East Texas pediatrician gives tips for baby formula alternatives – KLTV

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – There may soon be an end in sight to the baby formula shortage.
“The Abbott plant in Michigan is supposed to be back up and running in two weeks, so there should be a normal flow of product back to the shelves. Within about 6 to 8 weeks, we should see them return to previous levels,” says Dr. Kerri Camp, professor of marketing at UT Tyler.
But for some moms, that is up to eight weeks of wondering how they will feed their babies. The question remains, if you can’t find your child’s formula, what do you do?
Dr. George Fidone, pediatrician at the The Children’s Clinic in Lufkin, says there are some do’s and don’ts when looking for alternatives to formula.
“There are some things we recommend you absolutely do not do,” says Dr. Fidone. One of those is homemade formulas.
“You used to be able to make homemade formula with evaporated milk and Karo syrup and a few other ingredients, and that was the formula of the day years ago,” he says. “We found it to be wholly inadequate as a sustained nutritional source because of the variability in proteins, the variability in carbohydrates. Not to speak of very few minerals and necessary elements like iron, potassium and the nutrients necessary to maximize healthy babies and growth.”
Dr. Fidone also says not to water down the formula you already have to extend its life. He also recommends staying away from plant-based milk alternatives.
“We ask that you not use almond milk, so in general, plant-based milks,” says Dr. Fidone. “We tell you not to use those because they’re deficient in calcium and protein.”
Dr. Fidone says the exception is soy milk.
“You can use soy milk as long as those kids are near to a year of age,” he says. “And as long as its supplemented with protein and calcium.”
Dr. Fidone also says breast milk will work for a child of any age and that cow’s milk will work for some.
“Cow’s milk [for] about six months [old] or thereabout, for a couple of weeks” says Fidone. “I would supplement with iron because of the poor iron that’s found in cow’s milk.”
Dr. Fidone also recommends checking online social media accounts when searching for a specific formula. He also says look into buying store-name or store-brand formula. He says many pediatricians’ offices may also have extra formula in stock.
Above all else, check with your pediatrician for specifics on what is best for you and your baby.
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