Thursday, October 18, 2007

Home Made Baby Formula

2 cups goats milk
2 cups hemp nut seed milk
¼ cup goat whey
1 tablespoon colostrum
4 tablespoons lactose
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon camu berry powder
1 capsule aged garlic powder
1 teaspoon infant probiotics
1 tablespoon lecithin
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cod liver oil
1 teaspoon flax seed oil

To make the formula, I mix all the ingredients in my blender. If making nut milks from scratch, I then STRAIN STRAIN STRAIN the formula. The recipe makes a one day supply of formula (about 32 ounces). I store the formula in the fridge and pour it into the bottle prior to feeding. Running the bottle under hot water does a great job of warming the milk without the heat destroying the nutrient rich properties of the milk. Never use a microwave to heat the formula. When dealing with the on the go feeding needs, I use formula which has been frozen in breast milk storage bags. Then when ready to feed the baby, Ieasily defrost it by running the bag under cold water. Never use a microwave to defrost formula and never re-freeze formula once it’s been thawed out.

Note: Gelatin is only added to the formula to help reduce the spit-up factor. I took the gelatin out of the mix once my son’s stomach was used to the formula and he seemed to be spitting up less.

This homemade formula was originally a recipe from the Nourishing Traditions book. It had been advocated by the Weston Price foundation. In working with homemade baby formula, I have consulted with two separate holistic pediatric nutritionists. We have used the Nourishing Traditions recipe as a basic foundation for the homemade formula. To date, the formula has been given to both the nutritionists, my midwife, my lactation consultant, and multiple health food store clerks. Each of those respective professionals has begun giving the recipe to mothers who for whatever reason cannot (or will not) breast feed. I am offering it here in this blog because I feel the internet has an informational void when it comes to healthy alternatives to breastfeeding.

Please note that all ingredients for this recipe can be found local health food stores or online. I myself have been lucky enough to find ingredients available in bulk through my local co-op. If I can find a way to access the ingredients from the remote location of Alaska, then I have faith that any mother within the Continental US should be able to get her hands on the ingredients.
And now for some other tid-bits of information regarding the ingredients used in the recipe…

Use the highest quality water that you can find when making baby formula. Avoid using tap water as there are many additives in tap water that are not beneficial for baby. Penta Water, Reverse Osmosis Water, or Distilled Water are the best quality waters that I can think of.
The best quality goat’s milk to use would be raw and un-pasteurized. I personally have no time to deal with the raw milk and it’s short shelf life. I use Meyenberg powdered goat milk.
The hemp nut seed milk is a great alternative to soy milk. Soy is a natural phyto-estrogen. Some researchers have indicated that large doses of the estrogen properties of soy are contributing factors to cancer. While soy has a slightly larger protein content than hemp nut seeds, it is harder for the body to process than hemp. The ease of hemp’s digestibility allows for the body to absorb more of the protein than it would with soy. Hemp is also a good source of Omega Fatty Acids (Vitamin Fat), which is ideal for brain development. One could also use rice milk as an easily digested alternative to the hemp nut seed. When working with older infants, almond milk could also be used in place of the hemp milk.

Here is a recipe for home made nut milks that could be used for both hemp and almond: To make nut milks, grind up (in coffee grinder or food processor) 1 cup of nuts. Blend the ground nuts into 3 cups of water along with 1 tablespoon lecithin and 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup. Thoroughly strain the mixture. Presto, you have nut milk. From here on out, try to remember to strain the milk as often as possible while making the baby formula. At least triple strain the milk before including it in the baby formula (because ground up hemp can be gritty). I used to buy the Nutiva brand hemp nut seeds and make the milk daily. I have since discovered the joys of pre-made hemp nut milk. It is more cost-effective and time-efficient than making the milk from scratch. The brand of hemp nut milk that I use the Living Harvest. I have only ever used the original flavor.

When working with whey, I only use Mt. Capra’s Mineral Whey sold by Wilderness Family Naturals. Wilderness Family Naturals is a company that provides high quality products for several of the ingredients in this recipe. The goat’s whey has minerals, electrolytes, and enzymes.

The best colostrum products that I have found are New Zealand colostrum by New Life Foods and Mt. Capra Goat Milk Colostrum. The New Zealand colostrum is bovine. It also comes in powder form, which is easiest to work with. For those who have bovine concerns, Capra’s goat milk colostrum is worth the time it takes to open capsules.

I’m not too thrilled about bovine dairy, so the lactose in this recipe was hard for me to adapt to. I finally decided to run with it because it seems to help add a consistency that helps my son seem full and not always hungry. As far as I can determine, NOW brands is the only company that manufactures Lactose Sugar. I eliminated lactose from the recipe once my son was taking cereals with his formula.

Nutritional Yeast is a valuable part of this recipe. It contains B complex. Nutritional Yeast is different from the flatulence-inducing brewer’s yeast in that it does not promote candida yeast overgrowth. The only brand of Nutritional Yeast that I trust is Red Star Active Dry Yeast. Many health food stores carry this in their bulk food aisles.

Camu berry, an Amazon fruit, is a personal preference. The original recipe said to use Acerola powder. The purpose of adding any of the two powders is to introduce an easily digestible food-based Vitamin C into the formula. The reason that I chose Camu berry over Acerola berry is because recent research indicates the Camu to be a higher source of Vitamin C. An added benefit of the Camu is it’s ability to help fight off viruses. Whole World Botanicals sells the highest quality powdered Camu berry. I personally use the powdered camu sold by Raintree Nutrition. This is because they sell the powder by the pound, a more cost-effective way for me to purchase ingredients.

Garlic is another personal preference. I added it to the formula after checking with the nutritionist/naturopath. The reason that I added garlic was because it is a natural antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparisitic food. Breaking open a capsule into a batch of formula supplements for the antibiotic/antibacterial qualities normally found in mother’s breast milk. I use aged garlic capsules because it is odorless and seems easy to digest.
Infant probiotics help to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract. I use Jarrow Formula’s Jarro-Dophilus Powder because it is a good quality cost effective product. Regardless of what probiotic is used, please try to find one that has bifidobacterium infantis. It helps to encourage resistance to intestinal infections. Store the probiotics in the fridge because it preserves the live organisms.

Lecithin is not absolutely necessary. I use it as an emulsifier. I also use it because it contains nutrients that help to stimulate nerve growth. It seems as though nerve growth is important with little babies. Lecithin granules can be found in either bulk soy based form or encapsulated egg-based form. The Physicians Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements points out that soy-based lecithin is not derived from soy protein, and therefore not carcinogenic. Egg lecithin is available to purchase online, but only in capsule form. I do not use egg yolk lecithin because it is not as rich in the nerve building nutrients.

Oils – virgin coconut oil is the only oil in this recipe that does not have to be refrigerated. It is actually easier to work with when it is room temperature. I store my coconut oil on top of the refridgerator to ensure that it stays in a liquid state. I prefer the oil sold by Wilderness Family Naturals. I find that it is cheapest to purchase the oil by the gallon from a local organic co-op. This product is high in heart-healthy cholesterol. It is also a source of omega fatty acids (vitamin fat). Coconut oil has historically been used to combat mal-nutrition in infants. Flax oil is another source of vitamin fat. Vitamin fat is important in brain development. The cod liver oil is also high in vitamin fat, especially the brain healthy DHA. The cod liver oil will also have vitamin D, which is important for children’s bone health.