If you read my latest post about my battle with breastfeeding, I recently had to give up breastfeeding and decided to transition Beckett onto an organic, homemade formula. I decided that the time I had spent both pumping and breastfeeding could be put to great use by making Beckett his formula, rather than buying in a can. Additionally, I did not want to put Beckett on a cow milk formula as I didn’t think it would be a good match for him. From the beginning he seemed to be sensitive to dairy (I cut out dairy early when breastfeeding as I noticed he was significantly less fussy once I did) and since I too have always had a sensitivity to it, I felt goat’s milk would be a better fit for him. Plus, I wanted to do what I believe is the next best option to breast milk by giving him something homemade and fresh.
Goat milk is believed to be more gentle on the digestive system and has more similar nutrient qualities to breast milk than cow milk. Dr. Sears (famous pediatrician and author) wrote a great page on goat milk as it pertains to feeding infants, toddlers and children. To summarize, he breaks down the qualities of goat milk and compares them to cow’s milk pointing out that goat milk is easier to digest due to the different fat and protein content. It also has many higher levels of nutrients such as the antioxidant selenium, potassium, Vitamin B-6, calcium, niacin and copper and in some cases the nutrients are more than doubled the percentage in cow milk. It does however have less folic acid and B12, which is why commercial goat milk infant formula is not sold in the United States. In the recipe I use below you will notice there are great sources of B vitamins to make up for what is lost in using goat milk. (Additionally, I have Beckett supplemented with a multi-vitamin and fish oil).
In doing the research for a goat-milk based formula recipe, I came across the one below on a nutritional therapist’s health blog, Organic Thrifty. It is adapted from my most trusted and favorite cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, so I immediately knew it was the right recipe for us. With the permission of our pediatrician and clinical nutritionist, I found a local co-op that sells raw goat’s milk and began making Beckett’s new food.
In a nutshell Sally Fallon is a founder of the Weston Price Foundation, which is a nonprofit charity dedicated to restoring nutrient dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. Dr. Weston Price was a dentist who wanted to figure out what was causing the tooth decay he was seeing in his practice and decided to study cultures around the world. In his studies he learned that beautiful straight teeth free of decay were prevalent in cultures that were eating traditional, organic diets much like those of our ancestors, full of healthy natural fats.
In another post I will go into detail about the differences between drinking raw milk versus pasteurized but if you are curious as to why, Realmilk.com is a great website that breaks down the facts. If it is something that makes you nervous, that is completely understandable as we live in a country that has instilled fear in us about eating/drinking raw dairy. This recipe can still be made with pasteurized goat milk which may be the only thing available to you anyway. It isn’t easy to find raw goat milk everywhere and may have to really research it if it is important to you.
The Weston Price Foundation also has a non-dairy homemade formula alternative on their site for those interested. They have a very handy page that compares the nutrients of their cow milk, goat milk and non-dairy liver based formulas versus commercial formula and breast milk. I found it super interesting!
Weston Price Infant Formula Nutrient Comparison
I am very happy to report Beckett has been thriving on his new food with no issues on it whatsoever. As with any transition from breast milk to formula it took a couple of weeks for his body to regulate but is now doing fantastic and he LOVES the taste. In fact, I have been drinking it a few times a week as well since it is so nutritious and I don’t mind the taste at all. I can’t believe how much energy I have after drinking a bottle!
Happy Formula Making!
(Taken straight from Organicthrifty.com and a few of my notes added in red as well)
Disclaimer: It must be said that you should consult your health care practitioner for any and all infant feeding questions, and be certain that you have taken all measures in order to increase your breast milk supply if in fact you are supplementing for lack of milk as I was. Since I had thoroughly exhausted my efforts at increasing supply, I sought the most high-quality alternative under the supervision of two naturopathic doctors. Also, make sure to get a supply of goat milk from a farmer you can trust. If you must use pasteurized goat milk, you can do so as well.
Raw Goat Milk Formula**
2 cups raw goat milk
2 cups filtered water
1/4 cup liquid whey from goat yogurt or kefir (contains lots of good probiotics and is very nourishing; making it more like breast milk.) HERE IS THE RECIPE I USE FROM NOURISHING TRADITIONS
1 -2 tsp organic blackstrap molassas (start with less, add more if needed. This provides B-vitamins, iron, trace minerals, and helped relieve constipation.) BECKETT GETS THE FULL 2 TSP.
2 tsp raw agave nectar (adds carbs, necessary for brain growth. Alternatively, you could use lactose, but I wanted to avoid this as I could not find a source that was made from goat milk since Jonathan was reacting to anything made from cow milk. Organic Brown Rice Syrup is also an option, but I didn’t like the processing involved here. Obviously honey is out.)
1/4 tsp of bifodobacterium infantis (I used Metagenics “Bifidus” which is a dairy-free culture and of high quality. Also, Bio-Kult is a strong probiotic that has been used with infants as well. Consult your ND! Available through naturopaths, chiropractors, and other practitioners. I GET OUR PROBIOTICS FROM OUR NUTRITIONIST AND CHIROPRACTOR’S OFFICE. DELSON INSTITUTE FOR WELLNESS
1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil
1 tsp unrefined sunflower oil (Rapunzel brand)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp virgin coconut oil (this is very important, as it contains lauric acid which is a medium-chain fatty acid. It’s an important antiviral, antifungal that’s found in breast milk)
2 tsp nutritional yeast (this is also very important as it contains the B vitamins. I like Bob’s Red Mill “Food Yeast” and Frontier as well. They are MSG-Free ) I LIKE LEWIS LABS AS IT IS GLUTEN-FREE
1/4 teaspoon amla or acerola powder (I prefer amla, as it does not contain any extra additives, and I found this for cheap in an Indian store) I WAS ABLE TO FIND ACEROLA WITHOUT ADDITIVES AT THE LOCAL HEALTH FOOD CO-OP
Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into individual glass bottles or one large. To warm, place in a pan of simmering water. Never use a microwave. This formula is best made daily to preserve freshness and to optimize nutrition.
**With my busy work and life schedule, I can’t always make it fresh every morning as is suggested so I will often make one or two big batches for the week and freeze the week’s worth. I then take it out the day I need it and use it within 24 hours of defrosting. I basically follow the same rule as I did with breast milk but just to be extra cautious, I try to use what is fresh within a couple of days of making.
It may seem like quite a commitment to make but the more you make it, the faster you can do it. I can make two days worth in less than twenty minutes from start to finish. My amazing mom went out and found me 42 glass bottles so that when I make it to freeze, it is already in an individual 6 oz serving. If you don’t have the freezer space for that but still would like to be able to make ahead, you can also use 36 oz glass jars and freeze the day’s worth that way.
Making the whey is the only thing that really takes time and planning. I like to start it at night and by the morning I have at least one cup of whey (4 days’ worth) and by the end of that day I can get up to another 4 days’ worth. I never clean the spoons between ingredients and get everything out before I start to save time. If you’d like more info about my efficient routine and experience, feel free to email me!
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