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Formulas for Infants
Commercially prepared formulas, made from cow's milk or soya beans, have progressed over the years toward a more "human" composition by significant processing of the milk and addition of nutrients. Both cow’s milk and soya based formulas present a host of potential problems, however, for some infants.
Cow’s milk causes disease through its protein content by causing both immediate and delayed patterns of allergy. Soya formulas present similar protein allergy problems and also contain high levels of plant estrogens that may interfere with normal development. If mother decides not to breast feed her infant, there are no easy safe and secure formulas to turn to. The decision is often based on guessing which formula offers the least risk of problems. We have deleted all recommendation for soya formulas as replacements for cow’s milk formulas. When infants react to cow’s milk formulas, hydrolysed milk formulas, Nutramigen and Pregestamil are usually tried. Alimental and Neocate formulas are also available.
Mothers often contact us asking for help feeding infants who do not tolerate any of the “hypoallergenic” formulas that are readily available. There are infants who develop symptoms from almost all food and formulas. For these hypersensitive babies Alpha ENF can be helpful to increase the nutrient intake when food choices are limited. You can establish tolerance by slow gradual introduction of the formula.
Feeding sick infants can be a demanding task and professional supervision is always recommended. Just as a guideline, you can begin by mixing one teaspoon of ENF in about once cup of rice milk or any juice that is tolerated and offer this 3 times a day for a few days. If the child tolerates the introductory dose, more formula can added the rice milk and the volume increased slowly. Alpha ENF is designed to provide all the vitamins and minerals at adult RNI values at 300 grams per day.
The optimal method of determining the correct dose for formula is to estimate the nutrient intake needs of the infant and then calculate the amount of formula required. Vegetable oil can be added to the rice milk, ENF mix to increase the fat content of the diet in the range of 1 to 3 teaspoons per day mixed with the formula. A blend of half olive oil and half canola oiled provides a good fatty acid composition and is often (but not always) tolerated. A common initial effect of the formula is to stimulate contractions of the stomach and small intestine. This effect subsides with use and can be reduced by diluting the formula with more water.
The most common mistake mothers can make is to feed an infant concentrated formula and not offer enough water. Extra water can be added to the formula or taken between formula feedings. The infant should have frequent urination with substantial volume of slightly colored urine. If urine volume decreases and the color becomes darker yellow, the infant needs more water.
Feeding hypersensitive children 1- 5 years
There are very special children who are food intolerant and chronically ill. Many of these children will benefit from careful feeding, following the Alpha Nutrition guidelines. The addition of nutrients in the form of elemental nutrient formulas can be marvelously helpful. Again Alpha ENF can be added to a limited food intake in the range of 50 to 300 grams per day to provide nutrient and caloric intake.
Parents often contact us requesting a specific feeding plan for their sick toddler and we can only reply that a professional assessment is required to determine the specific needs of a specific child. Nutrient needs are sometimes difficult to determine because the individual needs of children may vary from averages and RNI values, especially if food allergy, other illnesses and/or injury are involved. We realize that good professional advice is often in short supply and can be expensive to obtain. The US FDA specifies that Alpha ENF and PMX are to be used under the supervision of a physician. That said, our formula instructions and our books provide general guidelines that help you make reasonable decisions about formula serving sizes and frequency. A reasonable approach is to begin with 100 grams per day for children up to 2 to 5 years and increase up to a maximum of 300 grams per day if required. At 300 grams per day the intake of most nutrients reaches adult RNI with a caloric intake of about 1100.