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Carbohydrates in Baby Formula

Carbohydrates (aka sugars) are an important energy source for little ones. In the US, all baby formula contains added carbohydrate. Read on to learn more about baby formula ingredients, carbohydrates and KABRITA goat milk formula.

Ashley Weber, ND

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates (aka sugars) are an important macronutrient. In babies, they provide a readily available source of energy and are essential to their rapid growth and development.

In breast milk, approximately 40% of the energy is from carbohydrates. Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in breast milk.

Carbohydrates in baby formula

Breast milk is the gold standard when it comes to infant nutrition. The goal of baby formula is to mimic, as best as possible, the nutrients found in breast milk.

In the US, all infant formulas contain added carbohydrate. Baby formula manufacturers may use one or a number of approved carbohydrate sources to meet the energy needs of little ones.

Examples of carbohydrates in baby formula might include one or a combination of: lactose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, and/or sucrose.

What is the best carbohydrate in baby formula?

Lactose is the primary carbohydrate in breast milk. Studies have shown that lactose may benefit the gut microbiota and may help with the absorption of calcium. For most babies, lactose is the preferred carbohydrate source in formula and is the main carbohydrate used in KABRITA Goat Milk Toddler Formula.

However, lactose may not be right for all babies. Babies with galacotsemia or congenital lactase deficiency (rare disorders where lactose cannot be broken down) must choose a lactose-free formula, such as soy formula, where an alternate carbohydrate like maltodextrin or corn syrup solids is used.

What about lactose intolerance?

Lactose is often to blame for the tummy troubles associated with cow milk seen in little ones. While lactose intolerance may become common as we age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is uncommon before 2 or 3 years of age.

KABRITA is dedicated to helping parents navigate their child’s nutritional journey. Please visit our blog for additional product and nutritional information. And, if you’d like to see if KABRITA Goat Milk Formula* is right for your family, try our special offer!

*Not suitable for children with cow milk protein allergy

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