Many of us are used to freezing food in order to prolong its shelf life.
Given many parents spend up to $2,000 on baby formula in just one year, you may be wondering if it’s safe to freeze your baby’s formula milk in a bid to prevent formula from going bad.
Unfortunately the answer is not something that everyone universally agrees on – while the FDA recommends you do not freeze formula milk, a lot of parents still go ahead and do so.
So let’s take a look at the risks and considerations in more detail.
Can You Freeze Formula?
According to the FDA, freezing baby formula is not recommended.
However, a lot of parents do freeze formula milk, because in most cases formula that has been frozen should be safe for your baby to consume.
If you are considering freezing baby formula, there are some important things you should consider before giving frozen formula to your baby.
1. Separation Of Ingredients
Freezing formula can result in the ingredients to become separated.
This means that the fat in the formula milk will separate from the rest of the mixture and water.
2. Change In Texture
Even when fully thawed, frozen formula milk is likely to have a different texture compared to formula that hasn’t been frozen.
So if you freeze formula, don’t be surprised if it becomes lumpy or grainy in texture.
3. Loss Of Taste
Another consideration of freezing formula milk is the effect on the taste.
Formula milk is designed to taste appealing to babies, particularly because for many young babies it’s their only source of food and nutrients (assuming you’re not breastfeeding).
So there’s a chance that your baby will not like the taste of frozen formula milk and could therefore refuse to drink it, which will defeat the whole purpose of freezing it!
4. Loss Of Nutrients
Last but certainly not least, freezing formula milk could have a negative effect on the nutrients within the milk.
One of the reasons why formula is expensive is because of the quality of ingredients and amount of research and development that goes into creating the recipe.
As your baby’s main or sole source of nutrition, formula milk needs to provide nutrients that help your baby grow and thrive.
Each scoop of baby formula is made up of several components including vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients including prebiotics and probiotics.
With these all being so important for a baby’s development, many parents prefer not to take the risk of giving their little one frozen milk in case it has a reduction in nutrients.
Can You Freeze Formula For Teething?
A lot of parents find that an effective tip for soothing baby’s mouth during teething is by giving your little one frozen formula milk.
This hack involves making “milksicles”, which as the name suggests is a popsicle or ice lolly made of frozen breast milk or frozen formula.
If you have a choice between breast milk and formula, then you should definitely freeze the breast milk.
This is because unlike formula, freezing breast milk is will not negatively impact taste, texture or cause a loss of nutrients.
It’s also a great way to put extra breast milk to good use rather than dumping it.
The decision whether to give your baby frozen formula to help soothe their aching teeth and gums will come down to personal preference, especially as it’s against the FDA’s recommendation of not freezing formula milk.
One positive to keep in mind however is that this hack for soothing sore teeth or gums is likely to be different to a full feed.
So the amount of milk in the popsicle will probably be lower than a bottle, and some may be spilt or be wasted (especially if it thaws quickly).
Can You Freeze Similac Or Enfamil Formula?
The FDA does not recommend freezing baby formula milk, and this applies to all brands including Similac and Enfamil.
However, as we explored above, consuming frozen formula should be safe for your baby, so the ultimate decision is down to what you’re comfortable with.
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