US vs. EU Baby Formula: What’s the difference?

US vs. EU Baby Formula: What’s the difference?

Infant nutrition plays a crucial role in a baby's growth and development. As parents, you seek the best options for your little ones. Therefore, choosing between different infant formulas available on the market becomes a critical decision.

Here are the most important characteristics of US and EU Formula:


Both the European Commission and FDA have maximum and minimum amount requirements for calories, macronutrients and micronutrients in infant formulas. Both agents require a similar composition of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, as well as the inclusion of certain important micronutrients, such as vitamin B, folic acid, choline and calcium.

However, there are some KEY DIFFERENCES between the US & EU Formula: 


What is IRON good for?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes iron supplementation as essential for the growth and development of the brain and nervous system

US vs. EU

IRON is higher in US formulas compared to EU formulas (avg. 1.80 mg/1 cup in the US compared to max. 1.3 mg/1 cup in the EU).

What does this mean?

Iron content in US formulas exceeds the maximum allowable iron concentration of infant formula set by the European Commission.


What is DHA?

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty that supports the normal physical development of the brain and eyes.

US vs. EU

DHA is not mandatory in US formulas, while it is mandatory in EU formulas. DHA concentrations in the US are lower than those in the EU (avg. 12.6 mg/1 cup in the US compared to 20 mg/1 cup in the EU).

What does this mean?

DHA concentrations in US formulas are far below the minimum required DHA concentrations set by the European Commission.


US vs. EU

The European Commission only allows lactose in infant formulas, which is the main carbohydrate in most infant formulas. Compared to EU formulas, the American FDA also allows the use of corn syrup.

What does this mean?

For those who desire corn syrup-free baby formulas, using only natural sweeteners, European baby formulas might be more suitable than US ones.


What you should remember:

Despite the fact that US and EU infant formulas have similar characteristics, there are a few key differences in composition and regulations. The main differences are represented by the content of IRON, DHA and the addition of sugars in US Formulas, such as corn syrup, which is banned in EU infant formulas. 

Remember, as a parent,  it is your responsibility to seek out specialized help from your healthcare professional to decide which is the most suitable formula for your baby.


View HIPP Formulas here
View Holle Formulas here
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