healing cuisine logo

healing cuisine logo

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How To: Homemade Baby Formula

The science is out.  Nothing comes close to true breast milk, because there is an innate connection between baby and mother.  When baby latches onto mom's breast, baby's saliva tells mom's body what baby needs (more water, protein, fat, nutrients, etc).  Our bodies were amazingly designed!

BUT, that doesn't mean everyone is blessed with an easy time breastfeeding or the ability.  I do recommend trying everything you can to keep your natural milk supply going first before jumping into supplementing milk for your baby.  Explore all avenues before settling on formula.  You can try many things...supplements like fenugreek and nettle, extended naked chest time and "kangaroo care" with your baby, extra pumping time to increase your flow are a few common methods.  (Email me if you would like other methods, or contact your local Le Leche League.)  But sometimes no matter how hard you try you cannot keep your milk supply going, or the nursing experience does not go well for mom or baby (extreme pain, inverted nipples with a struggle to keep baby latched).  Or perhaps you are adopting a child and do not have access to donor breast milk.  After you have weighed out all your options, these are the cases where proceeding with a homemade whole food breast milk formula is a good decision.

Today I would like to share my whole food formula recipe that when used as supplement will be closer to a woman's breast milk than one with synthetic vitamins and nutrients found at the store. I will write next week about why I recommend making your formula at home using whole food ingredients versus buying a store bought formula.  There are many many many reasons why making your own is important for the better health of your baby.  For time's sake, I will save that conversation for another day. (I will come back to link it when I post it!)

This is my recipe for homemade whole food infant formula.  It is based off of Sally Fallon's recipe in her book Nourishing Traditions.  (Every home should have this book on the shelf!  It's a go-to wellness resource!  Thank you Allison for the best wedding present ever!)  I have edited Sally Fallon's recipe to make it allergen-free as most of my clients and their children have an array of milk/nut/grain allergies.  I have listed alternative options in parentheses.

Homemade Whole Food Infant Formula
Based on Sally Fallon's original recipe found in Nourishing Traditions
Makes about 36 ounces

2 cups of rice milk (make your own via this link) (you can also use raw cow's milk or raw goat's milk)
2 cups pure water (reverse osmosis + remineralized is best)
2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk (or organic 100% grass fed heavy cream)
2 Tbsp organic unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp fermented cod liver oil
1 tsp  extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp organic pea protein (or 1/4 cup organic 100% grass fed whey protein)
2 tsp gelatin from 100% grass fed cows
1/4 tsp Acerola powder
break open 3 capsules of colostrum

Add the rice milk to the blender with all of the dry ingredients.  Blend on Low-Medium until blended smooth.  Add remaining liquid ingredients to the blender and blend on Low-Medium until smooth.  Pour into bottles and store in fridge with airtight caps up to 5 days.  Warm each bottle in a container of warm water on the counter before feeding, and shake well.

You may notice the cold formula will be chunky from the fridge -- that's just the coconut oil and other oils solidifying from the cold.  It will thin out once it is warmed.  Do not heat the formula on the stove top.

Disclaimer: Before using any infant or toddler formula with your child, please consult with your pediatrician or main family practitioner. No parents should use this information without first seeking advice from their pediatrician or primary care physician before starting a nutritional program with their children.



Thanks for posting this!
I am at the end of my milk supply for my 8 month old and starting to run through my breast milk storage. I didn't want to start on normal formula and was going to ask my Maximized Living Dr. what I should do. So this post came at a great time! I was wondering if there is an alternative I could use until I save up enough money to purchase all the ingredients? It's just quite expensive.
Thanks again for the post!


GreenMom, I was researching this today in various places, and on this page below, there's a chart showing how much you save when making your own formula. I realize the comparison is between commercial formula and homemade formula, not between breast milk (which is "free") and homemade formula, but perhaps you'll find it encouraging.


Elise, I have a question about nutritional content. I was doing research for a friend whose baby is on Similac 60/40 because he has a (renal?) condition that requires him to have very little calcium and phosphorous. He was doing okay on that formula for several months (although the ingredients make me shudder), but now he's had diarrhea for over a month so his mom is making the rounds of doctors to try to find out the problem. Perhaps he's developed lactose intolerance? I thought maybe she could make her own formula with rice milk--or perhaps use the meat formula recipe--and it wouldn't have as much calcium/phosphorous as the milk formulas. I found some nutritional info at the page linked above, but now I'm wondering about your rice version. I could try entering the ingredients at a recipe site, but first I thought I'd ask if you have any idea about this.


Rebecca C.

I make the original cow's milk version of this formula and it cost me about $200 up front to gather the ingredients in BULK amounts, ordered between amazon and vitacost.com. BUT, a batch of homemade is about $2.75 for 36 ounces. A 40 oz can of formula, which makes 40 ounces of baby formula, is $20-40 depending on the type. Also remember the long term savings by giving him good health.

This comment has been removed by the author.

This is awesome!! If I get to needing this I'll definitely try it! Probably do powdered version- the recipe makes 6 6oz bottles too?

Healing Cuisine by Elise

GreenMom - This certainly did come at the perfect time for you! Unfortunately there just isn't an on-the-shelf option that will come close to making a whole food formula at home. And while purchasing all of the ingredients up front totals to a lot, you really only have to buy them once. Then each batch breaks down to around $3.00 each. For me, I will do whatever it takes to give my baby clean quality nutrition no matter the cost. That is one of the highest things on my value system. I would give up whatever was needed of me to make sure his food is the cleanest purest I can possibly provide, even if I had to give up luxuries (like my cell phone, cable, Internet, eating out, shopping, etc). If you value it enough, you will find a way. It's the same mentality for folks switch from "SAD" to organic whole food living...if you value it enough, you will find a way to increase your food budget by 30%. You can do it! It just might take a little extra budget planning upfront. :)

Ashley Mae - I don't know if there is a powdered version. It's best to mix this recipe up in the blender to get any chunks broken up and incorporated smoothly.

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Diane,

I don't know the exact grams, but I know rice milk does contain calcium and phosphorus. But it is a bit less than cow's milk. Check into it on one of the recipe sites where you can type in the measurements and it spits out an answer.

Has baby been checked out at a Maximized Living office yet? That would be my first recommendation before taking baby off of breast milk. Often times there is blockage in baby's nervous system going out to the stomach or digestive organs causing the upset. Once you can correct that, baby's organs will function and heal at 100%. It's worth at least having baby get checked out.

Our son was checked at 3 hours old and he did have nerve interference. We went ahead with the adjustment and he has been the healthiest kid I have ever seen since. I can't recommend Maximized Living enough! Let me know if you need help finding a doctor near you.


Yes I agree that I will do whatever it takes to give my three children the best food possible! I am passionate about that! We have completely changed our budget priorities, making food our highest to ensure long term health and nutrition. We are also Dave Ramsey people and don't spend a dime we don't have. So I would love to purchase all of the ingredients today, but I don't have the cash saved up so I just need a little time to do so.
I did ask my Maximized Living Dr. about how to buy some time while I get the money. She gave me a recipe for homemade almond milk with a little maple syrup for the vitamin B's and adding in some fish oil for the DHA along with ramping up the solids. This should help extend my breast milk storage until I have all the ingredients to make my own formula.
Thank you again for the formula recipe and I will be using it! I just need a little time to purchase everything.


I have a bit of a noob question, haha. At what point do you switch from homemade formula to plain old nut milks/juices/etc? My son is 14 months and is breastfed with some formula supplementation, and I'm wondering when babies usually finish with formula? Thanks!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

No such thing as "noob" questions! We're all learning! :)

In my opinion, it really comes down to listening to your son and watching his queues. My son is 18 months and still depends 80% of his meals come from breast feeding. Eventually your son will show you he is ready to wean and switch to water and whole foods (commonly around the 2 year mark when you allow baby to do it on their own).

I don't recommend giving your children juices or milks just to drink. Water is the best option always for drinking. The only time we give our little man nut milk or fresh squeezed juices are in his smoothies, paired with a healthy fat, a healthy carb, and a clean protein. We do add a splash of kombucha and/or water kefir to his water cup now and then, too.

Keep listening to your baby! He will show you when he is ready to be on to solid foods.


I was wondering what a vegan option for homemade formula would be thanks! I was thinking homemade rice milk, Chia milk, hemp milk, (look up the nutrients in Chia and hemp it's amazing, lots of protein, omega, and vitamins) with coconut milk, and coconut milk yogurt, with added liquid vitamins.. Do you think this would work? What should I do or add to make it with all essential nutrition? Please help.. I need a vegan formula!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Christina,

It first depends on the age of the baby. If 1 year or younger, baby needs to have animal milk fats for optimal brain development. The best is of course mama's milk. But if you are unable to breast feed, I really recommend using colostrum and gelatin to help give a full spectrum of these healthy animal fats that you cannot get from plants.

If baby is 1 year or older AND getting most of their nutrition from solid food, then they are ready to drop down to just a coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk, or (like for our 18 month old son) just water. Supplement with a flax oil/hemp oil, multivitamin, probiotics, and D3 on top of baby's nutrition.


Hello, i know im a bit late but my baby is 2 months old, and im working on my formula, he was never breastfed, and was thinking of adding colostrum from mtcapra goats milk in capsule, do you know if i should use 3 capsule? Have you tried it? My formula contain goats milk, coconut milk (cause theres no goats cream) and the rest from nourishing traditions.

Related Posts with Thumbnails