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Understanding the Carbohydrates in Baby Formula

by Kabrita USA May 16, 2017

Carbohydrates (aka sugars) are an important energy source for little ones. In the US, all baby formula contains added carbohydrate. Read on to learn more about baby formula ingredients, carbohydrates and Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula.

Grinning curly haired toddler

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient. In babies, they provide a readily available source of energy and are essential to their rapid growth and development.

In breast milk, approximately 40% of the energy is from carbohydrates. Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in breast milk.

Carbohydrates in Baby Formula

Breast milk is the gold standard when it comes to infant nutrition. The goal of baby formula is to model, as best as possible, the nutrients found in breast milk.

In the US, all infant formulas contain added carbohydrate. Baby formula manufacturers may use one or a number of approved carbohydrate sources to meet the energy needs of little ones.

Examples of carbohydrates in baby formula might include one or a combination of: lactose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids, and/or sucrose.

What is the Best Carbohydrate in Baby Formula?

Lactose is the primary carbohydrate in breast milk. Studies have shown that lactose may benefit the gut microbiota and may help with the absorption of calcium. For most babies, lactose is the preferred carbohydrate source in formula. Lactose is the main carbohydrate used in Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula. 

However, lactose may not be right for all babies. Babies with galactosemia or congenital lactase deficiency (rare disorders where lactose cannot be broken down) as well as with cow milk protein allergy (there may be cow milk protein residue on lactose) must choose a lactose-free formula, such as soy formula. Lactose free formula will use an alternate added carbohydrate, like maltodextrin or corn syrup solids. 

What about Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose is often blames for the tummy troubles associated with cow milk seen in little ones. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is uncommon before 2 or 3 years of age. This means that a formula with lactose is the preferred choice for most healthy babies. 

Want to learn more about other macronutrients in formula? Visit our blogs on Understanding Fat and Protein in Baby Formula. 


Are you curious to see if Kabrita Goat Milk Formula & Foods may be right for your family? Check out our FREE Trial Kit today!

Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula may be an option for little ones during feeding transitions, such as weaning and supplementing, or those with minor issues associated with cow milk sensitivity*.

We encourage parents to consult their little one’s healthcare provider before making a feeding change. 

*Not suitable for children with confirmed cow milk protein allergy

Kabrita USA
Kabrita USA