In this article in the New York Times, we hear the concerns of parents who want to buy the best formula for their babies, but end up giving them something that may be bad for them later.
The infant formula, Similac, has the words “organic” right on the label, and so is becoming incredibly popular. Parents pick that one because they don’t have the time or inclination to become a Ph.D. in nutrition in their spare time, just to judge the constant spray of new products that hit the shelves every day.
So you choose the one that should be the healthiest, but is it? The concern with these formulas is that they are loaded with sugar. Granted, at least the form of the sweetener is not high fructose corn syrup, but it is still way overdosing the children on sugar.
What is the problem?
The concern is that you can train tastes of your baby early to crave sugary foods. Moreover, why in the world would they need the all that sweetness anyway? Just because something is safe (the sugar used in these formulas is cane sugar) doesn’t mean is healthy at any dose!
The product is created to sell more product, but the question is … who did they add the sugar for — not the baby. The child cannot say, “Mom, I’d like this brand over that brand”, but moms will taste the formula before they give it to the baby. If moms like it, the baby gets it.
This is just another confusion we face, when food products have ingredients that are ostensibly for one purpose, but are actually added for some other reason that helps them sell more product.
What is the solution?
The best solution, obviously, is to breast feed. The people who are telling you not to do this are the people with product to move, and your decision to engage in a natural act is standing between them and their sales goal. Of course, if you cannot breast feed for some reason then, unfortunately, you are saddled with having to be the ingredient Nazi because we simply cannot count on the products on the shelves to be good for us — and especially for our children.