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Be Well
Dr. Jamie Fettig

Why Trust me, Dr. Jamie?

Healthy Alternative to Infant Formula and Breast Milk

Healthy Alternative to Conventional Infant Formula, Part III

By Marie Bishop, Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD

From Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Volume 6, Number 2, Pages 18-28.

Make no mistake: the best food for baby is breastmilk from a healthy mother. However, many situations call out for a good substitute: adopted and orphaned babies, babies born to mothers with serious health problems, and babies whose mothers do not have enough milk (a situation that does happen occasionally) deserve to receive something better than commercial formula.

The following questions have been compiled by the authors over a period of several years and should cover most situations encountered by parents giving homemade formula to their babies.

Spitting Up

Q:  What modifications do I make if my baby is spitting up frequently?

A:  If you are using the cow's milk formula, first try eliminating the nutritional yeast, which may be causing the problem. If that does not work, then switch to the goat milk formula; if the problem persists, try the liver-based formula. We can cite several examples of babies who had extreme reactions to any milk-based formula (including projectile vomiting) who did beautifully on the liver-based formula.

Commercial Formula Brands

Q:  Is it possible to use other commercial brands of formula when making the Fortified Commercial Formula recipe? I've seen other suggestions made on

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Once Scrawny, Now Ripped

My son was born at 6 pounds, 4 ounces. By the time I got him home and weighed again, he was down to 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Scrawny! The first week of his life I attempted to nurse, but my mil k never came in sufficiently enough to satisfy him. He was starving and got lighter before I got smarter.

First I tried a store-bought organic powdered baby formula. It was thin and I felt terrible giving it to him. I tried adding oils, but felt terrible not knowing what was the best thing to add to help him grow. I had known about the baby formula recipe, but in rural Alaska could not get all the ingredients. Then I learned I could get them from Radiant Life.

At week three of Brody's life he got his first shot of real, healthy, food. We noticed an immediate difference. He stopped fussing. He slept better. His color improved. His hair started coming in. He acted happy. He gained weight, not the doughy, rolly, fatty weight but a perfectly proportioned body with extra girth at the joints. When he was 3 1/2 months old we began giving Brody organic, 3-minute egg yolks.

Brody is a healthy, happy, smart, inquisitive little guy. He is cute and funny and has a natural charisma that draws people's attention to him. Everyone always comments on how tall he is and how handsome. Most people think he is at least 2 years old when he is barely a year. He has defined biceps and triceps.  His calf muscles are firm and long.

Once when strolling him through the Anchorage airport a young man walked up to me and said to Brody, "Hey, little man!" Then he turned to his 20-something buddies and said, "Dudes! Check him out. He's one ripped up little dude." They then all fussed over him and told him how buff he was. I can only attribute it to his wonderful nutrition.

Lynn Harris, Fairbanks, Alaska 

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A:  The only formula brand we recommend is the one made by Mead Johnson. It is the only commercial formula that we know of that uses lactose and it also contains coconut oil. The recipe should be made up for one day only. The Mead Johnson formula is only a stop-gap formula to be used in emergencies or when the ingredients for homemade formula are temporarily unavailable.

Powdered Whey

Q:   Can I use dry milk powders from high-quality sources like Garden of Life's Goatein, if I can't find a good source of raw or organic milk?

A:   We do not recommend powdered goat whey -- it is lacking in casein. And no matter how carefully it is processed, whey proteins are very fragile and the proteins are going to be altered in processing -- that is why scientists do not use whey-based feed in animal experiments. Instead, they use dried casein, which is a much less fragile protein.

We heard from one parent in California who was using Goatein, when she could have gone out to the store and bought raw milk. If you can't get raw milk, you should make the meat-based formula. Powdered whey is not appropriate -- this is a whole foods formula.

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