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Say No to Corn Syrup & Sugar in Baby Formula

Would you give your baby a bowl of sugar for breakfast? We all know the logical answer is no.

So, why would you hand him a bottle of formula that’s loaded with sugar?

Now that we’ve got you thinking, you should know that many baby formulas out there contain sugar that isn’t best for your baby. In fact, one study found that some formulas have double the sugar per serving than a glass of soda!

Is your mind blown yet?

When we’re talking about sugars in baby formula, corn syrup is one of those sugars that causes the most concern. This is why it’s so important to always read the ingredients so you know exactly what’s going into your baby’s body.

We’re going to put the spotlight on corn syrup and take a look at why you may want to skip the formulas that contain it.

What is Corn Syrup and Why Is It in Baby Formula?

As the name suggests, corn syrup is made from corn. When the glucose in corn is extracted and refined, it leaves behind a thick and gooey light golden syrup that is pure glucose.

Food manufacturers use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This is a cheap alternative to sugar. HFCS is made from glucose and fructose, just like corn syrup. It starts out as cornstarch which contains glucose. Some of that glucose is converted in different chemical processes to fructose.

Since the 1970s, some companies that make baby formula have been adding a form of corn syrup to baby formula. Many formulas made in the U.S. use corn syrup solids as the main carbohydrate source. Corn syrup solids are made from corn syrups that have been dehydrated so the water is removed, but the sugar is still there. The European Union bans the use of corn syrup solids in infant formulas, but the U.S. does not.

Corn syrup is an inexpensive carbohydrate source which could be one of the reasons why it’s often chosen. There’s also a lot out there.

But not all sugars are created equal.

Corn syrup is high on the glycemic index which means it quickly increases blood sugar. Corn syrup and glucose have a glycemic index value of 100 which is very high.

Breastmilk naturally contains lactose, which is much lower on the glycemic index with a value of 46. When you compare this to corn syrup, you can see why it often concerns many parents. The European Commission requires at least 30% of carbohydrates come from lactose.

Other Sugars Found in Baby Formula

Corn syrup is not the only sugar that can be found in some baby formulas. Maltodextrin is another type of sugar that is made up of glucose. When it’s broken down, it can become syrup.

Glucose syrup can also be problematic because it’s just like corn syrup except that the syrup was extracted from a different plant. Sucrose can also be found in baby formula. While it has a lower glycemic index than glucose, it’s still higher than lactose which is naturally found in breastmilk.

Corn Syrup & Sugar in Baby Formula: Health Concerns

One of the biggest health concerns surrounding sugars in baby formula stems from a study that found that babies with an inherited intolerance of fructose face a risk of acute liver failure if they have formula that contains fructose.

That’s not all.

Corn syrup and sugars in baby formulas also raise other concerns:


Formulas that contain corn syrup and sugar raise a red flag because of childhood obesity concerns. Some in the medical field state that the leading cause of childhood obesity is due to high fructose corn syrup. Since healthy eating habits start at a young age, allowing babies to have formula with HFCS could be setting them up for problems down the road.


There are also concerns that excessive amounts of corn syrup in baby formula can lead to diabetes.

Dental Problems

While it takes a while for babies to get their teeth, there are also concerns that too much sugar will lead to dental problems like cavities.

What Types of Formula Don’t Contain Added Sugars?

When you hear about all of the sugars that can be included in baby formulas, it may lead you to look for varieties that don’t contain all of that. At Organic Baby Formula, none of our formulas contain any added sweeteners.

All of our HiPP Baby Formula varieties for all stages of your baby’s life are made with organic products and nothing that is chemically engineered. You can feel good about what you’re giving your baby. The Jovie brand products also contain no added sugars and contain full cream organic goat milk. This line of organic baby formula is a good alternative for babies who may have trouble digesting regular cow’s milk.

When it comes to baby formula, you want to choose one that is full of natural ingredients that will help with your baby’s growth and development. This means finding one that doesn’t include tons of sugar and preservatives that could harm them down the road. Giving them a healthy start is one of the best things you can do!