Best Organic Vegetarian-Friendly Infant Formulas

It is sometimes a misconception, but many vegetarians actually do drink cow’s or goat's milk!

Milk is a complete source of protein for vegetarians and, as you know, an excellent source of calcium. This is incredibly important for babies as well as the essential amino acids that benefit their nutritional needs. When you hear of diets excluding cow’s milk, it’s usually a vegan diet (which consumes absolutely no animal products whatsoever) or there is some kind of allergy to the proteins in cow’s milk. An allergy, however, is usually somewhat rare. 

If your little one is being raised on a vegetarian diet, finding the right formula doesn’t have to be difficult. Especially if you want to also avoid soy as a replacement protein if exclusive breastfeeding isn’t an option. We stock two incredible vegetarian-friendly options, for a cow's milk formula, Kendamil Organic Formula is an excellent choice, and for an incredible goat's milk option, we suggest our very popular, Holle Goat.

Kendamil Organic Formula

Kendamil is a European formula brand that goes above and beyond when it comes to the happiness and ethical treatment of the grass-fed Jersey cows that supply the milk the company utilizes. Kendamil’s founder Ross McMahon is very passionate about informing people that stressed animals mean the product tastes different. In his experience, free-range animals are stress-free and produce fresh milk rich in omega 3 with a delicious sweet taste.

Accommodating all three formula stages, Kendamil Organic uses the full cream of the milk, which contains Milk Fat Globule Membrane (or MFGM), this is also found in breast milk! The main difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2 is the whey/casein ratio, which changes from 60/40 to 40/60. This is similar to breast milk because as breast milk matures, its composition shifts to a more balanced ratio of approximately 60% whey and 40% casein. What really sets Kendamil apart is that they are the only formula in the world to have HMOs naturally-occurring. HMOs are found in colostrum after birth, specifically 3’-GL,4’-GL and 6’-GL and each play important roles in infant immunity and in the attenuation of inflammation in an infant's gut by blocking pathogens from entering the bloodstream. 

Additionally, Kendamil formulas are made without soy oil or palm oil and contain plant-based DHA derived from algal oil instead of fish oil. Along with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), algal oil also contains omega-9 fatty acids and by being plant-derived, Kendamil formulas are suitable for families on a vegetarian diet. Another huge plus is by avoiding fish oil in all of their products, Kendamil is working to protect our ocean’s ecosystems and wildlife stocks. 

By working directly with farmers, Kendamil pasteurizes the milk in their own factory (which runs on 100% renewable energy), wet blend it with essential vitamins and minerals, and spray dry it into a golden particulate powder. As opposed to buying milk powder, like most other formula companies out there, they themselves turn the EU-certified organic raw milk they collect into the powder used for formula, cutting out an unnecessary heat-treatment step that can denature the milk proteins inside!

Holle Goat Formula

Another great vegetarian-friendly formula option for your baby is the Holle Goat, which is derived from grass-fed goats. Holle is one of the most well-respected organic baby formula brands in the world with a decades-long commitment to using only high-quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients from well-cared-for animals. Holle Goat uses the full cream of whole organic goat’s milk and although goat’s milk and cow’s milk have many similarities, there are certain cow’s milk proteins that do not appear in goat’s milk or are present in different quantities. This means that some babies who show signs of cow’s milk protein sensitivity may be able to tolerate a goat’s milk-based formula. Research also suggests that babies can digest goat’s milk more quickly and completely than cow’s milk. This may help to alleviate symptoms of digestive discomfort such as constipation, gas, and cramps. Holle Goat has a casein to whey ratio of 80/20.

These formulas offer the essential micronutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D, and B12. Plus all Holle Goat formulas are free of corn syrup, glucose syrup, sucrose, gluten or soy. Manufactured and packaged in Germany, this product is certified organic to European Union standards, which are stricter than comparable standards in the United States!

Our customers have said they love Holle Goat because they have found relief from issues such as eczema and diaper rash, in addition to those common digestive issues such as constipation. The below testimonial comes from Dannie Zou:

“The decision to stop breastfeeding was exceptionally emotional and difficult for me. However, discovering the wonderful Holle Goat formula -- and a caring, efficient retailer like Little Bundle-- definitely made my feeding journey easier. The Holle Goat was recommended by a friend who specializes in nutrition, and it was a great choice for my son. Bryce had trouble putting on weight when he was very young, but he immediately began gaining appropriately when he started on Holle Goat at two months. He continued to thrive after transitioning to Stage 2 at six months, and he never had constipation or any other digestive issues. Bryce graduated from formula after his first birthday and is now a happy and healthy toddler!”

Making sure your baby’s needs are met

Once your vegetarian baby begins solids, it’s still necessary to be sure that he or she gets enough protein and calcium. It is recommended that babies continue breast milk or formula as the primary source of nutrition in the first year of life –– even if you are introducing solids. Because both Kendamil and Holle Goat have Stage 3 formulas for the later months of your child’s first year (and beyond), you can ensure your child continues to get a great source of protein and calcium. 
Ultimately, if your household is living a vegetarian lifestyle, know that you have wonderful options for your baby. But as always, we highly recommend you speak with your pediatrician before starting a new formula or specialized diet for your child.

Still unsure of which formula to try? 

Rest assured our team of Infant Nutrition Technicians are here to help guide you. Use our live chat or send us a message, it’s our top priority to help provide the best nutrition for your little one.

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