What Health Benefits does Soy Formula Have over Regular Formula?

by | Apr 12, 2013 | Health

Babies should never be fed soy toddler formula without the recommendation of a health care professional. Soy formula does not have any specific nutritional benefits – it’s not any better than cow’s milk infant formula, it’s simply an alternative feeding option for babies who struggle to digest cow’s milk protein or who are intolerant to lactose.

The Health Risks of Soy

The soy bean is a huge staple of most Asian diets, and is thought to be a very healthy ingredient.  But recent news has highlighted health risks when feeding soy formula to babies – is there any truth in these stories?  In early 2012, an article on the Huffington Post website highlighted the dangers of soy in an adult’s diet – could these same health risks apply to children? It seems so – studies carried out earlier, in 2011, showed a distinct link between children who were fed soy toddler formula and the development of uterine fibroids later in life – in fact those babies who were fed soy infant formula were 25 percent more likely to suffer from these fibroids.  The reason for this is no doubt due to the naturally occurring isoflavones in soy (these are similar to natural estrogen found in the body) and the high levels of exposure received in these women’s early years.

So is Soy Safe?

The FDA regulates and certifies all baby formula – so if something is definitively unsafe for your child, it won’t make it past their scrupulous tests.  So many foods on the market today are rumored to be unsafe – for examples, we’re told that consumption of processed meats increases our risk of cancer.  Until these foods are removed from the market completely, we probably won’t stop enjoying them, although we may reduce our consumption.  The same applies to soy toddler formula – it’s certified as safe by the FDA and has all the same nutritional benefits for your baby as regular formula, so at this stage there is no cause for concern.  Many physicians will recommend switching your baby to a soy formula if they are allergic to milk proteins.

Soy Formula versus Regular Formula

You’ll find all the same vitamins and minerals in a quality soy formula that you will in regular baby formula. Even store brand soy formula contains DHA and ARA to support eye and brain development, and soy will provide your baby with the same nutrients for growth and development as cow’s milk infant formula.

In conclusion, soy infant formula has no obvious health benefits over traditional cow’s milk formula – it should never be used as a substitute unless recommended specifically by your family physician. You’ll find the same nutrients and health benefits in soy formula as you do in your baby’s regular brand.

Walmart’s exclusive brand Parent’s Choice Formula was introduced in 1998, and is one of the leading baby formula brands in the USA today. As well as milk based infant formula, the brand also offers soy toddler formula and a range of infant food including pediatric nutritional beverages and snacks including cereal bars and yogurt bites. Nutritionally comparable to leading brands, Parent’s Choice Formula meets FDA standards and could save parents $600 a year compared to purchasing name-brand formula.

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