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If you’re an affluent mom with a Facebook account, chances are you’ve stumbled on a post in your feed from another mom inquiring about or extolling the virtues of European baby formulas HiPP and Holle. In fact, there are entire Facebook groups dedicated to parents who prefer these brands over the typical FDA-approved formulas offered stateside, and gather to discuss where to buy European organic baby formulas in the U.S.
You would think in 2023 it would be easy to place an order online and get your shipment, but since the U.S. has many FDA regulations when it comes to baby formula, it takes some strategizing to get it delivered to your doorstep. Even though European formula is not FDA-approved and technically illegal to buy in the U.S., that isn’t stopping mothers from seeking it out, regardless of the risks involved.
Ahead, learn more about the benefits, potential pitfalls and where to buy European organic baby formulas in the U.S.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. OBF24 is a SheKnows sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
What’s the Difference Between U.S. and European Baby Formula?
American baby formulas are heavily regulated by the FDA and are required to contain a specific amount of vitamins (like iron and vitamin D) and nutrients rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA (even though DHA is not required) in order to be sold on shelves. The FDA also regulates how manufacturers store the formula, how it’s packaged, and how it’s labeled. Unlike European formulas, however, the FDA also doesn’t make it mandatory for the top U.S. baby formulas to ban additives like corn syrup or guar gum (both artificial sweeteners you’ll find in the ingredient list of some popular American formulas). The FDA also doesn’t regulate organic certification, leaving consumers to rely on the manufacturer’s word that their product was produced without fertilizers or pesticides.
Now let’s take a look at European baby formulas. They are not regulated as heavily as America’s FDA but have similar guidelines regarding essential vitamins that need to be included. The European Union (EU) recently began mandating that higher levels of DHA needed to be added. It also bans corn syrup from being added to formula and certifies organic foods, which are both major reasons U.S. parents seek out European formulas. This likely furthers the perception that they’re “cleaner” and created with higher standards than their U.S. counterparts.
So why choose a European baby formula that isn’t as regulated over traditional U.S. offerings? European formulas often focus on whole milk, which contains more milk fat that has multiple benefits for cognitive development. There are even ones made with goat’s milk, which is rare to find in the United States. Plus, it’s more readily available online even during the recent formula shortage, which drove even more moms to seek it out.
What Is HIPP Baby Formula?
HIPP baby formula was birthed in 1898 when its founder, Joseph Hipp’s wife, had issues breastfeeding, like nearly five to 10 percent of mothers. The formula is made in Germany and remains the best-selling formula on the market. The formula is made with European Union certified-organic ingredients and excludes mineral nitrogen fertilizers and hormones. HIPP’s formula is offered in three stages suitable from birth and well into toddlerhood.
It also comes in a variety of “country versions” (German, Dutch and UK) and specialty formulas (Comfort, Anti-Reflux, and Hypoallergenic/HA) that are staged by age in order to best meet your little one’s nutritional needs as they grow. HiPP offers infant formula for newborns, follow-on formulas for babies that are six months or older, and toddler milk for kiddos 12 months and up.
What Is Holle Baby Formula?
Holle baby formula is another highly sought out organic European baby formula hailing from Germany. The brand claims they’re “developed to be as close as possible to breast milk” and each includes a blend of powdered organic milk, organic vegetable oils, and important vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin K and vitamin C.
The formulas contain clean ingredients free from pesticides and fertilizers. Each ingredient is also monitored frequently to ensure it meets nutritional requirements. Moms love that the formula comes with base options of regular cow milk, A2 cow milk, or goat milk.
Where Can You Buy European Baby Formula in the US?
You can spend hours researching where to buy European organic baby formulas in the U.S. but we’re here to make your search simple: head straight to OBF24. The Germany-based online retailer has been around for more than 11 years, and only provides the best organic European formulas to the United States (in addition to HiPP and Holle, they also carry German brands Lebenswert and Löwenzahn). The products come directly from the manufacturer (no counterfeits here) and will arrive at your door in just 3 business days. Since they’re being shipped from the source, prices on the formulas are better than anywhere else online — often 60% cheaper than what competitors charge.
We also love that OBF24 mitigates some of the biggest risks of using European baby formula: firstly, ensuring that the product is prepared properly and not inadvertently diluted, as European formulas are often mixed differently and instructions are written in languages other than English. OBF24 has an entire section on their FAQ page dedicated to preparation and storage, and their support team is trained in infant nutrition and at the ready to answer any questions. Secondly, should there be a recall on any of the European formulas they sell, OBF24 sends an email notification to anyone who made a purchase on an affected product and they’ll also post the information to their social media accounts.
“It’s so nice to finally have a formula that I feel is safe for my baby to have. Looking into the ingredients I know that my baby is getting one of the healthiest formulas out there. Love this company, efficient and trustworthy with my baby’s formula,” one customer reported.
In addition to formula, OBF24 sells organic baby food — from cereals and porridge to fruit bars and puree pouches — for when your baby transitions to eating solids, plus a small assortment of bath and body products from Lavera and Logona. So fair warning: you might get hooked on more than just European baby formula by shopping here.
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