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Choice of infant formula

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 3 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Ellen Boldon

Nutrition Program Manager

Normal user

18 Jun 2013, 18:19

The center I am working for sometimes has need for infant formula in the pediatric unit. Efforts are made to protect and promote breastfeeding but it is not always feasible. We are purchasing Similac with Iron, but there are other infant formulas on the market here in Haiti that are not as expensive. The infant formula is used short-term and I am wondering what considerations should be made of the quality of the formula as far as types of fat, protein etc. when choosing a lower-cost formula. I am skeptical that it makes a lot of difference in the short-term. I am capable of doing the research and the comparisons, but time is short and if anyone has any experience with this issue, your guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ellen

Marie McGrath

MAMI Special Interest Group Coordinator

Technical expert

18 Jun 2013, 20:03

Dear Ellen, The main thing to check is that the infant formula meets the Codex Alimentarius Standards for infant formula. You can get the full specification at http://www.codexalimentarius.org/

A more 'quick and dirty' check would be to compare the nutrient profile of a formula like Similac that does meet Codex standards, with the one that you are considering. A less well known brand may be perfectly adequate; you are often paying for the branding and marketing of the more well known. However, I'd not compromise on nutrient profile if at all possible, even if in short term. If an infant is sick (as I suspect they are, on a paediatric ward), then nutrient adequacy is all the more important.

Hope this helps.
Marie

Tamsin Walters

en-net moderator

Forum moderator

19 Jun 2013, 10:30

From Ted Greiner:

I agree with Marie's points.

However, in recent decades formula companies are puffing up their prices by adding ingredients and in some markets being allowed to make claims for them based only on their own research. Objective studies done by unaffiliated researchers have for example failed to find convincing evidence of benefit from the addition of DHA and probiotics to formula. (Even if they were effective, the companies' ads saying this makes the products more like breast milk is like saying a nickel is more like a billion dollars than a penny is.) That is not to say that the usefulness of these expensive new ingredients is disproven, but if you find a much cheaper brand without them, I'd go for it.

Regards,
Ted Greiner

Chantal Autotte Bouchard

freelance

Normal user

20 Jun 2013, 09:05

Hi,

Haiti have a code of conduct for artificial milk, and TDH and ACF with MSPP had worked a protocol for substitut of milk depend on the capacity of the family. I don't if it's already approuve but I can sent you a copy if you leave me your email adress.

C.

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