SOY IN INFANT FORMULA
Choosing the best formula for your baby is complicated task for newly parents. We know that many of them is looking for the formula with perfect ingredients. That’s why many parents wondered if soy is safe for their infants.
First, let us find out what soy is and how it can be used in infant formulas.
Soy is a vegetable product that is made from soybeans. In baby formulas, it can be used as:
- a protein source
- a fat source
- an emulsifier.
A protein source is needed for healthy growth of infants, that’s why all infant formulas should have it as an ingredient. For those babies who cannot take milk-based formulas or breastmilk (Galactosemia) you can give soy-based formulas which have soy protein isolate.
In many forms, soy provides vital minerals and nutrients. On the other hand, soy based formulas can change the baby’s normal hormonal development, because they have a high level of estrogen. The research is still ongoing, but due to AAP’s recommendations, soy based formulas should be given only when it is medically needed.
Soy Oil in baby formulas is used as a fat source, which is necessary for healthy development. This Oil is cheap and easy available. But you should know and remember that farmers use pesticide on soy crops and soybean processing can lead to the presence of trans fats, which are dangerous for the baby’s health.
Soy Oil as a natural emulsifier is called Soy Lecithin. It is a substance that allows the ‘stable emulsion’ of oil and water. It prevents the formula from separating.
It’s impossible to avoid soy lecithin because many of daily products contain it (from candy bars to cookies).
Soy Lecithin used in some Hipp formulas is not like the soy which is used in American formulas.
If you would like to avoid soy lecithin, try Holle Cow’s and Goat’s milk, Hipp Stage 1, Nanny Care and Loulouka.