All About the New DHA Requirements for European Baby Formula
If you are formula feeding your little one, chances are you know just how important DHA is in their development. Just in the month of February, changes to EU regulations about the nutrient content of baby formula came into effect. There will be a slight increase in the amounts of Vitamin D and choline in formulas, but the most important takeaway is the addition of DHA to all infant formulas and others that don’t contain this important nutrient. Those that already feature DHA will be increasing the amount in order to meet the new regulations.
Adding DHA to European Formulas
Based on the findings of the latest scientific and nutritional research, the EU has decided that all formulas for babies up to a year old should contain the omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA, which is derived from fish oil. This means that all Yummy Ganic formulas will soon feature DHA on their list of ingredients. DHA is a key ingredient in our HiPP Stage 1 and specialty formulas, and we’re excited that more of our formulas will soon contain this important nutrient.
As a parent, you probably know how amazing DHA is - and we’re very excited that the EU has made this important decision. Although these new formulas may have a slight change in smell and taste, most babies should adjust fairly quickly to the new recipe. Some formulas, such as HiPP German, will have slight modifications to feeding frequency, which reflects the latest research about the energy requirements of babies. HiPP German has also improved the solubility of their formula, which will make preparation even easier for parents.
What’s so great about DHA?
The decision to include DHA in all formulas takes into account new scientific research on infant nutrition and development. Just as it’s essential for women to ensure that they have enough DHA intake during pregnancy, babies also need a good amount of DHA - either from breast milk or formula. DHA has long been recognized as a necessary fatty acid for babies and is needed for brain and nervous system growth and development.
There are many incredible benefits of omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA. Studies have shown that omega-3 has a positive impact on cognition, learning, language, motor skills, and behavior in children. It has also found that there is a link between significant amounts of DHA and healthy retinal development, better visual acuity, and immune response to allergens.
Despite the extensive health benefits of DHA, many babies and toddlers do not get enough in their diets. Unless young children are eating two to three servings of fish each week, it’s unlikely that they will have enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. For breastfed infants, this amount depends on how much omega-3 the mother is consuming, which is why fish oil supplements are often recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
With these new regulations, it’s now very straightforward to ensure that formula-fed babies are receiving enough DHA. Not only will all formulas be required to have DHA, but the EU has also increased the requirements for omega-3 in existing DHA-fortified formulas - as more DHA have been found to be safe and healthy for babies. This lessens the need for additional DHA supplements.
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