I’m happy to say that after the first few weeks of getting the recipe down, the Great Homemade Formula Experiment is up and running!
Yeah, there were some ugly moments in the beginning, like using the wrong kind of milk to make my own whey (my neighbor’s dog wouldn’t even touch the curdled mass that resulted). Then there was the day I put in a tad too much cod liver oil and my husband and I wound up playing hot potato with our poor 6 month old, who reeked like a bait shop but cluelessly wanted to slobber our faces with his fishy little mouth.
Finally, one exhausted morning (following a sleepless night of being double-teamed by a teething infant and a restless toddler) rushing to get ready for work, I prepared what I thought was finally a perfect batch! The only problem was that when it cooled in the fridge it set up firm as a rubber ball. Turns out I’d made a little boo boo with the measuring spoons and put in about ten times as much gelatin as was called for.
Happily, non of my “oh ohs” were serious and I’m glad to report that no babies were harmed in the making of this formula. And yes, they really do love it. Here’s the recipe, from the good folks at the Weston A. Price Foundation:
Makes 36 ounces
Our milk-based formula takes account of the fact that human milk is richer in whey, lactose, vitamin C, niacin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to cow’s milk but leaner in casein (milk protein). The addition of gelatin to cow’s milk formula will make it more digestible for the infant. Use only truly expeller-expressed oils in the formula recipes, otherwise they may lack vitamin E.
The ideal milk for baby, if he cannot be breastfed, is clean, whole raw milk from old-fashioned cows, certified free of disease, that feed on green pasture. For sources of good quality milk, see www.realmilk.com
If the only choice available to you is commercial milk, choose whole milk, preferably organic and unhomogenized, and culture it with a piima or kefir culture to restore enzymes (available from G.E.M. Cultures 253-588-2922 or http://www.gemcultures.com).
2 cups whole milk, preferably unprocessed milk from pasture-fed cows
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below) Note: Do NOT use whey from making cheese–it will cause the formula to curdle. Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk.
4 tablespoons lactose*
1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis**
2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (not ultrapasteurized), more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
1 teaspoon regular dose cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil*
1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil*
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil*
2 teaspoons coconut oil*
2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes*
2 teaspoons gelatin*
1 7/8 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder*
Add gelatin to water and heat gently until gelatin is dissolved. Place all ingredients in a very clean glass or stainless steel container and mix well. To serve, pour 6 to 8 ounces into a very clean glass bottle, attach nipple and set in a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm but not hot to the touch, shake bottle well and feed baby. (Never, never heat formula in a microwave oven!) Note: If you are using the Lact-Aid, mix all ingredients well in a blender.)
Here are some variations, I haven’t tried them yet but do plan to use the liver formula and am currently preparing the liver in the freezer (it must be frozen at least two weeks before use).
Variation: Goat Milk Formula
Although goat milk is rich in fat, it must be used with caution in infant feeding as it lacks folic acid and is low in vitamin B12, both of which are essential to the growth and development of the infant. Inclusion of nutritional yeast to provide folic acid is essential. To compensate for low levels of vitamin B12, if preparing the Milk-Based Formula (above) with goat’s milk, add 2 teaspoons frozen organic raw chicken liver, finely grated to the batch of formula. Be sure to begin egg-yolk feeding at four months.
Makes about 36 ounces
Our liver-based formula also mimics the nutrient profile of mother’s milk. It is extremely important to include coconut oil in this formula as it is the only ingredient that provides the special medium-chain saturated fats found in mother’s milk. As with the milk-based formula, all oils should be truly expeller-expressed.
3 3/4 cups homemade beef or chicken broth
2 ounces organic liver, cut into small pieces Note: It is VERY important that the liver be frozen for 14 days before using.
5 tablespoons lactose*
1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis**
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below)
1 tablespoon coconut oil*
1 teaspoon cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil*
1 teaspoon unrefined sunflower oil*
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon acerola powder
*Available from Radiant Life 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com
**Available from Natren 866-462-8736, www.natren.com. Also, please note earlier versions of this web page called for 1 tsp of bifidobacterium infantis–this was a typo.
Simmer liver gently in broth until the meat is cooked through. Liquefy using a handheld blender or in a food processor. When the liver broth has cooled, stir in remaining ingredients. Store in a very clean glass or stainless steel container. To serve, stir formula well and pour 6 to 8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle. Attach a clean nipple and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)
FORTIFIED COMMERCIAL FORMULA
Makes about 35 ounces
This stopgap formula can be used in emergencies, or when the ingredients for homemade formula are unavailable.
1 cup Mead Johnson low-iron, milk-based powdered formula
29 ounces filtered water (3 5/8 cups)
1 large egg yolk from an organic egg, cooked 3 1/2 minutes (See recipe for egg yolk, below)
1 teaspoon cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Place 6-8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle. (Store the rest in a very clean glass jar in the refrigerator for the next feedings.) Attach a clean nipple to the bottle and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)