Why use soy formula?If for whatever reason you can’t give your baby breast milk or cow’s milk formula, soy is the next fallback. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following as the only reasons you should choose soy formulas over cow’s milk-based formulas.
- Your baby is lactose or milk protein sensitive
- Your baby has a true milk allergy
- Your baby has congenital galactosemia
- You are raising your baby in a vegan or vegetarian family
Pros and cons of soy formulaThe thing to remember is that each baby responds to soy formula differently. There is no guarantee that your baby will experience the advantages or disadvantages listed below. As always, it is recommended that you consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby.
Pros of soy formula
- Soy formula is considered safe – A 2001 university study compared the difference in 811 adults – 248 who were fed soy formula with 563 who were fed cows milk formula as infants. No statistically significant differences were found across 30 outcomes in regards to general and reproductive health. The researchers concluded that the findings were reassuring in regards to the safety of infant soy formula.1
- A great alternative to allergies – If your baby has a lactose intolerance, milk protein intolerance or true milk allergy then a soy-based formula can provide an alternative.
- Relief from constipation – Many parents report that swapping over to a soy formula reduced or eliminated constipation in their baby.
- Prevent reflux and gas – If your baby’s gas and reflux are linked to a dairy intolerance then swapping over to
- plusA plant-based formula option – While there are no 100% vegan baby formula options, soy formula is dairy free, which means you can avoid supporting ethically dubious dairy industry.
Cons of soy formula
- Soy allergies – Soy formula is not suitable for infants with a soy allergy.
- High in sugar – As I will discuss below, soy baby formula typically contains more sugar than cow’s milk formula.
- Can contain corn syrup – Check the ingredients! Some brands of soy formula use corn syrup as the sweetener, which is not suitable for babies with a corn allergy. Fortunately, there are many soy formulas available that use allergy friendly sweeteners.
The sweet side of soy formulaIf you currently have soy formula sitting in your pantry, take a look at the first ingredient. Chances are that it’s a sweetener.
Common sweeteners found insoy formula include:
- checkGlucose Syrup
- checkGlucose Syrup
- checkBrown Rice Syrup
- checkCorn Maltodextrin