Lactose free baby food jars
Deliciously Dairy Free Organic Baby Food
Frequently Asked Questions
All ingredients we use are organic. Not some, every single ingredient!
This isn’t something that all baby food companies can say. Sprout Organics has been around since 2008 and we’ve been gaining parents’ trust ever since. Whenever we do something, we ask ourselves if it lines up with our 3 promises: Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it fun.
Have you recently noticed different packaging?
Sprout Organics is currently refreshing our brand to keep it real, simple, and fun (if we do say so ourselves).We’re still using the same organic ingredients you trust and your little one loves.Keep an eye out at your local grocery store for our new look!
From 6 months and up, we offer fun ways to introduce new flavors to baby with a variety of pouch flavors and baby snacks like puffs!
There are three common “stages” based on the texture and flavor complexity. Here are the basics:
Stage 1 is for 4-6 months. It typically has one ingredient with a light consistency
Stage 2 is for 6-8 months. These foods include a few ingredients, and the consistency gets a little thicker.
Stage 3 is for 9-12 months. These foods include blended purees and softer finger foods.
Stage 4 (AKA Toddler) is for 12 months and up. Your toddler will be a self-feeding pro with Sprout Organics snacks like Wafflez and Curlz. Plus, they’re ready for tasty options like our Butternut Mac n Cheese and the Burrito Bowl
Here at Sprout Organics, we think that kids move at their own pace. We’ll provide recommendations on what age is appropriate for our products, but it’s up to you and your little one to explore a world of texture and flavor.
Sprout Organics stays with you as they grow, we offer a tasty (toddler panel approved) lineup of toddler snacks and meals. Try fan-favorites like Crinklez, Wafflez, and Crispy Chews.
According to the most recent USDA Dietary Guidelines, 90% of children under 2 years old are falling short of their daily recommendation of vegetables (about ¾-1 cup per day). Here at Sprout Organics, we know that getting your kiddo to sit and eat a whole cup of vegetables every day isn’t always reasonable.
We are here to help fill that gap: over 50% of Sprout Organics pouches and 100% of meals are *veggie-leading*. We have entire collections dedicated to getting babies and toddlers full servings of vegetables, including our Veggie Power pouches and all our Toddler Meals.
You betcha! Sprout Organics snacks were born to be on-the-go, just like you and your family. Individually wrapped snacks like Wafflez and resealable cans of Curlz are great options for your family.
When it comes to bringing our puree pouches in your carry-on, TSA’s website says “baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag.”
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Your guide to dairy free baby food for cow's milk protein allergy
It is estimated that 1 in 14 children under the age of three will have some sort of food allergy, with the most common allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soya, fish and wheat.
Did you know that around 2% of babies have an allergy to milk or Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA)?
It’s the most common nutritional issue that babies have and it’s on the rise. Research hasn’t yet found a reason why, but as a paediatric dietitian, I am coming across more and more babies and children with CMPA.
If you would like a PDF version of this blog delivered directly to your inbox, pop your details below.What is CMPA?
Cow’s milk naturally contains a variety of nutrients, including protein. The proteins found in cow’s milk are called casein and whey. When some babies consume cow’s milk, their bodies react to these proteins and trigger an immune response releasing antibodies. These allergic reactions can happen immediately after eating any cows milk products – called an IgE mediated response, or can be delayed – called a non-IgE mediated response.Does my baby need to avoid all foods containing milk?
Whatever type of milk allergy your baby has it is very important that they follow a completely dairy free diet. This doesn’t just mean avoiding cows milk but any foods that contain any cows milk products, such as butter, yoghurt, cheese, custard and ice-cream.What about goats milk?
As the proteins in cow’s milk are quite similar to the proteins of other mammalian milks, your child will also need to avoid milk from other animals too like goat’s milk, sheep milk and buffalo milk, which includes cheeses made from these milks.What about traces of milk in manufactured foods?
Milk or milk products are often used as an ingredient in lots of processed foods, like bread or flavourings, so it’s really important to check all food labels on any food products. By law, if food contains any products in any form, they have to declare it prominently on the label. For example, many manufacturers display allergens in bold so it is easy to spot.
Until your dietitian tells you otherwise, you should avoid all traces of milk in foods including where the label says ‘may contain’ or ‘traces of milk’.What are the symptoms of CMPA?
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can be immediate (IgE) or delayed (non-IgE). The difference between an IgE and non-IgE reaction is the way that the reaction takes place using different parts of the immune system. Immediate means that they come on typically within 30 minutes after eating a food containing the allergen but they can take up to 2 hours. Delayed symptoms can take anywhere from two hours to several days later to show! Symptoms can include (but not limited to):
Swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth or body
An itchy, runny nose
Tummy troubles such as vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea
Anaphylaxis (in extreme cases)
If your baby shows any of the symptoms of CMPA, it is really important that they are seen by a healthcare professional such as your GP as soon as possible. If it’s an IgE reaction you will be referred to a paediatrician in your local hospital to confirm the diagnosis.Immediate onset reactions
IgE allergies are diagnosed in a hospital under the guidance of a Paediatrician. Your child may have skin prick tests where a small amount of the suspected allergen food is put on your baby’s skin. The surface of the skin is then scratched and the size of the ‘wheel’ it creates is measured.
They are notoriously inaccurate in babies under 1 where skin is sensitive and false positives are common.
Alternatively, a blood sample can be taken and sent off for further analysis, the results take several days to come back.
A very detailed allergen focussed history will be taken from you so it’s good to have a food diary and symptom record if possible. It is this coupled with the tests that will confirm the diagnosis.Delayed onset reactions
If it’s a non-IgE reaction your GP will take an allergen focussed history and may suggest an ‘exclusion diet and challenge. ’ Essentially this is a 2-4 week trial of a milk free diet to see if this improves their symptoms.
If you are breastfeeding and you think that your little one is reacting to cow’s milk through your breastmilk, this will involve you avoiding dairy foods in your diet. If your baby is weaning, they will need to avoid cow’s milk too.
Your GP should organise a referral to a Registered Dietitian too as the diagnosis is only confirmed when your baby is ‘challenged’ i.e. when the food is reintroduced producing a return of their symptoms.
This can be carried out at home for most non-IgE babies, and best practice is to do this alongside a Registered Dietitian. You should be aware that access to an NHS dietitian can be scarce in some areas and an appointment may not be offered in time.
If this is the case, you are welcome to book an appointment with one of my fully qualified paediatric dietitians on the team. The link to book is here.I’ve seen other tests I can buy online. Are these any good?
There are lots of alternative tests marketed to diagnose allergies such as IgG, vega testing, iridology, hair analysis, kinesiology or cytotoxic testing. These are widely available online and the costs can vary.
However, none have scientific evidence for their use and can’t diagnose an allergy or intolerance.
The only evidence based methods of diagnoses are the ones outlined above and all others should be avoided.My baby reacted to milk challenges – what happens next?
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, you will be advised to continue following the dairy free diet. You must be immediately referred to a Registered Dietitian with paediatric expertise if you haven’t already because by cutting out milk you are cutting out a key food group from your growing baby which if not appropriately replaced can result in poor growth and development and nutritional deficiencies, leading to health problems. It is essential that those missing nutrients are replaced with other foods in your little one’s diet.What is cow’s milk protein intolerance?
You might have heard people use the phrase ‘cow’s milk protein intolerance’, however, this doesn’t actually exist. It’s a term that healthcare professionals have previously used to describe delayed onset or non-IgE milk allergy, but it sometimes is still used today.What about lactose intolerance, is that different?
This is not an allergy to dairy foods and is a separate condition. Lactose is the sugar that is found naturally in milk. Children with lactose intolerance have trouble breaking down the lactose in foods because they are missing the ‘lactase’ enzyme.
Often this is temporary following a nasty tummy bug, as the ‘lactase’ has been washed away. In rare cases, it is a genetic disorder where lactase isn’t produced by the body in sufficient amounts.
Lactose doesn’t cause an allergic reaction and there is no need for your baby to follow a dairy free diet. You can buy lactose free baby milk as well as lactose free versions of milk and yoghurt. Cheese is naturally low in lactose so it’s fine to have. Alternatively, you can add a couple of drops of the ‘lactase’ enzyme to normal milk.
Again, if you think your baby has lactose intolerance, it is really important to go see your healthcare professional for further advice.I suspect my baby has CMPA, can I try a milk free weaning diet without seeing my GP?
If you suspect that your baby/child has CMPA, you have to be very careful as by cutting out milk, your baby is at risk of being deficient in lots of nutrients, which will affect their growth and development. Below is a list of just some of the key nutrients a dairy free diet is at risk of being deficient in:
Milk and dairy foods are one of the five main food groups and contribute to a significant amount of your baby’s nutrition.
If your baby is breastfed, they will receive small amounts of dairy protein through breast milk and if formula fed, all of their nutrition comes from dairy as the majority of infant formula are derived from animal milks.
Once weaning starts, the amount of milk (and the nutrition coming from milk) gradually decreases as food intake goes up. However, milk and dairy foods still play a significant role in nourishing your little one right through their childhood.
Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional before you try a diet that avoids a whole food group as babies can become deficient in nutrients quite quickly which can impact on their future health and development.
Here is a quick list of foods a CMPA baby can have to replace some of those key nutrients:Foods containing calcium:
Fish with soft edible bones e.g. tinned sardines, tinned salmon and anchovies – it’s the bones that contain calcium so blend / mash them up well rather than picking them out
Dried apricots, currants and figs
Nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter
Tofu that has been set with calcium sulphate
Tahini and hummus
Fortified non-dairy breakfast cereals such as Ready-Brek
Fortified bread such as Kingsmill Vitamin Boost or Warburtons Milk Roll
Soya milks and yoghurts that have calcium added
Green veg such as kale and broccoli – however, it’s not so well absorbed by the body
Meat – particularly red meat such as beef or lamb for its iron content
Poultry – the darker meat is more nutritious
Beans and other pulses
Tofu and soya (if tolerated)
People often think that egg is a dairy food and therefore has to be avoided if your baby has CMPA. The good news is that unless your baby has a specific egg allergy, egg does not contain the same proteins as milk so your CMPA baby can enjoy eggs as part of their diet which, incidentally are an excellent source of nutrition.The waiting list for a dietitian appointment is so long. Is there anything else I can do?
Seeing a Registered Dietitian is crucial because dietitians are the only nutrition professionals regulated by law that can advise you on how to manage a free-from diet without risks to your baby’s health.
Unfortunately, NHS dietitians are scarce in some areas and so it’s important to make arrangements to attend either a group or one-to-one appointment when it’s offered.
If you feel the waiting list is too long, you can also self-refer to a Registered Dietitian in private practice – look for one who is experienced in paediatrics and allergies.What will the dietitian do?
If you are breastfeeding, the dietitian will advise on the dietary changes you’ll need to make to your own diet. You don’t need to stop breastfeeding. As well as excluding dairy foods you will need to add in other foods in order to ensure your milk supply and milk quality isn’t affected. The dietitian will also be considering how your diet needs to look so that your own health is optimised.
If you are formula feeding, the dietitian will assess your baby’s diet, growth, and allergy symptoms and advise the GP on which of the prescription dairy free formula would be best for your baby. There are currently 13 variants, all with their own unique formulation.
Your dietitian will decide on the most appropriate one for your baby’s unique needs.I’m breastfeeding and my baby has CMPA – Do I need to cut milk out of my diet too?
The short answer is maybe…We aren’t sure why, but CMPA is rare in breastfed babies by comparison to those on formula. One of the potential explanations is the immune benefits that breast milk contains, as well as the ‘microbiome’ or healthy gut bacteria that breastfed babies have .
It is important to note here that whilst CMPA is more commonly seen in formula fed babies, it can still occur in breastfed babies. Cow’s milk passes through breast milk at 100,000 times lower than that which is in cow’s milk.
What this means is that the amount of cow’s milk that gets to the baby through their mother’s milk is a lot lower than if they were to directly consume cows milk. Therefore most allergic babies are able to tolerate their mother’s milk. It also means that the vast majority of mums don’t need to follow a milk-free diet either.
However, if your baby is one of the rare ones who does react to your breastmilk, then you can try a milk free diet for a period of time (usually around 2-6 weeks) to see if the symptoms improve.
It’s essential to see a dietitian, as it is important the quality of mum’s diet doesn’t suffer, particularly their calcium intake, and also to ensure that the quality of the breast milk isn’t impacted.
It’s crucial that breastfeeding mums meet their daily calcium and vitamin D requirements. Did you know that as a breastfeeding mum, your calcium requirements increase from 700mg/day to 1250 mg/day whilst you are nursing?
You will need approximately a litre of calcium enriched plant-based milk each day as well as a 10mcg vitamin D supplement just to meet your requirements.
If you don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D, it’s likely your own bone health will suffer as your baby will take the calcium and vitamin D they need from your stores instead.
If after a milk free diet your baby’s symptoms don’t improve, then your dietitian will be able to advise on what you need to do next.
Weaning on a Dairy Free DietStage 1 (around 6 months)
Research has shown that at the start of weaning it is best to start with single vegetables then fruits but progressing on to iron rich foods quite quickly. You can read more about this in my blog called ‘Why Food Before One is Just for Fun is Not True’. You don’t need to do anything differently at the start of weaning if your baby has CMPA as fruits, vegetables and all my suggested iron rich foods are dairy free.
If you need to thin down purees that are too thick, you can use expressed breast milk or some of the prescribed formula you have been given. If your dietitian has advised that your baby can have soya, you could use a little calcium and iodine fortified soya milk providing they are over 6 months old. Soya isn’t suitable for babies under 6 months.Stage 2 onwards (7 months +)
As weaning progresses and your baby is taking 3 meals a day, you will start to try and balance their meals by including protein foods such as eggs, meat, fish, beans and pulses and starchy carbohydrate foods alongside their fruits and vegetables.
However, you will need to ensure that your baby avoids all forms of milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt, and any foods that contain milk by checking all food labels to ensure foods do not contain milk.
Cross contamination can be a real problem when eating outside the home or at nursery. For example, when foods containing milk have been prepared in the same area, the milk proteins can occasionally contaminate dairy free foods and cause an allergic reaction if eaten. Do let restaurants know before you order and have a good long chat with your childcare provider before they start nursery.Stage 3
As weaning progresses and your baby starts to drop milk feeds, you need to be in close contact with your dietitian as most babies who follow a dairy-free diet need to take more breastmilk or formula than non-allergic babies in order to meet their nutritional requirements.
The dietitian will also advise on how best to balance your infant’s diet depending on what known allergies they have and also whether they require any supplements.
The limiting nutrients protein, fat, energy, calcium, iodine, vitamin A and certain B vitamins will be considered alongside your typical routine and family meals to help you plan a way of eating that meets your baby’s nutritional needs. The nutrients that your baby receives in the first two years of life affects their growth and development including their brain development and intellect .Introducing other allergenic foods during weaning
When your baby has a food allergy, they are more likely to have another. This also includes little ones with severe eczema requiring regular steroid cream .
The advice is to introduce the other allergenic foods, one at a time between 4 months and 12 months of age. Delaying introduction of these foods beyond 12 months can actually make the likelihood of having an allergy greater .
It is advisable to start with egg and then peanut, after that the other allergens detailed on the list below can be offered. If you would like to know exactly how to introduce all of the allergens you can find out how in my mini online course ‘Introducing Allergens’.
Choose British red lion stamped eggs and offer both the white and the yolk together. Something like mashed or scrambled egg works well for spoon feeding or omelette strips as a finger food.
You mustn’t give your baby whole nuts due to the risk of choking, and peanut butter on a spoon can also pose the same risk. Puffed peanut snacks, peanut powder mixed into food or a small amount of smooth peanut butter warmed and thinned down with some of your baby’s usual milk or hot water are better options. You can add this thinned peanut butter to pureed fruits or vegetables.
If your baby tolerates these foods without a reaction, continue offering them regularly as part of their normal diet. This repeated exposure has a protective effect.
Other allergenic foods
You can then start to offer the other common allergenic foods alongside other tolerated foods. Just offer one at a time (no more frequently than one new food per day) and just ¼ to ½ teaspoons worth, so that if your baby does react you know which one was the culprit.
Tree-nuts – almond, cashew, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc prepared in the same way as peanuts above.
Wheat – breakfast cereals, pasta, bread, couscous, breadsticks
Sesame – such as houmous which contains tahini (sesame paste)
Fish & seafood – cod, haddock, salmon, trout, tuna, prawns, crab, mussels
Again, if your baby tolerates them continue offering them regularly as part of their normal diet to capitalise on the protective effect of repeated exposure.I’ve heard that there are lots of other foods that people can be allergic to. What about those?
There are other foods that can cause allergic reactions when eaten, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recognises 14 common allergens, which by Law must be declared prominently when they are an ingredient in any food.
It is possible that anyone can develop an allergy to anything, so it is very important to be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
If you are concerned that a certain food is causing a reaction to your baby, stop offering that food and seek medical advice from a health professional.
For more information on the 14 allergens please visit the FSA website.The Food Standards Agency’s 14 allergens
Whilst the list below is not exhaustive of all allergens (it is possible for anyone to be allergic to anything), this is the list of the 14 most common allergenic foods, that must be legally declared when they are used as an ingredient in food in the UK:
Cereals containing gluten – the protein found in wheat
Crustaceans – a type of seafood like prawns, crab and lobster
Lupin – a flower that’s found in flour
Molluscs – shelled foods like mussels, whelks, snails
Sulphur dioxide – used as a preservative in dried fruits and some sausages
If your baby has IgE or immediate onset CMPA, there is no need to be concerned about them being allergic to soya.
There is a link however between non-IgE or delayed onset CMPA where up to 50% of babies/children may also show a similar allergic reaction to the proteins found in soya . The current advice would be to try introducing a small amount of soya once weaning is well established and use a stepwise soya ladder to increase quantities. Your dietitian will go through what this looks like with you.I heard that soya was bad for babies and they should avoid it, is this true?
It is recommended that babies under 6 months don’t have soya infant formula but this has nothing to do with allergies. Soya also contains phyto-oestrogens which are similar to female hormones. An old study in male marmoset monkeys found changes in male monkeys fertility when they were fed soya .
As a precaution, the NHS advises that babies should not have soya infant formula under 6 months of age but this can be given after 6 months when weaning has started and milk is no longer the sole source of nutrition.So, what CAN my baby eat?
After reading this you might be worried that there’s not much left that your little one CAN eat. It can be so easy to focus on all of the foods that your little one needs to avoid that you forget about all of the wonderful foods that they can enjoy!
There are lots of foods that are naturally free from dairy. Fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds, grains such as rice and couscous. The list really is endless. If you’re struggling to think of the foods that your little one can eat, have a chat with your dietitian who will be able to give you some more ideas.How do I know if my baby has outgrown her milk allergy?
If your baby has been symptom-free for 6 months and is older than 9 months of age they can undergo a stepwise challenge to see if they are still allergic. The Milk Ladder is a step by step approach that is carried out under the supervision of a dietitian if your baby has non-IgE delayed onset type of allergy.
For those who have an IgE or immediate onset milk allergy, the milk ladder is carried out in hospital under close medical supervision.What is the milk ladder?
The milk ladder is a six-step approach to re-introducing milk, initially in a baked form alongside other proteins as this is less allergenic and moving stepwise in increasing amounts, other proteins and less baking time as it progresses.
There are specific recipes to accompany the first 3 steps on the milk ladder and it’s important not to alter these recipes which have been created in a specific way to measure tolerance.
If your child doesn’t tolerate a certain step, they remain on the step before and include these foods in their diet until a date is arranged to try again.Dairy free baby food recipes for weaning:
Here are my top 10 dairy free baby food recipes for each stage of weaning:Stage 1
Trio of Root Veg
Courgette and pea mash
Apple and Beetroot puree
Carrot and spinach puree
Parsnip and Pear puree
Cauliflower, apple and sweet potato
Avocado smash with banana
Apple and apricot pudding
2 ingredient pancakes
Pork and paprika
Omega-3 rich quinoa balls
Pizza and Pasta sauce
Fish risotto with peas
My Baby’s First Birthday Cake recipe
Moroccan Lamb with couscous
Jacket Potato with Bean Chilli
Home made fish fingers
Chicken coconut curry
Dairy free mini lasagnes
Baby’s 1st Birthday Cake (made with dairy free milk)
For younger babies there are 13 different variants and the one your baby needs will be determined by the dietitian, Essentially there are two main differences:Extensively Hydrolysed Formula
These are processed so that the protein within the cow’s milk is broken down into smaller parts so that they become hypoallergenic and are able to pass by the immune system without causing symptoms.
Examples include Althera, Nutramigen LGG 1&2, Pregestamil Lipil, Aptamil Pepti 1&2, Aptamil Pepti Junior, Infantrini Peptisorb and Simlac Alimentum.Amino Acid Formula
These are only prescribed in the most severe cases of food allergy. The proteins are completely broken down to amino acids and so are unrecognisable to your baby’s immune system.
Examples include Alfamino, PurAmino, Neocate LCP and Neocate Syneo.
Both extensively hydrolysed formula and amino acid formula will taste and smell differently to standard baby formula. For young babies, such as under 4 months, they tend to just get used to this and accept it. However, older babies who are used to the taste and smell of standard formula, are likely to struggle to accept the new formula.
Your dietitian can work with you to make this transition easier and increase the chances of your baby accepting the new milk.If your baby is over 6 months of age
A soya based infant formula may be a suitable alternative to standard formula assuming your baby can tolerate soya.
It’s important not to give soya formula to babies under 6 months as the levels of oestrogens are too high for developing babies. You should also be aware that soya infant formula contains a type of sugar which isn’t good for your baby’s teeth.How long should my baby stay on their special formula?
In order to ensure your baby is getting all the nutrition they need, it is likely they will likely stay on their infant formula until around 2 years of age which is the current World Health Organisation Guideline, however if they eat a balanced and varied diet and are not fussy, your dietitian may suggest certain plant-based milk alternatives. It is important to follow their advice as not all plant milks are nutritionally equal.
If this is the case it’s likely that additional calcium and vitamin D in the form of a supplement will be needed.Could I not just give my CMPA plant milk to drink instead of formula?
There are lots of plant-based milks available on the market such as almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk and pea milk. Whilst these do not contain any milk, they are a poor source of nutrition for your baby as they do not contain the right balance of nutrients, particularly calories, fat and protein as well as lots of other nutrients.
Calcium and iodine fortified unsweetened soya milk can be used in cooking, but should not replace breastmilk or formula or be given as a drink until at least 2 years of age. Your dietitian will advise if the other plant-based milks can be used in cooking with your individual baby.
Again, it’s not a one size fits all approach as the context of the rest of their diet has to be considered.
Rice milk is not suitable for children under 5 due to the naturally occurring high levels of inorganic arsenic.How long does CMPA last?
Research shows that most babies with CMPA will have outgrown their allergy by the age of three. However, it can last throughout childhood and even into adulthood in some rare cases.
It is possible to desensitise the body to milk using the milk ladder described above, so including milk containing foods at the level your baby reached on the milk ladder as part of their normal diet is important.
As eliminating milk from the diet is associated with nutritional risks, challenging your little one at regular intervals in encouraged.Can probiotics help my baby with a milk allergy?
Probiotics may help a baby with the symptoms of a cow’s milk protein allergy however the evidence that we have isn’t good enough to make this recommendation. We are still waiting on more research to see if these could help.How do I access a dietitian?
Your health visitor or GP can refer you to an NHS dietitian or you can find a private practice one here. Make sure your dietitian is a paediatric dietitian with experience in food allergies in order to support you fully.How can I find out more about CMPA?
There is information available on CMPA on the Allergy UK websiteAre there any alerts I should sign up to?
I would recommend signing up to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) allergy food alerts. You can receive email/text reminders whenever there is a food safety recall due to an allergen not being present on a food label and therefore a risk to anyone with a food allergy.How can I find out more about Baby Nutrition & Weaning?
You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily tips and advice or you can join my Happy Healthy Weaning course where I will guide you every step of the way along your baby’s weaning journey.
Sarah Almond Bushell MPhil, BSc (Hons) RD MBDA – Registered Dietitian & Children’s Nutritionist
Lactose Free Infant Formula | What does it mean and which is better
In the article we will talk about lactose-free baby food. Pediatricians prescribe it for medical reasons. You will find out in what cases a lactose-free mixture is used, and why it is useful to have it even in a house where there is a healthy baby.
Lactose-free formula is a lifesaver for lactase deficiency and rotavirus
Lactose is milk sugar. Or the carbohydrate found in animal milk. It takes part in the absorption of vitamins and calcium, is a breeding ground for the reproduction of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. Lactose is the main source of energy for newborns.
Lactase is an enzyme that is produced in the intestines of an infant and helps digest lactose. Sometimes this enzyme is not produced enough. Then lactose is not completely broken down. This leads to bloating, diarrhea and restlessness of the baby.
Pediatricians diagnose lactase deficiency.
It is important to know that lactase deficiency is congenital - it is a very rare hereditary disease. At risk are babies whose next of kin suffer from lactose intolerance. Parents, knowing this, need to be on the alert.
Much more often lactase deficiency - acquired - due to illness or other causes. Her symptoms go away after treatment and elimination of the cause. And you can again give the child dairy products.
Infants who are artificially and sometimes breastfed are transferred to a lactose-free or low-lactose diet temporarily or until they switch to adult food.
When lactose-free formula is prescribed
Unlike a low-lactose formula, which is recommended for temporary lactase deficiency, a lactose-free diet is used in cases of serious health problems. These are congenital lactase deficiency - galactosemia or rotavirus infection.
Lactose-free formula for rotavirus
Formula-fed babies with rotavirus need to switch to a lactose-free diet. With rotavirus infection, dairy products aggravate the symptoms of the disease, therefore, are prohibited.
If your baby is an artificial baby, stock up on a jar of soy formula for an emergency. After all, with an intestinal infection, the last thing you want to do is waste time looking for food for your child. And if it is not useful, cook porridge on it for the baby when he grows up.
Nature has taken care of babies who receive mother's milk. It contains immunoglobulins and other substances that facilitate the course of the disease.
Therefore, pediatricians recommend not to interrupt breastfeeding during the period of rotavirus.
Lactose free formula - which is better
Mothers sometimes worry about whether a lactose-free diet can provide a child with all the necessary substances. There is no doubt that lactose-free formula, like any other, is a complete baby food. After all, this issue is under the control of the state. Activities for the production of baby food are subject to mandatory certification.
Lactose-free mixtures are of two types: on vegetable protein, for example, soy or hypoallergenic.
If the child is not allergic to soy, then it is better to use soy.
What does hypoallergenic formula mean? This means that they cannot cause allergies. All components are selected in such a way that they will be sure to be absorbed by the body. Hypoallergenic mixtures or hydrolysates are a product where proteins are partially broken down and are better absorbed. But hydrolysates are prescribed in the most difficult cases. They are bitter, and babies are reluctant to eat them.
Do not rush to transfer the child to a hypoallergenic diet, unless there are serious indications.
The line of Israeli baby food includes low-lactose and soy formulas:
Materna Extra Care Comfort - low lactose;
Materna Soy 0+ and 12+ are soy nutrition with an improved composition, adapted to the age characteristics of newborns and toddlers from one year old.
Give us a call and a free consultation will help you determine what nutrition your child needs.
All Materna baby food is made without palm oil, without sugar and without GMOs.
How to switch a child to lactose-free formula
The transition scheme depends on the cause. If you are transferring a child to a dairy-free diet due to rotavirus, then you need to change the diet at the same time. Just replace your food with soy. The baby may have a period of getting used to a new product. But this is a lesser evil than to continue to feed him with milk.
If the transition to soy nutrition is planned, we recommend introducing it according to our scheme.
Reaction to lactose-free formula
When transferring a child to another diet, watch his reaction. If soy was chosen as the lactose-free mixture, and an undesirable reaction occurred to it, an allergy to soy should be ruled out. To do this, take a blood test and consult a doctor.
TOP-10 best baby food manufacturers
How to choose a baby food manufacturer
Quality nutrition is the key to your child's health and the formation of good eating habits. Therefore, when choosing a manufacturer, pay attention to the following criteria:
- Price category. In pursuit of quality, parents choose the most expensive products for their baby, forgetting that the demand for them will only grow every month. Therefore, it is important to choose the best price for you, which you are willing to pay daily.
- Country of manufacture. The quality of the goods produced depends on the country in which the products for the preparation of baby food are grown. And also in different countries there are different quality control and acceptable standards for the content of a particular substance. Technical capabilities also play an important role in production, for example, not all domestic manufacturers are able to produce medical nutrition and formula.
- Assortment. It is important that the brand's product line contains as many products as possible. Since the positive reaction of the child's body to a certain product indicates that it will be the same for all the others. And a large selection will not force you to look for another good manufacturer, because baby food is designed for children from birth to three years.
- Foundation time. The duration of a company's existence on the market testifies to the quality of its products. Consumer loyalty is earned over the years. Therefore, brands with a worldwide reputation are more trusted.
In order to help you make the right choice, we have prepared for you a review of the best brands of baby food, both foreign and domestic. And to make a comparison and choose the best one from them, everyone should be on their own.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it obligatory to feed the child with products of the same brand?
No, not necessarily. But choosing products from the range of the same manufacturer, you reduce the risk of allergies and other side effects. If your baby has come up with the nutrition of a certain brand, then you should not experiment with others.
Why is industrial food better than homemade food?
The quality of the original products is subject to strict control in production, and you can only be sure of the quality of a homemade product if you have grown it yourself. Also, the production complies with the norms of the content of useful substances in the product. For example, pure milk is not used, it is split into components, removing excess fat and some proteins.
Another advantage of factory-made products is that regardless of the season, your child's diet will be varied. And many of the goods that the baby needs cannot be prepared at home.
What raw materials do manufacturers use?
Most brands of baby food work with suppliers of various raw materials, and do not grow themselves. Some companies claim to control the process of planting and growing fruits and vegetables at suppliers. They also request a soil sample for self-checking.
But be that as it may, the products entering the production undergo a thorough control for GMOs, antibiotics and other impurities. The quality of products is monitored not only by the company itself, but also by Rospotrebnadzor. Goods entering Russia from abroad are also controlled for compliance with the standards for the content of individual components adopted in the country.
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Rating of baby food manufacturers
- Goat milk products
- Country: Holland
- Rating (2021): 8
Kabrita products belong to the premium segment. It appeared on the Russian market recently, only 8 years ago, but is already among the top brands. The range of the company is small. All products are made on the basis of an adapted milk formula from goat's milk and are presented in three categories: mixtures, cereals and purees. Suitable for children from birth, as well as for newborns allergic to cow's milk protein. Buyers note a soft creamy taste that kids really like.
- Goat milk
- Natural ingredients
- Suitable for children from birth
- No fermented milk products
- Best snacks for kids (bars and snacks)
- Country: USA
- Ranking (2021): 8
American manufacturer, on the market for almost 100 years. Deservedly has good reviews from moms around the world. The company's products are represented on the Russian market by more than 80 items. These include cereals, various purees, juices, cookies, bars and snacks. The company does not produce mixtures, which means that the products are only suitable for children who are ready for the first feeding. The main assortment of this brand is canned mashed potatoes, there are no problems with the choice, but you will have to look for other products. This is especially true for wheat-oat snacks and rice-wheat stars, which are a feature of the brand.
- "clean" composition
- Vitamins and minerals in the composition
- Hypoallergenic products
- No fermented milk products and formula
- Not always available in the store
- The best baby milk food manufacturer in Russia
- Country: Russia
- Rating (2021): 8.5
Since 1999, a Russian manufacturer that has been producing baby food for babies from six months. The main specialization of the company is dairy products: cottage cheese, biolact, milk porridge, baby milk and yogurt. The range also includes juices, fruit and vegetable purees, meat and vegetable purees. The company does not use glass jars. Meat purees are packed in cans, which extends their shelf life, and the rest of the purees are sold in pouches, which are convenient to take with you.
- Assortment of fermented milk products
- Quality raw materials
- No formula and cereals
- Small product line
- Not suitable for children from birth
- The best assortment of cereals
- Country: USA
- Rating (2021): 8.5
The Heinz brand is represented on the Russian market by the following products: cereals, puree, vermicelli, biscuits, tea, puddings. Among all manufacturers, the brand has the most diverse range of cereals: dairy, whole grain, low-allergenic, dairy-free, vegetable, drinkable, multicomponent and for grown-up children. The latter are distinguished by a larger grinding that needs to be boiled, which helps the child move from baby food to the general table. The product line also includes meat and fish dishes.
- Budget brand
- Ready meals
- Products for older babies
- No mixture
- No fermented milk products
- Sugar often found in the composition
- Best baby formula manufacturer
- Country: Holland
- Rating (2021): 8.5
Multi-brand manufacturer includes such brands as: Nutrilon, Malyutka, Malysh and Nutricia. The company specializes in the production of canned milk formulas of various price categories and a wide range of applications. For example, hypoallergenic, sour-milk, lactose-free, anti-reflux and many others. The company also produces cereals, vegetable and fruit purees.
- Suitable for babies from birth
- Small product line
- No ready meals
- No dairy products
- The widest range
- Country: Russia
- Ranking (2021): 9
A Russian manufacturer that has been presenting its products on the market for almost 40 years. Under the Agusha brand, the widest range of baby food is produced, with the exception of powdered milk mixtures and ready meals. Not so long ago, mini breads and fruit bars appeared on the market, intended for a snack for children older than a year. There is also a new triangular packaging with a tube for fruit and berry purees. Among fermented milk products, fermented baked milk can be distinguished, which is not available from other manufacturers.
- Baby products
- No mix
- No ready meals
- Ingredients not always perfect
- The best Russian manufacturer, price/quality ratio
- Country: Russia
- Rating (2021): 9
The company is the leader of the domestic baby food market. A wide range of products includes more than 250 items, with the exception of milk formula. All taste components included in the nutrition are familiar to the Russian consumer. From ready meals, the manufacturer offers soups and liquid cereals, and from fermented milk products - baby milk, biolact, cocktails, yogurt and cottage cheese. Among the line of meat products stand out meat purees "Halal" that meet the standards of Islam. There is dry food, but not much, mostly porridge.
- Wide assortment
- Price/quality ratio
- Ready meals
- Dairy products available
- No mix
- Not always perfect composition
- Not suitable for children from birth
- Producer of cereals based on goat and cow milk
- Country: Germany
- Rating (2021): 9.5
The company has been presenting its products on the market since 2008. The natural composition of products involves the preservation of the natural content of vitamins and trace elements in the product. The company's product selection, in addition to cereals and purees, includes cookies, bars, crackers, drinks, pasta and, notably, butter. I would also like to note that cereals are made on cow, goat and with no milk. Many products are suitable for children only from the age of three, for example, pomegranate juice and chocolate chip cookies.
- Natural composition
- Producer of cereals based on goat and cow milk
- Baby oil
- No dairy products
- No formulas
- "Adult" dishes for baby food
- Country: Sweden
- Rating (2021): 10
The Swedish manufacturer of premium class Semper has been present on the Russian market for 20 years. During this time, the brand has earned loyalty and trust from customers. The company is included in the list of the most popular manufacturers of baby food in the world. Products are presented for both newborns and older children. The manufacturer does not offer the most diverse menu that is familiar to the Russian consumer.
On the other hand, the assortment contains components and even individual dishes that you will not find in other companies. For example, among the individual components - orange, strawberry, mango, and among the dishes - spaghetti bolognese, Italian pasta with trout and all kinds of stews. Also presented is an exclusively Swedish product - walling.
- Ready Meals
- Best Ingredients
- Rare Ingredients
- All Ages
- There are no fermented milk products in the assortment
- Not available everywhere