Parents have their own reasons to decide if an organic baby formula is best for their little one. While science has shown that breast milk is the ultimate nutritional option for babies, formulas are used in scenarios where natural feeding is not viable.
Once you have decided that only European organic formulas will do, it is time to choose the best for your baby. As a trusted seller of HiPP and Holle formulas, Organic Formula Shop knows that it can be difficult to choose which European formula to go for. For have created a compact overview in the form of a handy chart which displays the differences in some key ingredients.
EU Certified Organic
Both Holle and HiPP have been creating a baby formula for a long time. HiPP was founded in Germany in 1899, and Holle began in Switzerland in the 1930s. Both brands have refined their expertise over the years to produce safe, simple, and nutritionally-complete formulas.
Holle Cow, Holle Goat, and HiPP Dutch & German (through Stage 3) are all EU certified organic. What does this actually mean? An EU Organic Certification can give parents peace of mind that the formula they are giving to their baby is free from some harmful ingredients found in non-organic options. Gain confidence from knowing that Holle is EU certiefied and HiPP also is EU Certified. European organic products guarantee the following:
We from Organic Formula Shop also care about animal wellbeing! The animals are well cared for on EU Certified Organic farms. The cows and goats are fed with 100% organic food and are never given synthetics to encourage growth or production.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
The conversation around pre- and probiotics is often divided between those that think there are benefits and those that find them virtually useless. Pre- and probiotics are both found in breast milk. They act as food for the bacteria in a baby’s belly. This bacteria helps maintain balance and helps support a properly functioning immune system. Parents who have decided they would like to try a pre- or probiotic in their baby formula: all HiPP formulas contain prebiotics. HiPP Hypoallergenic, Anti-Reflux, Comfort, and Dutch (Stage 1 and Stage 2) formulas contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
Whey is a protein that consists of the liquid that stays behind after curdling and straining milk. This protein is found in breast milk and is commonly introduced as one of the first proteins in baby formula. Some babies cannot tolerate this ingredient, as they may be lactose intolerant or even have a whey allergy. Holle Goat Stages 2 and stage 3 are both whey-free.
Lactose is a naturally occurring carbohydrate or sugar that is found in all types of animal milk. Lactose intolerance is when a baby does not produce enough lactase to break down the carbohydrate, which causes digestive issues. A true intolerance is rare amongst babies and more often occurs in toddlers. Lactose serves many purposes and is thought to be in breast milk as an energy source for babies. It also aids in the growth and development of the baby and its brain. There is an alternative called maltodextrin that can be found as a lactose replacement or as a supplement.
Starch used in foods is a carbohydrate just like sugar is. Milk already contains a sugar called lactose. Starch is unique because it does not make foods sweeter. Rather, it makes it thicker and often takes longer to release energy. Generally, it is odorless and tasteless, so that it does not add extra sweetness to food.
New babies often struggle to digest starch, and eliminating them from the early stages can make digestion easier. Dutch HiPP Stage 1,2 and 3, Holle Cow Stage 1 and Holle Goat Stage 1 are all starch free.
Carbohydrate source is one of the most important criteria to consider when choosing an infant formula. Lactose is the main carbohydrate found in breast milk, and it is the best option for sugar in baby formula.
Lactose serves as a great energy source for babies, supporting their physical and mental development, maintaining good gut bacteria, and aiding the absorption of calcium. Infants are born with the ability to produce the lactase enzyme, allowing them to digest lactose easily.
The European Commission requires that 30% of carbohydrates in baby formulas come from lactose, while the US has no standard for lactose amounts. In fact, whereas sucrose is banned in European formulas, many US formulas use cheaper, more processed sugars (such as sucrose) instead of lactose. Some formulas also contain organic maltodextrin—a relatively tasteless complex carbohydrate derived from starch. Although maltodextrin does have a higher glycemic index than lactose, the small quantities included in these formulas are safe for infants. In fact, it helps balance out the sweetness of cow’s milk or goat’s milk. It also thickens formulas and releases energy more slowly than simple carbohydrates so that babies can feel full longer.
All HiPP baby formulas are entirely lactose-based, except for the HiPP Anti-Reflux formula, which contains maltodextrin. The addition of maltodextrin can help ease digestion for those with sensitive tummies. Holle Goat & Cow formulas (Stage 1 and Stage 2) use a combination of lactose and maltodextrin as carbohydrate sources.
Palm oil is found in some of the products on our chart. Breast milk contains an acid, known as palmitic acid, which is a saturated fatty acid. It is found in virtually every living organism.
Palm oil is added to mimic breast milk as closely as possible. It contains palmitic acid and helps provide the necessary fatty acids for proper growth and development.
All but HiPP Germany Stage 2 and 3 and the Dutch Hipp Stage 3 are soy-free. EU Certified Organic standards require that the soy products used are non-GMO, meaning they cannot be genetically modified.
Omega-3 fatty acids (such as ALA & DHA) and Omega-6 fatty acids (like ARA) are instrumental in developing a baby’s brain, nerve, vision, and immune systems. These ingredients are not required to be in formulas produced in North America. Since 2020, DHA is a required component of all European-made infant formulas and can be found in the new formulas of HIPP and HOLLE.
All the HiPP products on our chart contain Alpha-Linolenic Acid. This fatty acid is often found in plant life, including walnuts, seeds, and seed oils.
Docosahexaenoic Acid is another omega-3 fatty acid. It is beneficial for brain and neurological development and is featured in the HiPP Germany and Hypoallergenic Stage 1. This omega-3 is commonly found in fish, eggs, and other sea life.
Like ALA, omega-6 is found in all the HiPP products. These fatty acids are unique as the human body cannot make them on its own. Introducing them via baby formula can help promote brain development and function. Omega-6 has also been known to benefit growth in other areas like skin, hair, and healthy bones.
All Holle Cow stages are certified as meeting Demeter Biodynamic standards. These standards are encouraging because of the high-quality, clean products produced and the ecologically responsible farming method.
Demeter biodynamic farming takes organic to a whole new level. To receive this certification, every ingredient must comply with and come from sources that adhere to the strictest of farming standards.
Strict standards include how the animals, crops, and land surrounding the farm are treated. Demeter focuses on self-contained farming that ensures freedom from chemicals throughout the production process.
Simply put, Demeter is the gold standard of clean, sustainable, responsible food production.
All the products on this chart are premium-quality, healthy options for your baby. The best in the world! With our HiPP and Holle Formula Comparison chart and the subsequent detailed information, we hope that you can make an informed decision about which formula is right for your baby with this information.
We’re here to help!
Still, feeling a little unsure? Please send us a message. Our mission is to help you find the best formula for your little one!