Toddler Formula: The Ultimate Guide

71 hours of research 6 minute read

Toddler formula is designed to address the nutritional needs of toddlers from 9 months above, and contains more nutrients than formulas aimed for younger babies. "
Gluten-free Baby Formulas 1

There are many aspects of being a parent that can be perplexing, not the least of which is deciding what and when to feed your infant, since nutrition in your child's early years is essential for overall health. And if you have a developing infant on the approach of becoming a toddler, you've probably considered buying toddler formula.

What is Toddler Formula?

Toddler formula, also known as toddler milk, growing-up milk, follow-up formula, or transitional formula, is designed for older babies and toddlers who are transitioning from baby formula to toddler milk. It is aimed at children ages 9 months to 3 years.

Toddler formula is designed to address the nutritional needs of toddlers from 9 months above. It should contain more of the nutrients listed below than baby formula:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron

Who May Benefit From Toddler Formula

  • Picky eaters - Toddlers are known for being finicky eaters, making the transition period challenging for you both. It's very normal to worry about whether your toddler is getting all the nutrition they require during these transition time.
  • Children with food allergies - Food allergies may outgrow more slowly than previously thought, contrary to the common belief that milk allergy is outgrown in early childhood. Because of this, kids with food allergies could require formula as a supplement to their restricted diet after turning a year old.
  • Toddlers who are delayed to start eating solid foods - Solids introduced too soon or too late can have an impact. Most babies begin to show evidence that they are developmentally ready for solid foods around the 6 month mark. Your baby is probably trying to warn you that she isn't yet ready for solid foods if she doesn't try to pick up food and feed herself or if she cries when a spoon touches her lips. It is advised that she supplement her meals with toddler formula.

How Is Toddler Formula Different To Infant Formula?

Toddler milk is a formula designed to help babies transition from infant formula to toddler milk. Many of the vitamins and minerals contained in newborn formulas are also found in toddler formulas.

  • Formulas are age-specific, typically catering for three stages: newborns, infants from six months old, and toddlers from 12 months old.
  • The amount of calcium and phosphorus in toddler formulas are made to match the greater calcium and phosphorus amounts that babies require as they grow, much like whole milk.
  • In an effort to mimic the nutritional profile of breast milk, infant formula is modeled after it. It offers 20 kcal per ounce of lactose as its carbohydrate source while toddler formula does not completely satisfy a toddler's nutritional needs. However, it covers the gaps in your toddler's diet specially for picky eaters.
  • While infant formula is meant to be the child's sole source of nutrition; toddler formulas are rather meant to aid in the transition to their diet.
toddler formula vs milk comparison

Advantages of Toddler Formula

Nutritional Support While Introducing Solid Foods

Transitioning from infant formula to solid food is still a challenge for toddlers. Toddlers do consume healthful meals, but in small amounts, and some are picky eaters.

Formulas are available at several stages to meet the varying nutritional demands of children as they grow. Toddler formula fills in the nutritional gaps and ensures that toddlers receive the nutrients they need for optimal growth and development.

Children who eat a diversified diet of nutritious foods should be able to complement their diets with the extra vitamins and minerals offered in the formula, possibly with a multivitamin. If you're concerned that your child isn't eating enough solids, the formula will meet the majority of her nutritional requirements while she experiments with solid foods.

Beneficial For Toddlers Who Have Cow’s Milk Sensitivity

Most formula-fed babies switch to full cow's milk at the age of 12 months. Considering that not all children are exactly alike, some babies have sensitivity to cow’s milk (CMA - Cow’s Milk Allergy).

CMA typically happens when cow's milk is first incorporated into your baby's diet, either through formula or when he or she begins to eat solid foods. The question most parents have will be - What should you feed your baby if he or she has allergy or intolerance symptoms? Your child's medical condition will define the formula you give them.

toddler formula vs milk comparison

Beneficial For Toddlers With Nutrient Deficiency

Toddler formula can help toddlers who are picky eaters, low-weight, and children who are struggling to get enough nutrients from their regular meals since it can help them avoid nutritional deficiency.

Toddler formulas are enriched and provide micronutrients such as iron, DHA, and zinc that may be lacking in cow's milk and other milk alternatives.

How Much Toddler Formula Does A Baby Need?

It's vital to understand that, unlike infant formula or breast milk, which babies need to drink regularly, your toddler formula does not require as much drinking. At this age, toddlers should be more reliant on food, with milk taking a back seat. Toddlers do not consume as much food as infants.

  • Toddler formula should be viewed as a dietary supplement when used. That is, it should be used in addition to an age-appropriate normal diet that includes a variety of other healthy and nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fresh fruits, healthy protein sources, and whole grains.

Toddler Feeding Guide

12 – 24 Months

Milk

  • Breast milk or formula
  • Cheese
  • Plain yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • 3 – 4 servings
  • Offer
  • Offer
  • Offer
  • 6 oz
  • 1/2 oz
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup
  • Weaning to toddler's milk is possible; switching from a bottle to a sippy cup is advised.
  • Each day, a child should have 8 ounces of fluoridated water.
  • Never make your child eat by imposing large servings on them.
  • Don't make a big deal out of "food jags," they are normal.
  • Offer rejected meals again; kids need to try foods several times before accepting them.
  • Toddlers should eat five to six times a day, and snacks should be small meals.
  • Make eating enjoyable by providing colorful, textured, warm, or chilly food.

Grain

  • Cereal
  • Pasta or rice
  • Bread, Muffins, Crackers
4-5 servings
  • 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 slice
  • 2 crackers

Fruit

  • Fresh
  • Cooked
2 servings
  • 1/2 medium
  • 2 tbsp

Vegetable

  • Raw
  • Cooked
4-5 servings
  • 2 – 3 pieces
  • 2 tbsp

Protein

  • Chicken, beef, pork, fish
  • Cooked beans
  • Egg
3-4 servings
  • 1/2 – 1 ounce
  • 2 tbsp
  • 1

Formula Recommendations For Toddlers

Gluten-free baby formula

Cow-Based Toddler Formula

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

No starch

HiPP's most popular formula

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HiPP Dutch Stage 3 Combiotic Toddler Formula

HiPP Dutch Stage 3 Combiotic Growing Up Milk is an excellent addition to the diet of babies and toddlers aged 12 months and up. HiPP Dutch Stage 3 contains vitamins, minerals, and other critical nutrients that are specifically developed to suit your child's nutritional needs as he or she grows into an active toddler.

HiPP Dutch Stage 3 is made with only the highest-quality organic ingredients, such as organic skim milk, organic whey, and a blend of organic vegetable oils. All HiPP products are free of GMO ingredients, synthetic preservatives, and nutrients.

  • Why HiPP Dutch Stage 3?
    • Great for babies from 12 months +
    • No added sugar Prebiotics/Probiotics
    • No Maltodextrin
    • NO wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • No synthetic preservatives/nutrients
    • Gluten Free
    • Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA) for brain

    Check Price

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar or corn syrup

No soy

HiPP's original formula

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HiPP German Stage 3

This formula should be used in combination with feeding and weaning bottles. HiPP is a natural formula that helps your baby's digestion using probiotic lactic acid derived from real breast milk. To meet the energetic needs of young children, Level 3 formulas contain more micronutrients and macronutrients. DHA and iron, which promote brain development, slow-acting carbohydrates to feed babies longer, and vitamin D to improve calcium absorption and bone strength are just some of the important nutrients. It also contains moderate organic starch, improving carbohydrate digestibility and providing a smooth, creamy formula that energizes your baby when he needs it most.

  • Why HiPP German Stage 3?
    • Great for babies from 10 months +
    • No added sugar
    • Folic Acid
    • Essential non-synthetic vitamins and minerals
    • Prebiotics/Probiotics for better digestion
    • NO wheat or peanut ingredients
    • Gluten-Free
    • Iron-fortified
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

Can be used alongside solid foods

Continued nutrition for toddlers

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HiPP Kindermilch Formula

Making sure that your developing toddler's nutritional requirements are met is easy with HiPP Kindermilch Combiotic. It works well for feeding in a bottle or sippy cup as well as for enhancing the flavor and health benefits of warm cereals, porridges, or mashed foods.It has the fantastic benefit of having a significant protein content that is ideal for toddlers who are growing quickly. Your child will have several growth spurts at this age, so it is crucial that you provide them all the nutrition they need at this time, including extra food, drink, and sleep.

  • Why HiPP Stage 1+ Year Combiotik?
    • Great for toddlers from 1 year and up
    • No added sugar
    • Prebiotics/Probiotics for healthy digestion
    • No wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • No Maltodextrin
    • Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA and ARA) for brain development
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

Can be used alongside solid foods

Continued nutrition for toddlers

Check Price
Hipp 2+ Years Combiotic Kindermilch

Children 24 months of age and older can consume the HiPP Children's milk Combiotic 2+ formula drink from a cup. Contains less protein and is made with carefully chosen components. It contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and vitamins A, C, and D. The best time to consume this mixture is in the morning, along with meals, or during dinner.

  • Why HiPP Stage 2+ Years Combiotik?
    • Great for toddlers from 2 years and up
    • No added sugar
    • Prebiotics/Probiotics for healthy digestio
    • Essential non-synthetic vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamin D for better calcium absorption and bone strength
    • Vitamin A and C for a healthy immune system
    • Calcium for healthy bones
    • NO wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • No Maltodextrin
    • Gluten-Free
    • Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA and ARA) for brain development
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

Bioland certified (Organic++)

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

DHA & ALA for brain development

Appropriate from 10 months up

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lebenswert stage 3 formula

This formula is pure, uncomplicated, nutritionally balanced, and promotes positive growth. Lebenswert Stage 3 is a complete substitute to breast milk for babies and toddlers aged 10 months and up, and can also be used as a breast milk supplement and meal enhancer in addition to cow's milk. Lebenswert Stage 3 can also be used to wean a baby off of breast milk or for babies who are moving from Stage 2. Lebenswert Stage 3 is made with organic skim milk and organic maltodextrin, which helps to balance flavor and consistency.

  • Why Lebenswert Stage 3?
    • Great for babies from 10 months +
    • No added sugar
    • Essential non-synthetic vitamins and minerals
    • Bioland organic standard
    • NO wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • Gluten-Free
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

No palm oil, no soy, no maltodextrin

Contains DHA & ALA

Natural Prebiotics

Available in 3 age-specific stages

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Kendamil Classic Stage 3

Kendamil's unique whole milk recipe gives your infant a more natural fat source and limits the use of vegetable oils in our formula.

Whole milk is also a natural source of Milk Fat Globule Membrane (or MFGM), which has been identified in human breast milk and is only found in Kendamil's full-cream recipe. This recipe is suitable for vegans. It's also made with prebiotics GOS to aid in the development of your baby's natural gut microbiome. Kendamil Classic Stage 3 has a whey: casein ratio of 20:80, which closely resembles the logical progression of a mother's breast milk as her child grows.

  • Why Kendamil Classic Stage 3?
    • Toddler Milk for 12-36 months
    • Full Cream British Milk
    • Palm Oil Free
    • Vegetarian Friendly
    • Vitamins C, A, D, Zinc Fatty acids (ALA/LA)
    • Main Carbohydrate is Lactose

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Clean formula ingredients

Demeter biodynamic certified

Contains natural whey, DHA, & ALA

Holle's most popular cow formula

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Holle Bio Stage 3

Holle Stage 3 formula milk is a great organic option for active, mobile babies and toddlers aged 10 months and up. Holle's toddler formula includes fatty acids and important components that help toddlers flourish.

This formula is mild on small tummies, making it an excellent choice for toddlers who have digestive problems. It can be used as a replacement for breast milk or as a supplement. For increased creaminess and nutrition, it can be blended with cereals or fruit. Experiment to find out what your toddler enjoys the most.

  • Why Holle Bio Stage 3?
    • Great for babies from 10 months +
    • No added sugar
    • Essential Vitamins and Minerals Calcium for healthy bones
    • No wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • Free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and flavors Biodynamic, Demeter, and Organic Certified (Organic ++)
    • Chemical-free farming and positive animal husbandry
    • Gluten-Free
    • Iron fortified
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

Clean formula ingredients

Demeter biodynamic certified

Contains natural whey, DHA, & ALA

Holle's most popular cow formula

Check Price
Holle Bio Stage 4

Holle Baby Formula Stage 4 is perfect for infants between the ages of 12 and 24 months and offers all the nutrients a baby needs to flourish. without any additives, pesticides, fake flavors, preservatives, or chemicals. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. In order to improve autoimmune health and prevent disease, vitamins A and C are given. Vitamin D supplementation also promotes strong bones and joints. It is as pure as they come, using only organic ingredients and vitamins that are not manufactured.

Holle Baby Formula Stage 4 is perfect for infants between the ages of 12 and 24 months and offers all the nutrients a baby needs to flourish. without any additives, pesticides, fake flavors, preservatives, or chemicals. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. In order to improve autoimmune health and prevent disease, vitamins A and C are given. Vitamin D supplementation also promotes strong bones and joints. It is as pure as they come, using only organic ingredients and vitamins that are not manufactured.

  • Why Holle BioStage 4?
    • Great for babies from 12 months +
    • No added sugar Vitamin D for better calcium absorption and bone strength
    • Vitamin A and C for a healthy immune system
    • Essential Vitamins and Minerals Calcium for healthy bones
    • No wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • Free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and flavors
    • Biodynamic, Demeter, and Organic Certified (Organic ++)
    • Chemical-free farming and positive animal husbandry
    • Gluten-Free
    • Iron fortified
    • Main carbohydrate is maltodextrin
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

100% Demeter Certified Organic

Made from skimmed cow’s milk

With A2 beta-casein protein

Contains DHA and Omega 3 for brain development

Contains organic lactose

No Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

No GMO

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Holle A2 Stage 3

For kids who are at least 12 months old, Holle A2 Stage 3 is the best option. This formula helps your toddler's digestion and gut sensitivity while providing all the nutrients they need to grow. A2 milk from Holle, is 100% organic and Demeter-certified, and is the healthiest milk for your toddler. It is made with only organic A2 cow's milk with a variety of vitamins and minerals to deliver the best nourishment possible. Additionally, DHA and ARA are also included to support the growth of the muscles, eyes, and brain.

  • Why Holle A2 Stage 3?
    • Great for toddlers from 1 year plus
    • No added sugar
    • GMO Free
    • Milk from cows with A2 beta-casein protein type, not A1 cows
    • Free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and flavors
    • Biodynamic, Demeter, and Organic Certified (Organic ++)
    • Chemical-free farming and positive animal husbandry
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose

    Check Price

Goat-Based Toddler Formula

100% Organic

Made from skimmed goat’s milk

Contains Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

No starch

No GMO

No Maltodextrin

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HiPP Dutch Goat Stage 3

This HiPP Dutch Stage 3 Organic Goat formula contains high-quality organic components that many parents look for in their baby formula, and it's safe to use from the age of 12 months. This organic goat formula is ideal for toddlers who are rapidly developing. Only A2 beta-casein protein is used in the formula; no A1 beta-casein protein is included. Lactose intolerance is known to be caused by this protein. If your kid is showing signs of lactose intolerance or is already suffering from it, HiPP Dutch Goat formula could be the answer.

  • Why HiPP Dutch Goat Stage 3?
    • Toddler Milk for 12 Month Plus
    • Organic A2 Goat Milk
    • Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA and ARA)
    • Organic Long Chain Fatty Acid for Energy
    • GMO-Free
    • With Calcium
    • No Maltodextrin or non Lactose Sugars
    • Environmentally Friendly
    • Main Carbohydrate is Lactose

    Check Price

100% Certified Organic

Made from whole goat’s milk and highest quality full cream ingredients

Contains DHA and ARA for brain development

Contains organic lactose

Contains Natural Prebiotics

No Probiotics

No Maltodextrin

No Starch

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

No GMO

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Kendamil Goat Stage 3

For toddlers aged 12 months and up, Kendamil Goat Milk Formula Stage 3 is ideal. Look no further if you're looking for a formula that contains all of your baby's necessary nutrients without any additives. Because their child is allergic to cow's milk, many parents chose goat milk. Alpha-S1 casein, an allergy prevalent in cow's milk, is absent from goat milk. Kendamil's goat milk formulas also contain A2 protein, which makes it easier for newborns to digest.

  • Why Kendamil Goat Stage 3?
    • Great for toddler 12+ months
    • Organic Prebiotics from Whole Goat Milk
    • No Palm Oil (Coconut Oil instead)
    • No added sugars, maltodextrin, synthetic preservatives, wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • No Fish Oil
    • Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA & ARA) for brain development (without hexane extraction)
    • Main Carbohydrate is lactose
    • GMO and Gluten Free

    Check Price

Age: 10+ months

No palm oil

Contains natural whey, DHA, & ALA

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Holle Goat stage 3

Stage 3 Holle Goat Milk Baby Formula is for babies aged 10 months and up. Allow a goat milk-based formula to nourish your baby's health. Goat milk is a wonderful choice for rearing a healthy baby, with more calcium, vitamins, and less sugar. Holle Stage 3 is ideal for parents who want their children to benefit from goat's milk formula. It contains naturally occurring carbs, which help your baby feel satisfied after the first feeding.

  • Why Holle Goat Stage 3?
    • Great for babies from 10 months +
    • No added sugar
    • No Palm Oil Vitamin D for better calcium absorption and bone strength
    • Vitamin A and C for a healthy immune system
    • Calcium for healthy bones
    • No wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients
    • Free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and flavors
    • Biodynamic, Demeter, and Organic Certified (Organic ++)
    • Chemical-free farming and positive animal husbandry
    • Gluten-Free
    • Iron fortified
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose sourced from Whole Organic Goat's milk
    • GMO-Free

    Check Price

Age: 10+ months

No palm oil

Contains natural whey, DHA, & ALA

Demeter certified (Organic++)

Check Price
Holle Goat Dutch stage 3

Holle Organic Infant Goat Milk Follow-on Formula 3 is an organic goat's milk-based follow-on milk. The goats are cared for according to organic farming standards (EU organic law). Holle Organic Infant Goat Milk Follow-on Formula 3 is a nutritional supplement for infants aged 12 months and up, and should be given as part of a balanced diet. During the first 11 months of life, the milk should not be used to replace breast milk.

  • Why Holle Goat Dutch Milk Stage 3?
    • Great for babies from 10 months +
    • No added sugar or Palm Oil Free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and flavors
    • Biodynamic, Demeter, and Organic Certified (Organic ++)
    • Chemical-free farming and positive animal husbandry
    • Gluten-Free and GMO-Free
    • Main carbohydrate is lactose sourced from Whole Organic Goat's milk

    Check Price

Toddler Formula: Practical Tips

Toddler Toddler_Formula_The_Ultimate_Guide_5

Starting your kid on a good, nutrient-dense diet is one of the best things you can do for him or her. When you assist your child to learn to appreciate nutritious food at any age and stage, you can't go wrong.

It's naturally difficult to ensure that your child is getting all of the nutrients our little one needs, which is why toddler formula is a wonderful way to supplement their diet.

Here are some useful recommendations for parents considering using a toddler formula to ensure a smooth and healthy transition!

  1. Consider serving formula in a straw cup or open cup at meals for toddlers who are ready to transition away from the bottle.
  2. Stick with the formula your kid likes and hasn't had any negative reactions to. The stomachs of babies cannot manage the continuous changes in their formula. Switching formulas too quickly can cause your child to have gas, constipation, diarrhea, fussiness, and discomfort.
  3. Add toddler formula to your smoothie for added nourishment.
  4. It is highly encouraged to speak with their child's healthcare professional before making a feeding change.

Toddler Formulas - In Summary

Toddlers are quite active and have a lot of energy. To support their developing bodies and minds, they require a healthy diet.

European toddler formula is available to provide the nutritional balance your child needs to grow and flourish as their experience with solid foods grows. Pure, organically derived ingredients are preferred.

With Organic Life Starts, you can focus on what matters most—your child—while we work to ensure that they receive the best nutrition possible from birth through toddlerhood.

References:

  1. https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/feeding/breastfeeding/toddler-formula-vs-milk-whats-best/
  2. https://www.drgreene.com/qa-articles/infant-toddler-formulas
  3. https://kabritausa.com/blogs/nourish-blog/benefits-of-using-toddler-formula-with-your-one-year-old
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037526/
  5. https://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/formula-options-for-infants-with-food-allergies.aspx
  6. https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/feeding/breastfeeding/toddler-formula-vs-milk-whats-best/
  7. https://www.mottchildren.org/posts/your-child/feeding-your-baby-toddler
  8. https://essentiallybetter.com/choosing-best-formula-for-child-with-food-allergies/
  9. https://www.mottchildren.org/posts/your-child/feeding-your-baby-toddler
  10. https://med.umich.edu/mott/pdf/Feeding-Your-Baby-Ages-Stages.pdf

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