When breastfeeding does not occur either through parental choice or medical need, infant formulae will be required.
Infant formulae are by definition foods intended for particular nutritional use by infants during the first months of life and satisfying by themselves the nutritional requirements of such infants until the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding.
In case breast milk is not an option, feed the baby with a doctor-recommended commercial formula. The baby should get 60 to 90 ml of formula per feeding.
Both breast-fed and formula-fed infants should show similar growth and development patterns. To achieve this, infant formulae are formulated in such a way as to mimic the composition in macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) of breast milk. Infant formula is generally based on milk of cows or other animals and other ingredients which have been proven to be suitable for infant feeding. The nutritional safety and adequacy of infant formulae should be scientifically demonstrated to support normal growth and development of infants.
The necessary components approved for inclusion in infant formulae are outlined in the global standards recommended in 1981 by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which has since been revised in 2005. Furthermore, quality control ensures formula is regulated to a higher standard than most food products. Today, there are several formula options to meet the nutritional demands of infants with special conditions and metabolic disorders.
For example, “hungry” formulas, soy formulas, hypoallergenic formulas, goat-milk formulas, and goodnight milks with added fiber or rice are recognized as nutritional alternatives.