As a Midwife, Health Visitor and Parenting Coach, Katie Hilton has worked alongside hundreds of parents. We asked her to tell us a little bit more about her experience with formula products and what’s important. Here’s what she had to say.
Of course, I am frequently asked about formula feeding and often my answer has always been one of the very well-known brands available on the market. It wasn’t until I discovered Kendamil that I really understood the difference between formulas readily available on the market and the truth left me feeling shocked, disappointed and somewhat frustrated that my profession had been prevented me from learning this information to ensure we were providing safe and effective care in the best interests of the families we work with.
You see, what I’ve learnt since the time I started working with Kendamil is the importance of feeding a baby with a full cream (whole milk) formula. All formulas available on the market currently use skimmed milk, mainly done to reduce company costs, but research has demonstrated that full cream milk offers numerous benefits to a baby including increased energy, growth and development and easier digestion. The full cream content also has a more natural and sweeter taste which means it is more easily accepted by babies and makes the transition to cow’s milk seamless at 12 months of age. Our whole milk is sourced locally from farms throughout Cumbria and Lancashire, and used to produce Kendamil in the the Lake District – so it really is ‘British-Made’! As the only British baby formula and thanks to their strong heritage and support of local dairy farmers, the Kendamil range is the only formula range to be awarded with the ‘Red Tractor’ accreditation.
When I first started working with Kendamil, I had a little knowledge around palm oil. I’m ashamed to say my knowledge was mainly from my school-age son who often came home from school telling me stories of the devastating effects on the environment of harvesting palm oil. So, when the Kendamil team filled me in on the facts of palm oil consumption, I was truly shocked. Palm oil is typically considered a controversial oil for both health and environmental reasons. It has a high saturated fat content, which in the long term can be harmful to cardiovascular health. More than 50% of the goods we use today, including some baby formula, contain palm oil, which is worrying considering the amount of feeds a baby has over a 24-hour period. One of the most common side effects of palm oil is constipation and when palm oil is digested in the stomach it can turn into a soap-like, frothy substance which mimics the symptoms of lactose intolerance. All of a sudden all those babies I saw on a frequent basis with constipation, colic and lactose intolerance type symptoms made perfect sense and when I started to think deeper about this, I realised these symptoms don’t just affect the baby, it also has a massive impact on parents, who suffer sleepless nights due to an uncomfortable baby.
This information truly shocked me and it made me want to share the message far and wide with the parenting community, promoting the story of the Kendamil range and their ’No Palm Oil‘ message – to me, it’s vitally important that parents understand why this is so key when selecting an formula for their baby. The range is also vegetarian friendly and allergy-free (as its omega-3 and omega-6 come directly from pure marine algae as opposed to fish oils). Through using pure marine algae to provide the omega-3 and omega-6 it also provides a much purer quality of product. Whilst it does cost more to produce formula with these nutrients, it’s refreshing to see that Kendamil chose to go this route to provide a better quality of formula for babies.
This same ethos runs through the entire Kendamil range, from their organic formulas, to their cereals and weaning foods, which also includes a gluten free option and uses fruits free from contaminants, heavy metals and pesticides.