Feeding your baby is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. Breast milk from a nourished mother is the best option, but what if that’s not possible?
A next best alternative is to make your own formula with high quality ingredients – especially fat – to mimic breast milk’s natural fatty acid profile.
Commercial formula (even organic) is not preferable to homemade formula because it’s often processed with rancid vegetable oil and denatured proteins. Donor breast milk from Milk Banks is also not recommended because it may have been pasteurized. You may also not know what the donor mom’s diet was when she pumped.
It’s not expensive to make baby formula. On average, organic brands of commercial formula are 50% more expensive per ounce than homemade formula. So, give it a go! Don’t be overwhelmed by the 14 ingredients. Make it a few times and you’ll see it is easy – once you get it down it takes 10 minutes to make.
Milk-Based Baby Formula Recipe
Makes: 36 ounces
2 cups minus 2 Tbsp filtered water (this equals 1 and 7/8th of a cup)
4 Tbsp lactose
2 tsp Great Lakes gelatin
2 cups raw, whole-fat milk*
¼ cup liquid whey
2 Tbsp quality cream (not ultrapasteurized)
¼ tsp acerola powder
¼ tsp bifidobacterium infantis
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes**
½ tsp fermented cod liver oil (or 1 tsp regular cod liver oil)
1 tsp expeller-pressed sunflower oil
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
¼ teaspoon high vitamin butter oil (optional, but highly recommended)
- Blender (or whisk and bowl, but much easier in blender)
- Glass bottles (or BPA-free plastic bottles like Medela or Born Free)
- Pour half of the water into a pan over medium heat
- Add gelatin and lactose to the warming water and let dissolve, stirring occasionally
- Place raw milk in a clean, glass blender
- Blend whey, cream, acerola powder, bifidobacterium infantis, and nutritional yeast
- Remove pan from heat and pour in remaining water to cool
- Add all oils to the water and allow to melt
- Add water mixture to blender ingredients and blend for 3 seconds
- Pour blended ingredients into glass jars/bottles and refrigerate
Tips & Tricks
- Many of above ingredients are available at www.radiantlifecatalog.com (888-593-8333) or Weston A. Price Shopping Guide
- If baby has a true allergy to one or more oils in formula, leave them out. Sometimes baby does better if gelatin and nutritional yeast is also left out. If baby has constipation issues, substitute raw whole milk with raw milk kefir/raw milk yogurt.
- Ideally, make your homemade baby formula every couple of days – esp. if baby is consuming only formula as source of nutrition. Yet, it does freeze well to keep a small stash on hand for times of need.
- Warm bottles in a pan of hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER MICROWAVE baby’s bottle as it destroys many nutrients and enzymes in homemade formula and can form hot pockets in the liquid that burn baby’s throat.
- If you want to start feeding your baby homemade formula but haven’t gathered all the ingredients yet, you can fortify commercial formula using store-bought Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Formula. Blend 1 cup formula with 29 oz of filtered water, ½ tsp fermented cod liver oil, and 1 pastured egg yolk from an egg boiled for 3 ½ min.
*Obtain whole raw milk locally by contacting a Weston A. Price Chapter Leader or visit realmilk.com. VERY IMPORTANT: You must source raw milk from healthy cows that’s been correctly handled and stored.
**Look for Frontier’s brand of nutritional yeast as it’s dried at low temperatures and does not contain additives. Nutritional yeast can be bothersome for babies with weak digestion. Eliminate it entirely if this is so.
If your baby has a true milk allergy, make hypoallergenic meat-based formula (recipe coming soon).
Close Look at Ingredients
Acerola is a natural form of vitamin C and is added to formula because breast milk is higher in vitamin C than cow’s milk.
Bifidobacterium Infantis is a friendly probiotic bacteria to support baby’s inner ecosystem.
Cream provides cholesterol and a special fat (arachidonic acid), both of which are greatly important to baby’s developing brain, nervous system, and integrity and a healthy functioning digestive tract. Additionally, cream stabilizes baby’s blood sugar so he/she can go longer between feedings.
Gelatin improves the digestibility of the lactose in this homemade formula and lactose. It is best to make your own gelatin or purchase it from Great Lakes which is made from pasture-raised, healthy animals. Do not use commercial gelatin powder as it is usually derived from only the skin of poorly fed animals (and not the bones, ligaments AND skin).
Lactose is milk sugar and it’s added here because breast milk is richer in lactose than cow milk. Lactose is critical for baby’s developing nervous system.
Liquid Whey is added because Mother’s milk is richer in whey than cow’s milk. Whey must be homemade and is obtained by straining the clear liquid from plain yogurt or kefir through a dishtowel into a bowl. Do not use powdered whey as whey is very fragile and can’t be dried or powdered. Also, do not use cheese whey as it curdles formula. Written instructions on how to make whey can be obtained HERE
Raw, Whole Milk from cows grazing on un-sprayed pastures. Goat milk, while rich in fat, is not preferable to cow milk because it lacks folic acid and is very low in Vitamin B12, nutrients that are essential to baby’s growth and development. If you are concerned about feeding your baby raw milk please read this article by Sally Fallon Morell.
Testimonials for Homemade Formula
Step-by-Step Video to make Milk-Based Baby Formula
Nutrient Comparison btwn Breast Milk & Homemade Formula
Michaels, A.M. (2008). How to Make Homemade Baby Formula. Retrieved at http://www.cheeseslave.com/how-to-make-homemade-baby-formula/
Michaelis, K. (2013). Beautiful Babies. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing Inc.
Morell-Fallon, S. (2013). The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc.
Morell-Fallon, S. (2015). Is Raw milk Safe for Babies? http://www.realmilk.com/safety/is-raw-milk-safe-for-babies/
Pope, S. (2011). Homemade Baby Formula. Healthy Home Economist Weston Price Transcripts
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May all bellies be happy!