As heartbreaking as this subject is, I feel very strongly about discussing this topic as a way to prevent more damage to children’s health in the future. Unfortunately, recalls of infant formula and related products, and sickness and deaths from babies consuming them are nothing new.
Today, news reports are showing the recall of Simply Thick brand “instant food thickener”. This time the problem is being blamed on a thickening agent in the formula designed as a “digestive aid” to enable infants who have trouble swallowing liquids. Health officials have confirmed that the gel included in this product is the cause of severe tissue inflammation and “may lead to death.”
This story is another testament to the fact that chemicals harm human health. Commercial formulas, like many processed foods, contain a variety of chemicals, preservatives, synthetic nutrients, and other additives. These ingredients are dangerous and don’t contain the nutrition growing babies need, which is why there are so many issues with these products.
It’s also a major contributing factor to many childhood epidemic health problems we hear about so frequently – autism, digestive disorders, food allergies, eczema, asthma, serious infections, failure to thrive or gain weight, chronic illness such as flus, colds, ear infections and sore throats.
Other issues with commercial infant formula
Infant formulas have also been found to contain percholate, which is rocket fuel. The protein content in formulas is highly processed (spray dried) and subjected to high heat temperatures during processing, it causes the cholesterol in to become oxidized. Do you want your infant consuming these substances?
Did you know the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an Omega 3 fatty acid included in infant formulas, is often sourced from genetically modified algae? After hearing this, it wouldn’t surprise me if this ingredient wasn’t in a variety of other food products and health supplements claiming to contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids, especially those claiming to be from plant-based rather than animal-based sources.
Most parents who have raised babies are familiar with so-called “normal” issues that babies experience such as colic, eczema, digestive issues such as gassiness, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and fussiness. These are not normal, and are the baby’s reaction to not receiving adequate nutrition in the diet and also to toxic chemicals found in baby formulas.
My own son was born 9 weeks premature because I had a ruptured appendix. I was very unfamiliar with natural health and the power of real food for preventing health problems back then. So my son was put on formula because I couldn’t breastfeed due to my sickness, and was given a variety of medications while in the hospital and after he came home, and had a variety of health issues including constipation and diarrhea, colic which lasted 5 months, chronic fussiness and inability to sleep well, and was sick frequently during winter months.
He also received 25 vaccines before I realized just how harmful these were to his health. Vaccines contain a variety of toxic ingredients which can greatly suppress the immune system and contribute to a variety of health issues (along with environmental factors and poor diet). I believe my lack of knowledge about all these things contributed greatly to many of his health issues.
I am happy to say that a few years later I discovered all the harm I was doing by not feeding him properly with real, whole, traditional foods and making sure he was not exposed to toxic chemicals in medications and vaccines, and his health has much improved.
In December of 2011 I wrote a post about Enfamil formula killing a 10 day-old infant.
Here are just some of the other infant recalls from the past:
- Gerber Good Start, May 2012
- Nanshan Bywise, July 2012 (China)
- Sanlu Group (formula producer), 2008 (China)
- Bright Dairy cheese product for infants (China)
- Arsenic found in baby formula, February 2012
- Similac, September 2010
Breast feeding and home made formula
Breastfeeding your infant is the best choice for his or her health. Your diet is of critical importance as well, and should include whole foods from the best sources possible such as:
- Grassfed meats and poultry
- Eggs from hens on pasture
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Sprouted, soaked and properly prepared and fermented nuts and grains (grains should be used very sparingly)
Plenty of healthy fats should be consumed:
- Fermented cod liver oil
- Tallow from beef fat or lard from pork fat
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil from a sustainable source
The nutrients found in these foods will not only optimally support your baby’s health, but yours as well. They are important sources of brain, nervous system, endocrine (hormonal), bone, cardiovascular, and immune system health support.
Healthy fats contain critical fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 for all these areas, and are important to enable absorption of minerals and other nutrients from other foods you eat such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
If you cannot breastfeed and are having trouble getting enough nutrition for your baby, check out this great resource for children’s health and feeding your baby a healthy formula, Food For Kids Health. There you will find some great advice about feeding and several recipes for the home-made formula and a hypoallergenic recipe for children with sensitivity to cow’s milk. These recipes are from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Natural choices and real food for your child’s health
If you would like to make more natural and healthy choices for your baby? Watch this informative video from a new series being aired on PBS called Healing Quest. It features a segment about natural child care from a pediatric clinic in CA with Dr. Lindy Woodard, M.D., and talks about a wonderful option for mothers who cannot breastfeed, home-made infant formula with nourishing ingredients.
Dr. Lindy talks about how she came to be a part of this unique clinic. When practicing medicine in the conventional environment, she noticed the children were not getting well, but staying sick from the treatments she was giving them. When she came to this clinic, the focus was on using food as medicine and naturopathic and homeopathic medicines to nourish and heal the body.
Real Food for Mother and Baby, Nina Planck