Why You Should Never Feed Your Child Commercial Infant Formula

Baby drinking milk from a bottle

Commercial infant formula is an abomination, a concoction of chemicals and industrial “food” that you should never feed your child. Here’s why.

After weaning

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I came across a “food product” called Enfagrow that a relative was feeding her one-year-old boy. Enfagrow is meant to be given to toddlers age 1 to 3 after weaning, and is billed as “Toddler Next Step”.

Here are the ingredients:

The first 3 listed ingredients are non-fat milk, corn syrup solids, vegetable oil. Then following are some chemicals, a multivitamin and mineral supplement, natural flavor, and soy lecithin.

Non-fat milk (in this case, it’s also powdered) has all the healthy milk fat removed. Milk fat contains EPA, DHA (both omega-3 fatty acids) and conjugated linoleic acid, a potent anti-cancer molecule. Skim (non-fat) milk is used to fatten pigs. Think it might have the same effect on children and other people? I do.

Corn syrup solids are a concentrated, dried form of corn syrup, a form of sugar in other words. Sugar in any but small amounts is a health disaster.

Vegetable oils are better known as industrial seed oils, and these are also a health disaster.

Why in the world would you give this to an infant, or anyone you cared about.

You might as well feed them Coffeemate.

This product is made by Meade Johnson, a corporation whose 2016 revenues were $3.7 billion. Think they really care about your child’s health?

As an infant

Not satisfied that you have to wait until they’re one year old to feed them this chemical abomination? Instead of breastfeeding, you can give them chemical formula.

Here’s a popular formula, along with its ingredients:

First 4 ingredients: corn maltodextrin (a refined carbohydrate consisting of chains of glucose molecules), industrial seed oils, soy protein (which in my opinion no one should consume), and sucrose, i.e. table sugar.

This product has all the industrial foods in the first one with the addition of another, soy protein.

The Diseases of Civilization Starter Pack

What happens when babies consume soy? Exposure of infants to phyto-oestrogens from soy-based infant formula:

The daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant-formulas is 6–11 fold higher on a bodyweight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods. Circulating concentrations of isoflavones in the seven infants fed soy-based formula were 13 000–22 000 times higher than plasma oestradiol concentrations in early life, and may be sufficient to exert biological effects, whereas the contribution of isoflavones from breast-milk and cow-milk is negligible.

As Dr. Greiner remarked over on twitter, it’s like giving your child 5 birth control pills daily. A huge exposure to estrogenic compounds.

These two products together might be called the Diseases of Civilization Starter Pack. Lifelong exposure to so-called “food” like this will lead to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Can’t get ’em started on the road to diabesity too young.

Unfortunately, not only does Big Food not care a whit about your or your children’s health, but most people just accept these chemical concoctions as par for the course. Personally, I wouldn’t feed them to a dog.

Usually I write about men’s health and fitness in these pages, but this is an important issue. men have children, and presumably they (and the mothers of their children) want them to grow up to be healthy, lean, and with no endocrine problems. Be aware of these industrial abominations called infant formula.

PS: If you liked this post, pick up one of my books, like Dumping Iron.

PPS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men.

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  1. Rob says:

    Yep, the commercial infant formulas are indeed an abomination. And it doesn’t stop with infant formulas. Have you ever looked at the ingredients for products like Ensure (which is what they give to cancer patients, among others)? It’s every bit as bad, if not worse. Dr. Colin Champ, who is an oncologist (who also knows a lot about nutrition), says he would not give Ensure to his worst enemy! Here is a link to what he says about it: https://www.myhealthwire.com/news/diet-nutrition/990

    • Matthew Morgan (Uncle Maffoo) says:

      I remember hearing about prisoners at Guantanamo being force-fed Ensure. Take the good with the bad…

    • pzo says:

      Ensure and its like are intended to pack calories into a tasty package. We can (properly) kvetch about the ingredients, but for many elderly or in ill health, it’s better than the alternative – not eating or not eating enough.

      Also, there comes a point in one’s life span where one is less likely to worry about all the things that are bad for us. I’m 71 and I am not worrying about BPA or other xenoestrogens. (sp?) I don’t care about sperm quality or quantity, not going to have children even if not vasectomied.

      But just from a scientific curiosity perspective, I wonder what a parent should do if she can’t produce milk, is not near a milk bank, or it could be a man or two men with an adopted infant. What happens if an infant is fed cow’s or goat’s milk, with or without additions like D3 (which I noted once some years ago is now in formulas, as is MCT oil. A hell of a lot healthier than grain oils, for sure.)

  2. Graham says:

    All that omega-6 so young can’t be good for brain development either!

    This kind of infant formula might have something to do with the IQ drop in western countries over the last couple of decades.

  3. Ole says:

    It’s a sign of a sick world, driven only by profit margins. This is not isolated to infant formulas, but a global trend. But perhaps we are getting closer to a break even. Last week Novo (a world leading manufacturer of diabetes medication) in an interview told that the diabetes epidemic could be a potential threat to their future profits, simply because of government regulations on profits.

  4. Ted says:

    Thanks for the article. I read that an acceptable alternative to mothers milk would be goat’s milk

    • pzo says:

      Goat’s milk is often held out as something magical. It’s not, beyond being easier to digest. Something about the fats. Often, people can’t drink cow’s milk w/o indigestion, but are OK with goat’s.

  5. Montgomery says:

    One of the things I do want to know almost militantly is if the people who develop those baby formulas and the executives of those companies that make them feed this stuff to their own babies.

  6. Montgomery says:

    Denmark: One in two boys develops breasts

  7. Montgmoery says:

    I had a certain idea and looked it up a bit:
    Turns out the typical baby formula is very similar to industrial livestock feed:

    The similarities are rather remarkable.
    Basically the cheapest stuff available that makes them grow in the shortest amount of time.
    But livestock has no time to develop cancers, before it is slaughtered much before the time most cancers can develop. And getting fat quickly – well, that’s exactly the purpose of this kind of feed.

  8. Drifter says:

    While we’re on the topic of infant health, I’ve posted this before but I’ll say it again…Dr. Gundry pointed out an observation of his that I have seen multiple times in my social circle, and that is that women who eat very low fat diets and who have children in close succession, will generally have a healthy first child but the following children often have developmental problems. His belief is that this is due to lack of fat in the diet which means that the mother’s body cannot replenish the types of fat necessary to build a healthy brain for the second baby. This seems highly relevant to both men and women and something to give serious consideration to if one is in this situation.

  9. Drifter says:

    Also, for those looking for a better infant food option, here is Paul Jaminet’s recipe…it starts about halfway down the page in this link:


  10. Lindsay says:

    That recipe says it’s to transition kids to good from formula and says to include formula or breast milk in the recipe. Someone above asked and no one has answered. What should you feed an infant if breast milk is not an option?

    • P. D. Mangan says:

      Lindsay, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. Hopefully, a decent pediatrician would know, although I suppose many pediatricians would direct a mother to precisely the garbage food I discussed.

  11. Amy Lyons says:

    Breast milk (perhaps oddly) contains almost no iron. Formula milk is loaded with it. I am certain this will turn out to be a mistake….the constituents of breastmilk have evolved over millions of years to be ideal. Just because we cannot understand why tiny babies have low iron requirements does not mean we know better.

    • P. D. Mangan says:

      Iron supplements increase the risk of infections. So I imagine nature got it right when it omitted the iron from breast milk.

      • Allan Folz says:


        And you’ll likely not be surprised to learn that the medical profession honestly believes breast-milk is pathologically iron deficient. Pediatricians make a big deal to new parents about supplementing infants with formula so they can get adequate iron.

        I remember well the FUD (fear, uncertainty, & doubt) job our pediatrician gave my wife and I some 13 & half years ago when our oldest turned 6 months old. This was before Paleo et al, and all that is now known with regard to diet and nutrition. My wife and I were just inclined to a certain amount of laissez-faire, and let the baby decide what he’d like to eat and when. We’d offer (pre-chewed) table food from time to time and he absolutely was not interested. After the hard-sell FUD job at our boy’s 6 month check-up we tried force feeding iron-fortified, infant rice cereal. It went about as well as you might imagine. Three really pissed off people and rice porridge everywhere but down the gullet. 🙂 After about the third or fourth go at it, I decided enough! This is absolutely asinine… screw the pediatrician and, as they say, the horse she rode in on.

        I also remember well, fittingly enough it as at Thanksgiving, with our son sitting at the table with some 12 adult friends deciding to eat almost a full bowl of squash soup as his first meal. It was incredible. We did our usual of just offering him a little from our own plate, or bowl as in this case. That time he took it, then proceeded to eat almost an entire bowl of the soup. It was hilarious to watch for my wife and me. From then on, he’d eat table food about every meal and in an amount of his choosing. No big deal, and only about a month after the pediatrician guilt-tripped the h*ck out of us for exclusively breast-feeding past 6 months.

  12. Bruce says:

    My grandmother says that women in her day were told to feed babies evaporated milk with corn syrup (Karo syrup) added.

  13. American says:

    “”The Diseases of Civilization Starter Pack””

    Nice bit of writing on this one PD!!

  14. Brandon L. says:

    For those curious, I was only able to come across one brand, Loulouka, a seemingly obscure German product, that is based in whole milk and the most prevalent Oil is Coconut. Doesn’t have added sugar either, however, it does still contain rapeseed and sunflower oil so it isn’t perfect, but does appear to be a superior option.

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