Recipes for Whole Foods Baby Formula

By Sally Fallon Morell

To help you with any questions you may have about the recipes below, please refer to our:

VIDEO: Chapter leader Sarah Pope has posted videos about making both the raw milk and liver formulas:

Many of the ingredients for these recipes are available from Radiant Life, 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.

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Raw Milk Baby Formula

Makes 36 ounces

Our milk-based formula takes account of the fact that human milk is richer in whey, lactose, vitamin C, niacin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to cow’s milk but leaner in casein (milk protein). The addition of gelatin to cow’s milk formula will make it more digestible for the infant. Use only truly expeller-expressed oils in the formula recipes, otherwise they may lack vitamin E.

The ideal milk for baby, if he cannot be breastfed, is clean, whole raw milk from old-fashioned cows, certified free of disease, that feed on green pasture. For sources of good quality milk, see www.realmilk.com or contact a local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

If the only choice available to you is commercial milk, choose whole milk, preferably organic and unhomogenized, and culture it with a piima or kefir culture to restore enzymes (available from G.E.M. Cultures 707-964-2922).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole raw cow’s milk, preferably from pasture-fed cows
  • 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below) Note: Do NOT use powdered whey or whey from making cheese (which will cause the formula to curdle). Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk.
  • 4 tablespoons lactose1
  • 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis2
  • 2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized), more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil3
  • 1/4 teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (optional)1
  • 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil1
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil1
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil1
  • 2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes1
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin1
  • 1-7/8 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder1, 2

1. Available from Radiant Life 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.
2. Earlier versions of this web page called for 1 tsp of bifidobacterium infantis and 1 tsp of acerola powder–these were typos.
3. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.

Instructions

  • Put 2 cups filtered water into a pyrex measuring pitcher and remove 2 tablespoons (that will give you 1-7/8 cups water).
  • Pour about half of the water into a pan and place on a medium flame.
  • Add the gelatin and lactose to the pan and let dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • When the gelatin and lactose are dissolved, remove from heat and add the remaining water to cool the mixture.
  • Stir in the coconut oil and optional high-vitamin butter oil and stir until melted.
  • Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients into a blender.
  • Add the water mixture and blend about three seconds.
  • Place in glass bottles or a glass jar and refrigerate.
  • Before giving to baby, warm bottles by placing in hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER warm bottles in a microwave oven.

Variation: Goat Milk Formula
Although goat milk is rich in fat, it must be used with caution in infant feeding as it lacks folic acid and is low in vitamin B12, both of which are essential to the growth and development of the infant. Inclusion of nutritional yeast to provide folic acid is essential. To compensate for low levels of vitamin B12, if preparing the Milk-Based Formula (above) with goat’s milk, add 2 teaspoons organic raw chicken liver, frozen for 14 days, finely grated to the batch of formula. Be sure to begin egg-yolk feeding at four months.


Liver-Based Formula

Makes about 36 ounces

Our liver-based formula also mimics the nutrient profile of mother’s milk. It is extremely important to include coconut oil in this formula as it is the only ingredient that provides the special medium-chain saturated fats found in mother’s milk. As with the milk-based formula, all oils should be truly expeller-expressed.

Ingredients

  • 3-3/4 cups homemade beef or chicken broth
  • 2 ounces organic liver, cut into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons lactose1
  • 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis2
  • 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil1
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil3
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sunflower oil1
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil1
  • 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder1,2

1. Available from Radiant Life 888-593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.
2. Earlier versions of this web page called for 1 tsp of bifidobacterium infantis and 1 tsp of acerola powder–these were typos.
3. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.

Instructions

  • Simmer liver gently in broth until the meat is cooked through.
  • Liquefy using a handheld blender or in a food processor.
  • When the liver broth has cooled, stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Store in a very clean glass or stainless steel container.
  • To serve, stir formula well and pour 6 to 8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle.
  • Attach a clean nipple and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)

Fortified Commercial Formula

Makes about 35 ounces

This stopgap formula can be used in emergencies, or when the ingredients for homemade formula are unavailable.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk-based powdered formula1
  • 29 ounces filtered water (3 5/8 cups)
  • 1 large egg yolk from an organic egg, cooked 3 1/2 minutes (See recipe for egg yolk, below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil2

1. We are sorry to report that the Mead Johnson (Enfamil) Low Iron formula we previously recommended is no longer available.  In fact, all commercial formula now contains iron, by FDA decree. The best choice for commercial formula today seems to be Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Formula. It contains iron but otherwise contains higher quality ingredients than any of the other commercial formulas. It is also the only brand on the market at this time without the Martek DHASCO and ARASCO additive. If you are forced to use commercial formula, make sure that baby is getting cod liver oil, either added to the formula or given with an eye dropper or syringe.  As soon as possible, introduce solid foods like egg yolk, liver, meat and bone broths.
2. Use only recommended brands of cod liver oil. See our recommendations here.

Instructions:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly.
  • Place 6-8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle. (Store the rest in a very clean glass jar in the refrigerator for the next feedings.)
  • Attach a clean nipple to the bottle and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch, shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)

Egg Yolk for Baby

Egg yolk should be baby’s first solid food, starting at 4 months, whether baby is breastfed or formula-fed. Egg yolks from pastured hens will contain the special long-chain fatty acids so critical for the optimal development of the brain and nervous system. The whites may cause an allergic reaction and should not be given to baby until he is at least one year old.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic egg from a pasture-fed hen
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated raw organic liver, frozen for 14 days Note: It is VERY important that the liver be frozen for 14 days before using.

Instructions:

  • Boil egg for 3 1/2 minutes.
  • Place in a bowl and peel off shell.
  • Remove egg white and discard.
  • Yolk should be soft and warm, not hot, with its enzyme content intact.
  • If you wish to add liver, grate on the small holes of a grater while frozen. Allow to warm up and stir into egg yolk.

Homemade Whey

About 5 cups

Homemade whey is easy to make from good quality plain yoghurt, or from raw or cultured milk. You will need a large strainer that rests over a bowl.

If you are using yoghurt, place 2 quarts in the strainer lined with a tea towel. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Place whey in clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator.

If you are using raw or cultured milk, place 2 quarts of the milk in a glass container and leave at room temperature for 2-4 days until the milk separates into curds and whey. Pour into the strainer lined with a tea towel and cover with a plate. Leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator.

Source: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD.


Breast Milk and Homemade Formula Nutrient Comparison Chart

Based on 36 ounces.

These nutrient comparison tables were derived from standard food nutrient tables and do not take into account the wide variation in nutrient levels that can occur in both human and animal milk, depending on diet and environment.

Breast Milk Cow’s Milk
Formula
Goat Milk
Formula
Liver-Based
Formula
Calories 766 856 890 682
Protein 11.3g 18g 18g 15g
Carbohydrates 76g 79g 77g 69g
Total Fat 48g 52g 54g 36g
Saturated Fat 22g 28g 30g 16g
Mono Fat 18g 16g 16g 12g
Poly Fat 5.5g 5.6g 5.7g 5.6g
Omega-3 FA .58g 1.3g 1.2g 1.0g
Omega-6 FA 4.4g 4.2g 4.4g 4.5g
Cholesterol 153mg 137mg 166mg 227mg
Vitamin A* 946IU 5000IU 5000IU 20,000IU
Thiamin-B1 .15mg 1.05mg 1.1mg .19mg
Riboflavin-B2 .4mg 1.2mg 1.2mg 1.9mg
Niacin-B3 1.9mg 2.5mg 4.4mg 14.2mg
Vitamin B6 .12mg .51mg .60mg .65mg
Vitamin B12 .5mcg 1.9mcg 2.8mcg 39mcg
Folate 57mcg 236mcg 284mcg 159mcg
Vitamin C 55mg 57mg 59mg 62mg
Vitamin D 480IU 450IU 525IU 460IU
Vitamin E*** 9.9mg 6.2mg 4.7mg 4.9mg
Calcium 355mg 532mg 548mg NA**
Copper .57mg .38mg .58mg 1.9mg
Iron .33mg 1.4mg 2.2mg 5.4mg
Magnesium 37.4mg 91.3mg 96.1mg 34.5mg
Manganese .29mg .034mg .12mg .24mg
Phosphorus 151mg 616mg 729mg 344mg
Potassium 560mg 949mg 1228mg 750mg
Selenium 18.8mcg 15.4mcg 18.7mcg 31.1mcg
Sodium 186mg 308mg 320mg NA**
Zinc 1.9mg 2.8mg 2.7mg 2.5mg

* Vitamin A levels in human milk will depend on the diet of the mother. Nursing mothers eating vitamin A-rich foods such as cod liver oil will have much higher levels of vitamin A in their milk. Commercial formulas contain about 2400 IU vitamin A per 800 calories.

** Calcium and sodium values for homemade broth are not available.

*** Vitamin E values are derived from commercial vegetable oils. The vitamin E levels for homemade formulas will be higher if good quality, expeller-expressed oils are used.

Sally Fallon Morell

Sally Fallon Morell is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), a well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods with a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. She joined forces with Enig again to write Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and has authored numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. The President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, Sally is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. Her four healthy children were raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

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59 thoughts on “Recipes for Whole Foods Baby Formula

  1. Pingback: The Nourished Baby « Vintage Nourishment

  2. In light of all the controversy around the higher levels of arsenic found in babys only formula, is Weston Price organization still endorsing it as the highest quality ingredients?

  3. I almost have all ingredients needed to make the milk based formula… (I’m using low pastureized non-homogenized milk because I can’t find any raw milk locally) except for the “cream”. This may be a dumb question but is the “cream” in the recipe the same as “heavy whipping cream” or “half and half”? I can’t find anything at my local health food stores that says just “cream”.

    • Cream means heavy whipping cream. Half and half is whole milk and heavy cream. We call it cream but it’s not really *just* cream.

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  7. According to the chart at the bottom, Vitamin B-12 is over 4 times HIGHER in goats milk than Mothers milk. But the paragraph about Goats milk states that it is not high enough and must be supplemented.
    ‘ Variation: Goat Milk Formula
    Although goat milk is rich in fat, it must be used with caution in infant feeding as it lacks folic acid and is low in vitamin B12, both of which are essential to the growth and development of the infant.’

    ‘Vitamin B12 Mothers .5mcg/ Cow 1.9mcg/ Goat 2.8mcg ‘

    • Hi Cindy, the chart in the article is referring to the nutrient values of the FORMULAS. So the B12 value for the Goat Milk Formula is higher because that recipe includes a small amount of grated raw liver, which has a high amount of B12 (as you can see by the much higher B12 value for the liver-based formula). If the goat milk formula didn’t have the liver it would be lower in B12 than the human milk or the cow’s milk formula. Hope this clears up the confusion!

  8. Pingback: ALTERNATIVAS A LA LACTANCIA NATURAL. FÓRMULAS DE LECHE MATERNA. | Mi Vida Primal

  9. Hi Sally I’m just wondering if u can recommend a brand for the bifidobacterium lantis? I know it comes in pills but seems like we need a powder? :)
    Thanks soo much for this I’m very excited to make it! Just want to make sure I get the right things.

  10. My daughter will turn one year old in December, do you think it would be ok for me to ween her with raw cows milk just by itself, without adding all of the formula ingredients?

  11. Today is my day one of starting the raw grass fed cow milk formula :) I’m very excited he already loves it! I’ve been formula feeding for a month now and felt like he was losing weight although he was gaining he just feels different so we’ve been tracking it so well see how this awesome mixture will help his little bottle. He barley Ben spit up with his 8oz bottle. I already love this it even tastes great :)

  12. My sons is liking the raw milk formula, he has been in it 3 weeks now. The problem is at the last ounce he starts to cry and push bottle away. This happens at almost very feeding. Is there something in the formula that could be causing this? He’s 2 months and was on babys only organic and earths best before we started the raw formula he was also doing this but it was worse and he was severely constipated. Now his BM are loose.
    Thank you

  13. We just put my daughter on pasturized goats milk b/c she cannot take any other type formula, even the neocate. she is finally sleeping and not crying constantly but we are now concerned (from what we are reading) that we need to supplement the goats milk with folic acid and b12. what formula would we use to add to her goats milk? Can you ehlp with this? Thank you so much!

    • I shared your comment with Sally Fallon Morell, who replied: “Really, they need to be giving the daughter the RAW milk formula, preferably cows milk. But if raw goat milk, then add the liver as per instructions, or feed it separately (if the child is 4 months or older) She will be missing a lot more than folic acid and B12 if only pasteurized raw milk is given. -Sally”

  14. My son is 1 year 9 months now . Recently he is been passing his motion 4-5 times a day which is not normal for him as he used to pass motions only once a day. It also had foul smell something like I can relate to curd like smell. We did blood occult test on doctor’s recommendation n the test suggested just positive for blood occult, so his paediatrician is recommending he should not be given milk and milk products forever. Is this diagnosis correct. I can’t think of not offering yogurt n fresh milk as he just loves both. I also want to know how can we offer milk without heating to retain its full goodness. Thank you

  15. I live in Ohio where it is illegal to buy any raw milk. We have researched and found a local dairy that does not homogenize and uses low temperature pasteurization (145degrees for 30 min). I realize raw milk would be best, but it appears we don’t have that option here. Will this milk suffice? The dairy says this process only kills the harmful bacteria, but keeps the good qualities suck as the enzymes intact. If this will suffice, is there anything additional that should be added to the formula?

    Thank you.

    • Raw milk is widely available in Ohio via cowshares. (It’s not illegal anywhere to BUY raw milk; the restrictions in place in each state dictate the conditions under which it may be SOLD. And in cowshares, you are not buying the milk at all; you are buying a cow or share of a cow or herd, and paying the farmer to take care of your animals and milk them for you. You are drinking the milk from your own animals; not buying the milk).

      Check for the closest local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation here: http://www.westonaprice.org/local-chapters/find-local-chapter#oh and look into getting raw milk. It is much, much better than any kind of pasteurized milk.

  16. Can I freeze the cows milk formula like breast milk? Thinking I could make a larger amount of formula then freeze some? How long does it stay good in the fridge after it’s made?

  17. Hi, my daughter is 9 months old and has been exclusively breastfed since day one, I am expecting baby #2 and have found my milk supply has dipped as I enter my 10th week of pregnancy. I want to avoid commercial formula at all costs, and am interested in supplementing some with either raw goat or cows milk. Would it be best to make the formula or would it be alright to give it to her alone? I’m hoping to make it to her first birthday with just supplementing 1-2 feedings per day. Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • From Sally Fallon Morell: “At nine months, it is fine to give the raw milk alone. And she needs solid foods–egg yolk, pureed meat and liver, custards, banana, etc. It really would be best to gradually wean her so your body can concentrate on building the next baby.”

  18. Pingback: Making home made infant formula for babies sensitive to dairy formula « foodforkidshealth.com

  19. I’m still a little nervous about giving my 6 month old baby raw milk. Unfortunately due to medical reasons my baby only breastfed for a very short time.
    Do you think the “raw” milk formula would still be beneficial if I flash pasteurized the milk on the stove-top and then added back bifidobacterium infantis? Here is a method that I was using to flash pasteurize donor milk:
    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/05/21_breastmilk-video.shtml

  20. Hi Sally. How much of the homemade liver based formula can I give my 7 mth old, 20 lb baby? I’ve read that you’re only supposed to give 2 x teaspoons of liver once a week. I’m concerned about Vitamin A and iron toxicity.

  21. I’m concerned about vitamin A toxicity with liver formula. Is this a real issue with the formula? Is it less if using chicken liver?

  22. Hi Sally,
    My baby is 10 and 1/2 months old and I was wondering if it was good to give my baby raw milk formula at that age? Also, how long should a baby be on the raw milk formula?

    • You may want to look at the raw milk formula FAQ on the Weston A Price Foundation site (see link at the top of this page). One of the FAQ says:

      Q: At what age can we switch from formula to plain raw milk?
      A: The answer to this depends on the age, weight and maturity of the child. A child that was premature, very small or delayed in development may benefit from taking the formula in a bottle well past the first year. But a child who is growing well, sitting up, eating solid foods and able to sip from a cup can probably transition to raw milk sometime after the 8th month.

      So if you are using the raw milk formula now, you may want to consider beginning switching to just raw milk and solid foods.

  23. I am starting my two month old on the milk homemade formula. My pediatrician recommended using flash pasteurized non homogenized milk instead of raw to cut down on risk of infection. If I do this do I need to reculture the milk? And if so, what is the reasoning behind it? Thank you!

  24. I am having trouble with ingredients settling at the bottom of the bottle and clogging the nipple making my baby frustrated. Is it OK to let the batch of formula settle then strain through mesh strainer or does anyone have tips on how to get everything to dissolve well?

    • From Sally Fallon Morell: When my daughter made this formula for my grandson, she mixed it in a blender and had no trouble with the ingredients clogging the nipple. But you could strain it if you want. Alternatively, leave out the yeast and see if it is easier for your baby.

  25. We love the raw cow’s milk formula. My baby is a robust 6 month old. So much so that there have been some concerns by family about her robustness. (I think she’s fine, she’s just shy of 20lbs at 6 months and 26 inches, she’s not yet crawling, and I feel that when she starts crawling and is more mobile it’ll all be moot) Anyhow what can to show them or say to them to get them to stop nagging me, and to address their fears?

  26. thanks for the reply!
    I just started her on egg yolk, and she’s loving it. I’ll start liver very soon too. And I’ll reference the Nourishing Baby book for more ideas. I wonder if also using the liver formula would be beneficial?

  27. can unsulphered blackstrap molassis be used for iron in place of liver in the goats milk variation? Also when raw milk is unavailable is Meyenberg powdered goats milk okay?

    As long as it is prepared as recommended what is the better milk to offer, Goats or Cows as far as goats being more similiar in casein to whey as breastmilk wouldnt it be easier to digest or is this not true for raw cow milk?

    If baby is allergic to cow milk will she be allergic to raw cow milk?

    • Reply from Sally Fallon Morell: (replying to each question in turn) “1) Liver is still better than blackstrap molasses. 2) We don’t recommend powdered goats milk. 3) As we have explained, goats milk is deficient in folate and B12, so cows milk is really better for babies. But if baby finds goat milk easier to digest, then you would need to add some liver to the formula to provide folate and B12. 4) Not necessarily, in fact the majority of babies and people “allergic” or intollerant to pasteurized milk do fone on raw milk.”

  28. Why does the chicken liver need to be frozen for two weeks? My daughter is now 9 months, and at her last Dr. visit we found she was significantly anemic. I was supplementing about 1 bottle a day of raw goat milk from 6 months on, due to struggling with my milk supply. So I am now looking at using the raw goat milk formula. Can I make a first batch or two without freezing the livers for two weeks?

    • The recommendation for freezing the liver for two weeks is that the USDA says that freezing raw meat for two weeks kills any parasites that may be present. Sally Fallon recommends this step for all her raw meat dishes in the cookbook Nourishing Traditions.

  29. My 3 month old has been using the raw milk formula for about a month and a half. He ha become pretty chroniclly constipated. Has anyone else had this problem. And can I add something to the formula to help. I was thinking I doubling the cod liver oil? But don’t want to mess with te nutritional content to his detriment. I would love your thoughts. Thank you.

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  31. Hello, I tried this formula this morning with my 3 month old? I’m unable to nurse and she has been having issues with all the formula I’ve tried, her Ped think maybe a dairy allergy. So my question is, after trying this formula my daughter took a short nap, when she awoke she had terrible chest congestionwhich she’s never had before. You could hear all the mucus with every breath. It did clear up after a few hours, do you think this is a sign that dairy is just not for her??? And if so, what can I use???
    Thanks for any help.
    Sophie

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