applesauce and, apart from its high carbohydrate content (higher than indicated on the package), found no drawbacks (12). In addition, some purees contain starch.

The main characteristics
° 0 months0025
Manufacturer Hero Group
Assortment Dairy mixtures, puree, cereals, drinks, cookies
Recommended age ° 0 months
Country of origin Sweden
Founded 1963
Pros and cons

There are mixtures in the product line interesting combinations of flavors.

High price in the segment; the presence of starch in the puree; the product according to BJU may differ from that stated on the package.

5. Heinz

Heinz. Photo:

American food company offers a wide range of products at affordable prices. There are fruit, vegetable and meat purees, cereals (dairy and non-dairy), soups and drinks. As a healthy snack for babies from 5 months, special cookies are suitable, and fruit and cream puddings will be a great dessert for older children. You can also find a special vermicelli that will suit crumbs from 6 months. The manufacturer's porridges received the highest rating from Roskachestvo (13). However, some products contain sugar and starch, which many parents of babies do not approve of.

The main characteristics
C C C 9 months .
Manufacturer Heinz
Assortment puree, soups, vermichel, pudding, cookies, tea
Recommended age USA
Year of Manufacture 1869
Pros and Cons

Product contains prebiotics; affordable price in the segment of baby food from foreign manufacturers.

Some products contain sugar and starch.

How to choose the right baby food

A child's menu may differ from another baby's diet, not only because of age, but also due to health conditions (for example, a tendency to constipation or a dairy allergy) and personal preferences. However, the first thing to consider is age. It’s also important to keep in mind that your baby’s diet should be free of added salt and sugar (14). Certain positions deserve some explanation.

Milk formulas

Designed for feeding babies. In fact, they are designed to become an alternative to mother's milk. For the full development of the crumbs, it is necessary that vitamins and trace elements are present in the composition.

Canned puree

Introduced from 4 months. There are fruit, vegetable, meat and fish options. Combinations are also possible. For the first feeding, it is recommended to choose one-component purees from vegetables or fruits.


Porridges, as well as mashed potatoes, are recommended to be offered to a baby from 4 months. Thanks to the special processing of cereals, baby porridge is easily boiled, which significantly saves cooking time.

Nectars, juices

You can give your baby juice or nectar from the age of 4 months. As long as it doesn't contain sugar. If available, it is better to wait at least up to 1 year.

Reviews of doctors about manufacturers of baby food

一 Baby food is becoming an object of special attention on the part of the state and parents, 一 says pediatrician Ekaterina Mikhaltsova . - The main advantages of industrial products and dishes are ease of use, balanced composition and minimal cooking time. However, you must strictly follow the age recommendations and cooking rules indicated on the labels.

- Dairy products and baby food in particular are complex production products where quality control is essential at all stages. Therefore, it is better to trust large manufacturers, - explains sanitary doctor Nikolai Dubinin . - It is important to pay attention to the composition and, before offering the child, taste the food yourself. In general, doctors agree that commercially produced baby food is no worse than home-cooked. And some are even better, due to supplements in the form of vitamins and trace elements.

Popular questions and answers

We answer the most common questions about baby food together with pediatrician Ekaterina Mikhaltsova and sanitary doctor, epidemiologist Nikolai Dubinin.

How to choose food for the first feeding?

Pediatricians recommend starting the first complementary foods with vegetable puree. Fruits contain a large amount of fructose, which can irritate the lining of the stomach and other organs of the gastrointestinal tract. Of course, the parent himself can boil and grind vegetables to a puree-like consistency, but it is easier to purchase products in the store, since baby food is made in compliance with special technologies, taking into account all the rules and regulations.

Another question is how to choose a brand among such a variety of baby foods. The best solution is to stick with a well-known brand. Large companies care about their reputation, and therefore strictly follow all established quality standards and do not violate production technology.

The next step is to study the information on the label, make sure the quality, evaluate the following indicators:

Natural composition. Preservatives, salt, sugar and other ingredients should not be present in the composition (at least in products for children under 1 year old).
Consistency (grinding quality). A good puree should be smooth and without lumps.
Multi or single ingredient . The first puree should contain only one ingredient. The child should get used to a certain vegetable, after which it will be possible to introduce others, adding each one in turn, so that the baby gets used to everything separately.
Hypoallergenic product. Formula must not contain ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction.
Package integrity . It is important to inspect the container in detail for dents, scratches or cracks (chips). Tightness must be observed. Don't forget to check the production date.
Appropriate for the age of the child . The age for which this or that product is designed is usually indicated on the packaging in compliance with the recommendations of pediatricians.

When all these factors are taken into account, it can be said that the product is really suitable for the child and will not cause side effects (15).

Which of the Russian manufacturers should I pay attention to?

Baby food brand Agusha has been producing products for over 30 years. The assortment has everything you need for a complete diet for kids: dairy products, cereals, fruit, vegetable and meat purees, juices and compotes. The company produces safe, hypoallergenic, complete nutrition for children of all ages. High-quality substitutes for breast milk and subsequent complementary foods are also produced. It is also recommended to pay attention to the manufacturers "FrutoNyanya" and "Theme".

What composition should healthy baby food contain?

When choosing puree in jars, pay attention to the composition. The ingredients should be natural, a good option (especially for younger kids) if the puree is a one-component puree - a fruit or vegetable plus water. Please note that the product does not contain salt, flour, starch, dyes and preservatives, and is not too diluted with water. The vegetable itself may contain starch, but its additional additives are very undesirable.


  1. Once again about baby food. Ladodo K. S. 2003.
  2. Roskachestvo rating. Children's cottage cheese "Agusha". URL:
  3. Roskachestvo rating. Children's kefir "Agusha". URL:
  4. Roskachestvo rating. Biocurd "FrutoNyanya". URL:
  5. Roskachestvo rating. Buckwheat porridge "FrutoNyanya". URL:
  6. Roskachestvo rating. Apple puree "Babushkino Lukoshko" URL:
  7. Roskachestvo rating. Biocurd "Theme". URL:
  8. Roskachestvo rating. Apple juice "Theme". URL:
  9. Roskachestvo rating. Buckwheat porridge Gerber. URL:
  10. Roskachestvo rating. Porridge "Three cereals" Fleur Alpine. URL:
  11. Roskachestvo rating. Buckwheat porridge Fleur Alpine. URL:
  12. Roskachestvo rating. Applesauce Semper. URL:
  13. Roskachestvo rating. Buckwheat porridge Heinz. URL:
  14. Baby food safety. Zakharova I.N., Aisanova M.R. 2019.
  15. Classification of baby food products, requirements for their quality and safety. Georgieva O.V., Pyrieva E. A., Kon I.Ya. 2018.

Best milk powder | Rating of Roskachestvo

About products

As part of a rolling study, dry adapted initial milk formulas (as close as possible in chemical composition to breast milk) produced on the basis of cow's and goat's milk, intended for healthy children from 0 to 6 months (18 products) and from 0 to 12 months ( 3 products).

The choice of brands was determined by mothers - the most active audience of the Roskachestvo portal. For a whole year, they sent the names of the brands they were interested in. As a result, experts tested the products of 21 brands in 82 quality and safety indicators. At the same time, the geography of the production of dry milk mixtures turned out to be quite extensive. We tested milk powders from Belarus (1), Germany (2), Denmark (3), Ireland (1), Spain (2), the Netherlands (4), New Zealand (1), Russia (4), Finland (1 ), Switzerland (1) and Estonia (1). The cost at the time of purchase ranged from 53. 43 to 288.25 rubles per 100 grams of the product.

According to the results of the study, dry milk formula "Bellakt Optimum 1" (Republic of Belarus) met not only the requirements of current standards for quality and safety, but also the advanced requirements of the Roskachestvo standard. However, this product cannot qualify for the Russian Quality Mark, as it was produced abroad.


The standard of the Russian quality system for dry adapted milk formulas for children from 0 to 6 months has tightened the requirements for the content of some components:

  • the mixture does not contain starch;

  • the mass fraction of moisture in a dry product should not exceed 3.5%;

  • the indicator of the solubility index of the raw sediment (for dry mixtures) should be no more than 0.2 cm³;

  • the level of active acidity is 6.6–7.4 pH.

  • the required level of product localization for awarding the Russian Quality Mark is at least 25%.

These requirements are not mandatory for manufacturers, however, products that do not meet the specified requirements cannot qualify for the Russian Quality Mark.

Safety first

According to Rosstat, today about 40% of children in the country are bottle-fed. The parents of these babies can easily purchase milk formulas, since there is no shortage of them on the shelves of Russian stores. The choice of the consumer is offered both imported and domestic products.

However, consumers have concerns about this product. For example, it is believed that milk mixtures may contain antibiotics (from raw materials), E. coli, heavy metals, preservatives and impurities that can harm the health of the child.

The experts checked the adapted dry milk formulas (breast milk substitutes) for microbiological safety, for the presence of preservatives and antibiotics.

The mixtures were also checked for the presence of melamine in them. After more than 6,000 babies were poisoned with infant formula in China in 2008 (in those mixtures, the melamine content was 500 times higher than the permissible norm), the very word “melamine” terrifies consumers.

The results of our study allow us to state that there is no melamine in the mixtures.


How did the chemical get into baby food in 2008?

“According to the most common version, the reason for the Chinese melamine crisis was the deliberate addition of melamine to baby food and dairy products,” explains Dmitry Makarov, senior researcher at VGNKI, Rosselkhoznadzor. - This was done in order to increase the protein value of products. The fact is that the generally accepted method for determining protein does not distinguish between protein and melamine. Apparently, therefore, the manufacturers hoped that their scam would go unnoticed. However, they did not take into account the fact that in high concentrations, melamine causes the formation of crystals in the urinary tract, which leads to disruption of the kidneys.

Based on the results of testing mixtures for safety, it can be concluded that all products are safe. It contains no antibiotics, heavy metals and toxic elements. Microbiological indicators meet the established requirements. There are no preservatives (including sorbic, propionic and benzoic acids) in the composition.

Special production

Many people think that powdered milk mixtures are made from ordinary milk powder, to which various vitamins, micro- and macroelements are added. This, of course, is not true.

First of all, it must be said that all mixtures are divided into adapted - as close as possible to women's milk, partially adapted and the so-called subsequent formulas - mixtures for feeding children over a year old. Also on the market is a category of adapted milk formulas with average indicators for feeding children from birth to 12 months.

Age distinctions of mixtures are as follows:

  • The prefix "pre" in the name refers to mixtures for premature or low birth weight babies.

  • "1" - for children from birth to 6 months.

  • "2" - for babies from 6 months to 1 year.

  • "3" - for children older than a year.

  • "4" - as a rule, starting from 18 months.

“The choice of optimal nutrition for children in the first months of life seems especially difficult, because the stomach of babies does not yet have the enzymes necessary for digesting food,” says Tatiana Butskaya -pediatrician. - These children often have functional digestive disorders, and they are at high risk of developing various forms of food intolerance.

That is why pediatricians insist on a mandatory consultation with a doctor before transferring a child of the first year of life to full or partial artificial nutrition.

The main principle that must be observed when creating adapted mixtures for children of the first year of life is their maximum approximation (adaptation) to the composition and properties of human milk and compliance with the characteristics of the child's digestion and metabolism. To achieve this, manufacturers are constantly improving blends.

Read HERE about the benefits of breastfeeding and how it affects your baby's health.

What makes formula closer to breast milk?

For the health of the baby, it is important that the mixture is balanced in terms of the content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, which must be present in the composition of the mixture.

Proteins, fats, carbohydrates

In the course of the study, the experts found that in mixtures of all brands, the content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates complies with the requirements of the law.

Vegetable fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids

– To improve lipid metabolism, milk fat is partially or completely replaced with vegetable oils (corn, rapeseed, soybean, coconut, sunflower, etc.)0574 Head of the Department of the Research Institute of Baby Nutrition of the branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Biotechnology" Elena Simonenko.

In this regard, two more consumer fears are worth mentioning:

In our study, soy with GMOs was not found in mixtures.

In addition, experts have dispelled consumer fears about the inappropriateness of vegetable fats in baby food.

– The main essential fatty acid in human breast milk is palmitic. It is found in the fruits of the oil palm. Palm oil is about half made up of palmitic acid. Infant formulas are made as close as possible in composition to breast milk, and palm oil is an important ingredient. The requirements for the indicators of raw materials used in the production of infant formula are established in the technical regulation of the Customs Union "On food safety" (TR CU 021/2011), says Executive Director of the Association of Producers and Consumers of Oil and Fat Products Ekaterina Nesterova.

– It should be emphasized that the level of palmitic acid in breast milk is 25%, and by refusing palm oil in the composition of infant formula, the manufacturer must ensure that its content is close to that of mother's milk. Meanwhile, in some milk "palm-free" mixtures, it is below 10%, - specifies General Director of the National Union of Milk Producers "Soyuzmoloko" Artem Belov.

Also, the child in the process of growth and development requires energy. The body receives a significant part of it from the breakdown of fats.

- Polyunsaturated fatty acids are very important for the baby. These substances ensure the normal development of the organs of vision and hearing of the child, are responsible for the harmonious physical development and behavioral functions. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids play a special role in the maturation and functioning of the central nervous system in children and have a direct impact on brain development. They are involved in the construction of the myelin sheaths of the brain and play a critical role in the transmission of signals between nerve cells. All this is extremely important for the development of intelligence, mindfulness, memory, psychomotor function, - clarifies Anastasia Kirillova, pediatrician at the Children's Clinic MEDSI (Moscow).

– It should be noted that polyunsaturated linoleic acid (omega-6 family) is not synthesized in the human body, it is one of the essential nutritional factors, including for young children, therefore it is used in infant formulas and is normalized by technical regulations, – specifies Elena Simonenko .

According to the requirements of TR TS 033/2013, in the dry milk mixture of linoleic acid should be from 14 to 20% of the total fatty acids. The study showed that in milk mixtures Nutrilon Premium (Ireland) and "MD mil SP Goat 1" (Spain) insufficient amount of linoleic acid, which does not meet the requirements of TR TS.

Amino acids

Particular attention should be paid to the presence of taurine in the composition of the mixture - an essential amino acid necessary for the proper development of the child's body, - notes Elena Simonenko .

Our research has shown that all brands of products meet the required taurine content.

Vitamins and minerals

Any adapted milk formula, according to the recommendations of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission, must contain at least 11 minerals and 15 vitamins. We checked whether the content of vitamins and minerals meets the established standards.

According to the results of the study, it turned out that in the product Frisolac (Netherlands) the content of calcium and magnesium in the diluted mixture is below the established norms:

  • According to the requirements, the calcium content in the reconstituted mixture should be 330.0–700.0 mg/l, in fact it is 300.31 mg/l.

  • Magnesium should be 50.0-150.0 mg / l, and in fact - 6.75 mg / l.

In the products of other brands, the experts did not find violations in terms of the content of minerals.

The level of vitamins in adapted mixtures should be higher than in human milk, on average by 15–20%, since their digestibility is lower than from breast milk. According to the requirements, in the reconstituted adapted mixture of vitamin C there should be at least 55-150 mg / l.

The audit showed that the products of nine brands of vitamin C are less than the established norm TR TS 033/2013: "Kid Istra" (Russia), Bebi Premium (Denmark), Frisolac (Netherlands), Frisolac (Netherlands), Humana Expert (Germany), Nestogen (Russia), Nutricia Malyutka (Russia), Nutrilon Premium (Ireland), Similac (Denmark). However, this cannot be attributed to violations: due to the volatility of dry components, it is incorrect to say that this indicator was lower due to the fault of the manufacturer, the content of vitamin C could decrease during storage.

Read HERE for how to choose and store powdered milk formula.

Taste, color, smell and texture

Products of all brands fully met the organoleptic requirements.

Smell - pleasant, barely perceptible.

The taste of is delicate, slightly sweet, without foreign aftertastes.

Consistency. All mixtures were a fine homogeneous powder without lumps (or with a small amount of lumps that easily crumble with slight pressure). In the restored form, the liquid is homogeneous.

Color also met the requirements - from white with a slight creamy tint to a light creamy yellow.

We checked the level of active acidity (pH) in the mixtures and whether they dissolve well in water.

The results of the study showed that the products of all brands are highly soluble in water, and the level of acidity (pH) corresponds to the advanced standard of Roskachestvo. This means that all mixtures are well absorbed.

Compliance with marking

And finally, one more concern: many are convinced that the ingredients of powdered milk mixtures declared on the label may not correspond to the actual composition. Our experts have checked whether such concerns are justified.

“According to the requirement of the TR CU for product labeling, the manufacturer is obliged to place information on the composition of micronutrients (they determine the development of the child), as well as the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the volume in which they are present in the dry milk formula, on the package,” says Elena Saratseva, Deputy Head of the Russian Quality System . – At the same time, it is important for consumers to obtain information about the composition of the mixture in the finished (reconstituted) form in accordance with the recommendations indicated by the manufacturer. It is important to note that the rationing for infant formula is based on the diluted product. Therefore, labeling on mixtures is often put through a fraction or in two columns in the table: on the dry matter contained in this package, as well as on the finished (diluted) product.

During the study, it was found that there are certain discrepancies in the indication of prebiotics, minerals and vitamins in the labeling.

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