Homemade baby formula is something mothers look for if they find that they cannot breastfeed for some reason, cannot find another source of quality breast milk, and don't want to use commercial formula.
Why Homemade Baby Formula?
Why would you want to make homemade baby formula? Everyone knows breast milk is the best thing for babies. But some of us have not been blessed with an easy time breastfeeding. I loved breastfeeding and had no problems… until I started having issues with my breast milk supply when my baby Kate was only 4 months old.
I tried everything to increase my breast milk supply (fenugreek, round-the-clock pumping, taking her to bed with me for 3 days, etc.). But to my great despair, I had to start supplementing with formula. I felt like a complete failure as a mother.
When my Great Uncle Roy (in his 80s) read on my blog that I was having breast milk supply issues and had to start formula feeding, he emailed me a link to the Weston A. Price Foundation to warn me about the dangers of soy formula.
The more I read, the more I realized that every formula on the market these days has soy in it (usually soybean oil and/or soy lecithin). The more I read about the dangers of soy, I came to the conclusion that there is no good commercial infant formula available. I became determined to find a healthier alternative for my baby. Enter Sally Fallon and Mary Enig's recipe for homemade baby formula.
I'm so grateful we found the homemade baby formula recipe. My daughter got a bad case of cradle cap on commercial baby formula. When we switched to homemade baby formula, her cradle cap disappeared and it never came back.
Notes on the Recipe
The recipe that follows is slightly modified (just the method, not the ingredients) from the recipe by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig published in the book, “Nourishing Traditions”.
The ideal milk for baby, if he cannot be breastfed, is clean, whole raw milk from old-fashioned cows, certified free of disease, that feed on green pasture. For sources of good quality milk, see www.realmilk.com.
Please note: I no longer recommend the book, Nourishing Traditions or the Weston A. Price Foundation, due to their positon on fermented cod liver oil, which I am strongly opposed to and I feel may be dangerous to human health. You can read more about that here: My Take on the Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal.
Homemade Baby Formula Recipe
Makes 36 ounces
Blender (you can use a whisk and a bowl but I think it's much easier in a blender)
Glass bottles (you can also use BPA-free plastic bottles like Medela or Born Free; do NOT use plastic bottles with BPA — it's toxic!)
Whole organic milk, preferably raw, from pasture-fed cows (2 cups)
Filtered water (if you don't have a filter, use bottled distilled water, reverse osmosis water, or spring water) (1 7/8 cups)
Homemade liquid whey — Note: Do NOT use whey from making cheese — it will cause the formula to curdle. Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk. (1/4 cup)
Good quality cream (ideally organic and raw) — (2 TBS or more)
Coconut oil (2 tsp)
High-vitamin cod liver oil (store in the fridge) (1/2 tsp)
Expeller-expressed sunflower oil (store in the fridge) (1 tsp)
Extra virgin olive oil (store in a dark cupboard) (1 tsp)
Lactose powder (4 TBS)
Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes (2 tsp)
Gelatin (2 tsp)
Natren bifidobacterium infantis (store in the fridge) (1/4 tsp)
Acerola powder (1/4 tsp)
It is very important to use the exact amounts that are called for (I have not changed any of the amounts). This recipe was formulated by a nutritionist (Mary Enig) and is designed to be as close as possible to human breast milk.
The only thing I changed in the recipe is how I make it. In the original recipe, they say to add the gelatin powder to the filtered water and warm it slightly until the gelatin dissolves. Many people also like to add the coconut oil to the water so it liquifies. I used to do all of that but after making formula day in day out for over a year now, I find it's easier just to throw everything in the blender and then scoop out the frothy stuff at the top. You can try it both ways and see what works better for you.
1. Add the 2 cups of milk to the blender.
2. Add the 1/4 cup of whey and the 1 7/8 cups of filtered water.
3. Add all the dry ingredients. (I add the dry ingredients first because then I don't get my measuring spoons wet.)
4. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients.
5. Set out some clean glass bottles. How many you will need depends on how much your baby drinks at each feeding. I use 6 bottles and fill them all about 6 ounces each.
6. Using a teaspoon, scoop the clumpy snow-like top layer of formula and distribute evenly into the glass bottles. if you don't scoop it off the top, it will not pour and will get stuck at the bottom of the blender.
7. Distribute the formula into the bottles. When you get near the bottom, you'll notice that the gelatin is kind of sticking around down there (this is why they recommend warming it in water). If you just swirl the formula around in the blender, making sure the gelatin mixes in, you can easily distribute it among the bottles.
8. Put clean nipples and lids on the bottles and stick them in the fridge.
9. To serve, take the bottle out of the fridge and set in a Pyrex measuring cup or coffee cup halfway full of boiling hot water. When warm, shake bottle well and feed baby. Never, never heat formula in a microwave oven!
I bought this Zojirushi hot water dispenser. It was a wonderful investment for warming formula and baby purees. I think you can also use a baby bottle warmer.
I do not recommend setting a cold bottle just out of the fridge in a saucepan of simmering water. I broke a few bottles doing that — which is why I bought the Zojirushi. If you are going to use a saucepan on the stove, use a room-temperature bottle only.
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