formula: what's in that muck?

Similac, one of the products made in the Abbot plant in Sturgis that was shut for making contaminated product:

Nonfat Milk, Lactose, Whey Protein Concentrate, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil, Galacto-Oligosaccharides, Less than 2% of: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Salt, Taurine, M-Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Hydroxide and Nucleotides (Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate, Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5’-Monophosphate).…

Powdered cow milk, with some nutrients added.

Decades ago, I used Carnation “Instant Breakfast” for a while. Packet of powder containing favoring and nutrients. Mix with a glass of milk, slurp it down, and start my day.

Nonfat Dry Milk, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Lactose, Vitamins and Minerals (Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Sodium Ascorbate [Vitamin C], Ferric Phosphate [Iron], DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate [Vitamin E], Niacinamide, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin K1, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12), and Less than 2% of Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavor.…

Mostly the same stuff.

But this is Shinyland, where the governing principles are hype and hysteria. So, every day, the “news” shows us some mom saying “I drove 16 hours and paid $400 for this can of formula, because it’s for my baby”.



I have been using Carnation Instant Breakfast (now Breakfast Essentials, and NEW PACKAGING [same weight of contents for each envelope, so…) for 45+ years. Still works great for me.

The infant formula contains minerals (which could be supplied by a vitamin/ mineral supplement) and also nucleotides, which are required for building DNA. For growth.

Babies grow a lot faster than adults replace cells. And their immature metabolism is less able to build complex compounds like nucleotides.



**Why Doctors Don’t Recommend Homemade Baby Formula**

**Amid a nationwide formula shortage, some parents are D.I.Y.-ing recipes. But pediatricians strongly advise against it.**
**By Catherine Pearson, The New York Times, May 11, 2022**

**“The nutrients in homemade formulas are inadequate in terms of the critical components babies need, especially protein and minerals,” said Dr. Steven Abrams, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group has “strongly” advised against homemade formulas.**

**Such formulas can also contain an excess of minerals or nutrients, like salt, which a baby’s developing kidneys or liver may be unable to break down. Even the amount of water used in D.I.Y. recipes poses a potential risk.**

**“The big concern is the balance of the nutrients and the liquids that are added, because if those are not right, that can set up a situation where the baby might get too much water,” said Dr. Suzette Oyeku, chief of academic general pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, in New York City. That can cause a condition known as water intoxication, which can lead to dangerous complications like seizures in young babies....** [end quote]

And don’t give babies Instant Breakfast or any other synthetic mixture made for adults! If you want to ingest that gloop instead of real food, go ahead…but don’t inflict it on a baby!

(Amateurs always think things are simple. Especially cynical amateurs. Professionals realize they are complicated. Especially professionals who are responsible for the well-being of vulnerable infants.)



Why Doctors Don’t Recommend Homemade Baby Formula

And yet, somehow, babies born in the 50s, and for centuries earlier, survived?

Keep feeding that narrative anyway: “parents must bear any burden, pay any price, because, baby”.

If you want to ingest that gloop instead of real food, go ahead…but don’t inflict it on a baby!

The point of posting the ingredients is to show that the two products are mostly the same gloop. Only thing that strikes me as problematic about the “Instant Breakfast” product is the added sugar. Carnation now produces a version of “Instant Breakfast” with less than 1g of added sugar per serving, on top of the 7g in the milk base of the product.

But then, baby formulas contain sugars too, they just aren’t disclosed.

Why Doesn’t Baby Formula List Sugar Content?

Enfamil Premium and Parent’s Choice premium infant formulas had the highest sugar content, at 13.5 and 12.4 grams per serving. The amounts are high but experts say the type of sugar revealed is the best: lactose, the same type found in breast milk.

Similac Advance Organic Complete Nutrition contained one of the sweetest kind: sucrose – measuring in at 3.5 grams of sugar per serving. Similac Soy Infant Formula with Iron contained four kinds of added sugar, including sucrose, for a total of 3.8 grams per serving, roughly the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar every 5 ounces…



When my son was a tweenager, I talked to his pediatrician about switching him from pediasure (or similar store brands) to adult Ensure. The adult formulation had more calories per bottle, so it looked like a plus to me. (And it was cheaper! Insert baby product rant here.) The pediatrician pointed out that the pediasure had much fewer of some of the trace elements, making it easier on some organs which weren’t yet fully mature (kidney? liver? pancreas? I don’t recall which). I checked the nutrition labels on each product, and she was right. (Imagine that. A doctor who knows about doctorin’ stuff.)

So I’ve stuck with the pediatric formula.

I wouldn’t worry about using an adult product in a pinch. But for a steady diet, I’d keep an eye on some of those trace elements and make sure they are sufficiently low for a baby.


PS - Now that he’s in his early 20’s, it’s probably a reasonable time to consider switching again.

And yet, somehow, babies born in the 50s, and for centuries earlier, survived?

But, not necessarily at the same rate or in the same state of health.