Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Formula

It is incredibly important to be mindful of what type of baby formula you feed your baby. Although there are plenty of safe and clean baby formula optionsthere are also many not-so-clean options.

When selecting your baby’s formula, take some time to review the ingredient list and look out for any harmful ingredients. Below we’ve listed some dangerous ingredients that sometimes are found in baby formulas.

Heavy Metals

Heavy Metals

Unfortunately, many baby formulas that are available in the United States have been found to have heavy metals in them. Heavy metals can be harmful to babies for a number of reasons. Because heavy metals exist naturally in soil, they can end up in baby formula that hasn’t been filtered out properly.


Many parents turn to soy-based infant formulas if their baby is sensitive to dairy. Soy should really be used as a last resort option when no other formulas can be tolerated.

Soy contains phytoestrogens which can throw off your baby’s hormonal balance and cause a whole host of other issues. If your baby is not able to tolerate standard cow’s milk, try a goat’s milk-based formula like Holle or Jovie.


Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs could cause negative health outcomes (although, research is ongoing). Many parents would rather not risk feeding their baby formula that contains GMOs and we can’t say we blame them!

GMOs can also have negative effects on the environment and increase the need for harmful pesticide and herbicide usage.

Corn Syrup and Added Sugar

Many baby formula brands add sugar and corn syrup to their formulas. Sugar does not offer any health benefits and is highly addicting, so there is genuinely no reason to feed it to a baby.

Synthetic Ingredients

Synthetic Ingredients

Some baby formulas could contain synthetic ingredients. Synthetic additives such as artificial flavors and synthetic nutrients don’t offer any benefits to your baby and could even be harmful. Look for a baby formula that is made from real ingredients.

How to Find Clean Baby Formula

It’s a little scary when you realize some of the ingredients that are actually allowed in baby formula. Luckily, there are plenty of healthier options out there, it’s just a matter of paying attention to what you’re buying. Here are some tips to help you find a clean and healthy baby formula brand.

Read the ingredient label

This may seem like obvious advice but not everyone takes the time to look at ingredient labels. It can be especially challenging to review all of the ingredients in your baby’s formula when the list is incredibly long and confusing. A good rule of thumb: if the ingredient list is super lengthy and you’re unclear on what most of the ingredients are, it may not be the best choice.

Search for a trusted brand

Take some time to review the baby formula brand. If they offer transparency (such as by being open about sustainability efforts and work ethics) then they are likely a trusted brand. Look for a formula brand that has high work standards and cares about the environment. Also, ask around to see what other parents prefer.

Always buy organic

It is easy to shy away from purchasing organic products, given that they tend to cost more than their non-organic counterparts. However, it is so important to avoid compromising when it comes to your baby’s nutrition. Certified organic baby formula will contain cleaner, safer ingredients. Because baby formula is milk-based, you always want it to be organic because non-organic dairy products could contain hormones and antibiotics.

Choose European baby formula

You don’t have to live in Europe to buy European baby formula. The EU has much higher standards when it comes to what they allow to be placed in food than the United States does. Even if you’re located outside of Europe, you can give your baby European baby formula which is likely to have much cleaner ingredients than American baby formula.

It is a blessing that healthy and safe baby formula is accessible to so many parents. Pay close attention to the ingredients that are in the formula you purchase for your baby and do plenty of research before making a final decision. Choosing an organic baby formula is a surefire way to give your baby a nutrient-rich formula that is free from the harmful ingredients listed above.

Baby Advisor
Enable registration in settings - general
Send this to a friend