Guide to Choosing Formula Milk for Your Children
With so many different brands of formula milk available in Singapore, it can be difficult to choose a suitable brand for your child. How should parents decide which brand or type of formula milk for their children? Read on to find out more!
According to the standards set by the Sale of Infant Foods Ethics Committee Singapore (SIFECS) Code of Ethics, nutritional information must be displayed in detail on formula milk tins.
The most commonly available type of formula milk is milk-based and made with cow’s milk, vegetable oil, vitamins, minerals and fortified with iron. There are also soy-based formula milk powders and specialty milk powders meant for infants with varying allergies and requirements.
- Nutritional Level
All formula milk brands have been tested to be nutritionally adequate for babies and toddlers, and are in line with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) requirements for milk powder sold in Singapore. From 6 months of age, although milk remains the main diet of babies, solid food can be gradually introduced to ensure that their diet is balanced and nutritious.
Formula milk is called “formula” milk for a reason. It simply indicates each brand of formula milk powder has their own formulation, made up with varying amounts of ingredients. Some may offer higher levels of certain ingredients such as Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which also leads to a different price tag. If your baby or toddler has a balanced diet, your child will obtain nutrition from fresh food sources too.
- Manufacturing Process
There are two major ways of processing formula milk – wet mixing and dry mixing. As the names suggest, wet mixing mixes milk and other ingredients into a liquid form before drying into milk powder. In dry mixing, all ingredients have to be dried before they are blended according to the formula.
It is not uncommon to see brown specks in your child’s milk powder because high heat is required to turn wet ingredients into dry ingredients; it is part of a safe manufacturing process of milk powder and does not affect the taste or nutritional value of the milk powder.
A major point to take note of is how well your child takes to the formula milk. Take note for any diarrhoea or rashes which may be a sign that your child is allergic to certain ingredients in the formula. Having said that, if you are currently breastfeeding, remember to consult your paediatrician prior to formula-feed your baby, let him or her offer recommendations based on your child’s dietary needs.
And do you know all formula milk has to be sent to AVA for approval to sell in Singapore, prior to distributing out to the market? All formula milk sold in Singapore, regardless of price, has been tested to be safe according to the standards set by the AVA. Formula milk brands sold in Singapore meet the nutritional values required for your child’s developmental stage, regardless of the different formulas, made up with varying amounts of ingredients.
- How to prepare Formula Milk
Formula milk should be prepared in strict accordance with the instructions on the tin. Einmilk range of formula milk powder, for example, has specific instructions listed on the back of the tin along with the water temperature required to prepare milk. Always prepare the milk powder in the right proportion for your child as recommended by age, using the accompanying scoop which is included in each tin.
In general, all formula milk brands sold on supermarket shelves in Singapore are nutritionally adequate and a higher price does not necessarily mean that it is superior. With a tighter marketing budget, Einmilk’s pricing is kept affordable so that more families are able to nourish their children without fretting over the rising costs of raising children in Singapore.
Have you tried Einmilk for your baby? Let us know in the comments!