(BPT) – The MythBusters on TV’s Discovery channel tackled hundreds – if not thousands – of myths in their 19 seasons on the air, but many questions still surround one topic never covered: infant feeding. Baby feeding has many pervasive myths, especially about infant formula. Here are five of those myths debunked by Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, family physician and co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year:
Myth 1: Breast is best.
Fact: It depends on the mother and her baby. Baby formulas are a completely acceptable, doctor-approved and time-tested option when feeding baby. Breastfeeding is hard. It seems like it should be natural and easy, but so often it isn’t. A recent study conducted by Perrigo Nutritionals found more than half of moms experience issues when it comes to breastfeeding baby with low breast milk supply being the top concern. Additionally, while only 18 percent of new moms expect to introduce infant formula to baby during the first three days of life, in reality 45 percent relied on infant formula during those first days. If you experience breastfeeding challenges, look to formula as an ally – it can be used as a supplement while breastfeeding to provide some relief or used exclusively depending on mom and baby’s needs. Also, know that you can find help and support. Consider talking with a friend who has nursed her babies, your pediatrician, a lactation consultant or a local La Leche League.
Myth 2: You have to sterilize your baby’s bottles.
Fact: You do not need to sterilize your baby’s bottles. This is another time saver for you! You should sterilize new bottles and nipples before you use them for the first time. Simply put them in boiling water for five minutes. After that first time, however, you probably don’t need to sterilize them again.
Instead, you can run bottles and nipples through the dishwasher. Or if you’re ‘old school,’ wash them in hot, soapy water. Rinse them carefully to remove any soap residue.
Myth 3: Babies prefer warm formula.
Fact: Not necessarily. It’s perfectly fine to feed your baby formula at room temperature (as long as it’s freshly prepared), or even a little cool from the refrigerator. Your baby is most likely to prefer his or her formula at a consistent temperature. In other words, if you start warming it you’ll probably have to continue warming it.
Here’s an easy way to warm your baby’s bottle: Set the filled bottle in a container of warm water and let it stand for a few minutes. Check the temperature of the formula on the inside of your wrist before feeding it to your baby. It should feel lukewarm, not hot.
Myth 4: Measuring formula isn’t a big deal – just ‘eyeball it.’
Fact: The instructions for preparing your baby’s formula are important. Follow the directions on the label carefully. If you put too little water in your baby’s formula, it can give baby dehydration or diarrhea. If you put too much water in the formula, you’re watering it down and your baby isn’t getting enough nutrients. It’s critical to measure carefully each and every time.
Myth 5: Brand-name formula is best.
Fact: Nationally advertised, brand-name formula and store-brand formula are practically identical but have different effects on your family budget! Did you know all infant formulas sold in the United States must meet the same FDA standards and offer complete nutrition for baby? That means store-brand formula is nutritionally comparable to nationally advertised brands. In fact, store-brand formula is clinically proven to support baby’s growth and development and proven to be just as well tolerated by your baby as those other brands.
So, what’s the main difference? Store-brand formulas cost less because they don’t spend millions of dollars on marketing. Think about all the ads you see on TV and all the samples that get handed out in doctors’ offices. In the case of those big brands, those marketing costs are passed on to you in the form of a higher price tag on each container of formula.
Once you get into the groove of feeding your baby, it will all feel like second nature. And then it will almost be time to give up the bottle!
* You’ve heard about the battle against trans fats, but there are other, arguably scarier things in your food than than artery-blocking fat. Laci is joined by Anthony for a list of the top five nastiest things lurking on your dinner plate.
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Trans fat is double trouble for your heart health
“Trans fat raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol. Find out more about trans fat and how to avoid it.”
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“If you’re still reeling from the horsemeat scandal, hold on to your hats – there may well be arsenic in your beer and rat hair in your chocolate.”
Food and Flavorings
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Many Processed Foods are Made with a Coal Tar Derivative Chemical that Causes Hyperactivity in Children
“Would you knowingly feed your children an ingredient derived from coal tar? That’s exactly what you may be doing, if you let them eat any orange or yellow artificially-colored products including sodas, cheese-flavored products, flavored chips, pickles or a myriad of other foods and beverages”
Food bloggers start petition to drop yellow dyes from Kraft Mac & Cheese
“Are the colored additives used in Kraft’s popular Macaroni & Cheese products dangerous? That’s what two food bloggers are alleging in their petition to Kraft Foods to remove Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 from the blue-boxed pantry staples.”
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The 5 Nastiest Things In Your Food