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***Due to the national formula shortage we are unable to currently stock many of these products. I would recommend Holle goat milk formula (See below) for the best alternative that is available right now direct from the Gimme the Good Stuff warehouse! ***
Organic baby formula is a hot topic here. In fact, it’s what you guys ask about most! I understand—you want to make sure that what you’re feeding your babies and toddlers is the best stuff possible, and there are about a gajillion types of organic baby formula now on the market. I’ve reviewed many of them in my Safe Infant Formula Guide, but this post is dedicated specifically to goat milk baby formula.
I’ve researched the goat milk formulas from Sammy’s Milk, Kabrita, Holle, NANNYcare, and Loulouka because these are the brands that you ask about most. They all qualify as Good Stuff when held up against formula as a whole, and the graphic below is a cheat sheet of these five in my order of preference.
Here’s the Deal with Goat Milk Baby Formula
1) Is goat milk healthier than cow milk? What are the benefits of goat milk baby formula?
Goat milk can be better, yes.
In basic nutritional terms, goat milk and cow milk are pretty similar. Goat milk tends to be higher in several vitamins and minerals. Cow milk is higher in vitamin B12 and has significantly more folic acid than goat milk.
When it comes to formula, these differences don’t matter much. All formulas have nutrients added to make up for whatever the milk they’re based on might be lacking. And all formula is made to mimic human milk as closely as possible.
What’s most important is how the animals—be they cows or goats—are fed and raised. I prefer milk that is organic, or at least non-GMO, and from animals that are pastured.
It’s also worth noting that animal studies and some studies on humans suggest that the vitamins and minerals in goat’s milk might be more readily absorbed than those in cow milk. Basically, goat milk in its natural state seems to be closer to human milk than cow milk is. This is one of the reasons some parents prefer goat milk formulas.
Whichever formula you choose, you should always use a water filter to remove chlorine (carcinogenic) at a minimum. Here’s more on why you should get a filter and which ones I like.
2) Is goat milk easier to digest than cow milk?
Yes. One of the big benefits of goat milk baby formula is that it’s easier to digest. But it’s not for everyone.
Since goat milk protein is naturally easier to digest than cow milk protein, babies with a sensitivity to cow milk may do better with goat milk. The composition of the proteins and fats in goat and cow milk varies enough to make goat milk less problematic and, overall, more digestible. For babies, whose immune and digestive systems are still developing, this could make a big difference. However, for those with a true cow milk protein allergy, goat milk products are not recommended as there is a high risk of cross reactivity. Any baby with a milk allergy should be under the care of a pediatrician before trying goat milk formula.
- The proteins in goat milk digest faster and more easily than those in cow milk. This is in part due to alpha-S1 casein, which is significantly less in goat milk protein. (This type of protein is one that tends to be problematic for some people when they digest cow milk.) Instead, the primary type of casein in goat milk is more similar to what’s found in human milk. It’s worth noting that the fats in goat milk also digest faster and more easily.
- Goat milk has less lactose than cow milk, but it might still be an issue for people with lactose intolerance. Carbohydrates are a very important energy source for babies, so all formulas are required to add more. All of the goat milk formulas I reviewed, except for Sammy’s Milk, add more lactose as carbohydrate source. True lactose intolerance in small children is uncommon and therefore lactose is the preferred carbohydrate source for most babies.
You can read more about the digestibility of goat milk here.
3) Why aren’t all of these goat milk formulas organic?
Of the goat milk formulas I researched, only the European brands–Holle and Loulouka–are certified organic. (And this is according to European standards, which are actually stricter than American standards!).
Here in the United States, there isn’t much certified organic goat milk being produced. There are multiple reasons for this phenomenon, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
If you want an organic goat milk formula, my pick is Loulouka.
Of the non-organic brands…
- Kabrita uses high-quality, pasteurized Dutch goat milk from a co-op of family farms in the Netherlands.
- NANNYcare milk is from goats that are mostly pasture fed in New Zealand, and raised without the use of hormones; antibiotics use is minimal.
- Sammy’s Milk uses milk from goats that are antibiotic- and hormone-free.
4) Which goat milk formula is best? Is it worth switching baby formula?
We all know breast milk is better than formula, be in from a goat or a cow, and even if you’re choosing an organic baby formula. There’s no such thing as a perfect formula, but the best brands get really close–close enough that you should feel confident feeding the formula to your infant or toddler.
When looking for goat milk formulas to recommend, I considered several factors:
- the quality and purity of the goat milk (organic/non-GMO/pastured)
- the type and purity of of added carbohydrates (sugars)
- the type and purity of added vegetable oils
- the presence of hexane-extracted DHA/ARA
- the presence of problematic synthetic preservatives and nutrients
For more about my rationale behind these factors and why I think they matter when selecting an organic baby formula, see our Safe Infant Formula Guide.
My Top Pick for Goat Milk Baby Formula
If I were looking for a goat milk baby formula for my own child, I would likely choose Kabrita. The biggest reason? Kabrita is the only formula I know of that contains the beneficial type of palm oil (more on this below.)
Goat Milk Formula Review
Due to the national formula shortage Kabrita is currently unavailable. I recommend Holle goat milk formula for the best alternative that is available right now direct from the Gimme the Good Stuff warehouse!
I like that Kabrita uses goat milk that’s non-GMO according to European standards, which limits the use of pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Kabrita’s primary added carbohydrate is lactose, and is it the only goat formula sold in the U.S. that is certified glyphosate free.
Kabrita’s formulation doesn’t contain any taurine or carnitine (two synthetic nutrients that are in most baby formulas). I also give Kabrita points for containing both natural and an added prebiotics
–-GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides)–that support the development and maintenance of a healthy gut microbiota.
There are two things that make Kabrita stand out from other goat milk formulas:
- From what we know, Kabrita is the only brand that uses plant-derived fats that match the structure of the most common fat molecules in breast milk. The premium fat blend used by Kabrita, which includes added beta-palmitate, has been shown to benefit the gut microbiota and improve stool consistency.
- Kabrita also adds goat whey, which adapts the whey:casein ratio to be closer to the ratio found in breast milk. Kabrita is one of the only goat milk formulas to do this, and makes their formula even easier to digest.
I also appreciate that Kabrita is transparent about their ingredients. And like all of the formulas listed here, Kabrita forgoes the most concerning preservatives and most synthetic nutrients.
Kabrita adds hexane-extracted DHA and ARA but assures me that hexane is not present in the finished product.
Kabrita is working to release an infant goat milk formula to the U.S. They are currently undergoing the required FDA evaluation process, and you all will be the first to know when a Stage 1 Kabrita is available here!
Kabrita is offers a free full-size tin of their formula to try (you’ll pay $6.99 in shipping).
Due to the national formula shortage we are unable to currently stock any loulouka products. I recommend holle goat milk formula (See below) for the best alternative that is available right now!
Loulouka’s Goat Milk Formula gets high marks for being made from whole goat milk that meets European organic standards. Organic lactose as the added carbohydrate source in Loulouka, which is what we always look for.
I also like that the organic oil blend is free of palm and soy. If you want a formula that comes in a Stage 1 and that is organic, Loulouka is my pick.
I like that the primary ingredients in these formulas—goat milk, carbohydrates, and oils—meet a very high, European organic standard. These are the only goat milk formulas that are officially organic. (I’m a fan of Holle’s cow milk formulas, too.) I also like that they don’t add hexane-extracted DHA/ARA and also forgo the most concerning preservatives and most problematic synthetic nutrients. (Formula 1 does have L-methionine).
I don’t like that maltodextrin is the primary added carbohydrate in Holle’s formula, but I appreciate that it is organic, and that they do also use lactose as a sweetener. I’m also not a fan of the palm and grapeseed oils, but they are organic, and Holle also uses organic sunflower oil.
The goat milk used for NANNYcare formulas seems to be well-sourced from New Zealand, but they don’t have any organic or non-GMO certifications.
I like that lactose is the only added carbohydrate, and they skip palm oil and hexane-extracted DHA and ARA. They also don’t use any soy-based ingredients (oil or lecithin).
Like all of the goat milk formulas listed here, NANNYcare forgoes the most concerning preservatives and most synthetic nutrients (they do add L-carninite and taurine to the first formula and growing up milk, and taurine to the follow on milk).
Sammy’s Milk gets major points for using milk from goats that are antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and fed a high-quality diet. We also like that they add molasses as the added carbohydrate and a source of bioavailable iron, real fish oil as a source of DHA and EPA, and avocado oil instead of more problematic vegetable oils.
Sammy’s Milk forgoes the most concerning synthetic preservatives and nutrients, and includes prebiotics to encourage healthy gut bacteria. I like that this formula emphasizes ingredients that are non-GMO, naturally derived, and more bio-available. It is free of soy.
Should You Be Switching to a Goat Milk Formula?
If I were formula feeding my own child, the apparent benefits of goat milk formula would probably make me consider switching from a cow milk variety. I do have clients whose pediatricians discouraged this, so definitely talk to yours before starting on or switching to a goat milk baby formula.
62 responses to “Is Goat Milk Formula Healthier? 5 Goat Milk Formulas Reviewed”
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We fed our daughter Kabrita from the time she was about 4 months old (yes, we talked to our pediatrician!) and she has tolerated it quite well. Her refluxing has stopped completely. Our full story about our switch from Similac to Kabrita can be found here: https://giveagirlagoat.com/goat-milk-formula-is-an-option-for-baby/
For those who wonder about giving Kabrita to a baby under 12 months old, have a talk with your baby’s doctor. You might find out it’s just what you’re looking for.
Goat’s milk is no more appropriate to give baby than cow’s milk. If you need to supplement and breastmilk is not available, formulas are a more nutritionally complete product. Goat milk is also deficient in folic acid, which can lead to megaloblastic anemia.
Goat milk is higher in some vitamins and minerals, cow’s milk has more folic acid and B12 than goat milk.Some studies suggest that the nutrients in goat’s milk are easier to absorb than cow’s milk, which might give goat’s milk a slight benefit over cow’s milk formulas.
FYI Kabrita won’t sell anything to US customers but toddler formula, just checked their website and they don’t ship infant formula to the US. 🙁
what about bambinchen also from goats from new zealand
Would you feed the Kabrita to your newborn? I have been supplementing with it and it says it meets the nutritional requirements of infant formula. He seems to do really well on it. Thanks!
I’ve read that GMF can put stress on infant kidneys/cause metabolic acidosis in newborns. Would love to hear your thoughts on this since you have done a lot of research. Thanks in advance!
Unfortunately no American pediatrician is going to advise you properly on which European formula you should use. I know Maia has to insist in her comments that you check w them first to cover herself but imo that’s only going to cause more confusion to a parent. The best thing you can do is read reviews or posts from other parents about what worked for their baby per issue. The next thing you have to do is throw your fear of the fda and your doctors Lack of approval out the window and then nail it shut. Our doctors are not informed enough (or just don’t care) about the formula epidemic in our country and their judgment is clouded by bias and monetary incentive. Ever see the stock pile of synthetic formula samples they keep on hand in their office? They will hand you enfamil and similac with a smile and their seal of approval. It’s frustrating that we are suppose to trust these doctors to give us good advice and instead we get bs. I know it’s scary but we have to trust our instincts and make these hard decisions for our child’s best interest. My youngest is 2 1/2 now and I went through all of this when he was born. I did the hours and hours of research trying to figure out why he was so colicky and upset all the time. I was sick to my stomach with what I found out about my beloved Countries formula practices. To realize that our fda is a joke and their approval meant absolutely nothing was eye opening. Although it has been a sobering experience, I’m thankful that I’ve learned so much on this journey and my son did so great on the European formula I chose to use which was Lebenswert btw. I did switch to Hipps Dutch version when he was 9 months old only because Of the added probiotics I wanted him to have but you can keep your child on Lebenswert Stage 1 through the entire first year. I actually kept him on the Hipp after a year because l Learned it was better than switching to plains cows milk. I know it feels likes a huge risk at first but It truly was the best thing I could have done for my son. I’m pregnant again and if I have trouble breastfeeding this time I will happily import European formula again, with or without the legal implications ?
Would you feed your newborn the Kabrita toddler formula? It says it meets he nutrition requirements. Thanks!
How do you feel about using it prior to 12 months old? Seems like if you need a formula at 12 months old you could just use organic grass fed goat milk rather than formula.
In this comparison of goat milk formulas, I considered several factors:
The quality and purity of the goat milk (organic/non-GMO/pastured);
The type and purity of of added carbohydrates (sugars);
The type and purity of added vegetable oils;
The presence of hexane-extracted DHA/ARA;
and the presence of problematic synthetic preservatives and nutrients.
Kabrita ranks by far the lowest on every count!
Which one ranked number#1then from your research?
Holle goat milk… it’s certified organic… has the cleanest list of ingredients, and they’re serious about their animals’ welfare, nutrition and farming practices.
“If I were looking for a goat’s milk formula for my kids, here is what I would choose, in order of preference”
I sincerely doubt that.
If Kabrita is your 1st choice, your ability to analyze ingredients is questionable. Either that, or the financial benefits derived from your affiliate marketing partners is swaying your decision making skills.
Glucose Syrup Solids
Hexane-extracted, artificially produced DHA and ARA
(Mortierella Alpina Oil, Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil)
L-carninite and taurine
Sodium Selenite (far more potential for toxicity than selenate)
The list goes on…
Kabrita has taken every short cut in the book.
It’s quite sad that this blog would promote Kabrita above far cleaner/healthier goat milk based formulas.
Can you speak to the smell of Kabrita? I recent got a shipment of Sammy’s Milk, and while their ingredients seem to be the cleanest, the smell is horrible. Very strong fishy odor. Does Kybrita have a similar smell?
So I tried out kabrita on my six month old and it seemed to mitigate his eczema and fussiness (son has a cow milk sensitivity per his allergist). Sadly, we are going to have to switch to alimentium or nutramigen bc it turns out that the kabrita toddler formula has a lot of protein for a baby his age. Yoo may want to let your readers know that the protein levels in the formula are relatively high and high protein intake in infants stresses the kidneys and is associated w obesity later in life. Just something to consider. Really wish they had stage 1 available in the US bc it has lower protein levels.
Let me know what you think — you probably know a lot more about this than I do. I only researched this protein issue bc my son’s allergist said I need to check the fat and protein content and make sure that the protein wasn’t too high.
We have a 5 week old baby girl who has colic and gas issues, we have to supplement formula due to BF problems so we tried Lebenswert stage one but the colic was not getting better but her bowel movements and diapers were great. No allergies noticeable.
Then tried Holle goat to see if that could help her gas and colic but within one day it made her insanely constipated: like little rocks coming out, was screaming in pain so sad.
I’m now looking to the more gentle formulas and see Holle Special Comfort and also Holle HA PRE are the more gentle rated for super young babies. We add a probiotic and DHA to her food as well but I like that these have the prebiotics already in them. She did great on breast milk and these claim to me most similar to that, but I’m wondering: if she doesn’t seem to have a lactose allergy, which of these two options would be most colic and gas friendly?
Hi Maia! I love your blog, thanks so much for helping so many parents out 🙂
My son just turned one and unfortunately, I have to wean him off breastfeeding. I am so torn whether to give him cow milk, goat milk, or a toddler formula. Most pediatricians in NYC say cows milk si the way to go, but I’ve heard/read so much about how it’s definitely not the best. What are your thoughts? Which would you give your kids? Thanks so much in advance!
My son is turning 1 in Dec. trying to decide between switching him to Hipps Follow Up On Milk formula, or homogenized milk. Should I be concerned with the phthalate levels in one over the other? Thanks
My daughter is turning 1 this week. Would you recommend this formula as an alternative to just switching her to cow’s milk?
My baby at 4 months did not tolerate kabrita well so switched back to babys only whey protein. Do you recommend the one with or without dha and is this formula even safe for infants? Thanks!!
I purchased the Holle Goat’s Milk Stage 2 for my grandson. He has been breast fed exclusively for 6 months, but my daughter’s supply took a hit when she returned to work and she wanted to supplement. He seemed to do okay at first. But gradually over a month or so, he developed diarrhea and eventually had a full blown allergic reaction with bad hives.
I bought some of the HIPP HA Combiotik Stage 2 in the hope that that he would tolerate a hydrolyzed protein formula. But his pediatrician put him on Nutramigen (which does the same thing) and my daughter is now leery of European formulas. Her pediatrician also told her that babies cannot digest the proteins in goat’s milk, and he never should have been eating it. Now I feel horrible that I made my grandchild sick.
I hate that he is eating the terrible ingredients in Nutramigen. His rash is fading, but he is still not behaving normally. His stool is still green and now bad smelling. The ingredients in the HIPP are so much better, but American pediatricians apparently won’t recommend it. And now I don’t know how safe it would be.
Do you know any reason why goat’s milk protein is not suitable for infants? I can’t really find any research about it. It doesn’t make any sense that they would make the formula if it wasn’t.
My daughter’s little boy is 6 months and has been exclusively on breast milk so far. She is having trouble keeping up her milk supply and wants to start supplementing with formula. I ordered the Holle Goats Milk stage 2 and unfortunately he hates it. 🙁 My son in law says it smells strong, which may be putting him off. They even tried mixing it with breast milk (1 oz Holle to 3 oz breast milk) and he still cried and wouldn’t eat it.
I am now thinking of trying one of the cow milk formulas recommended on your site. Do you know if the goat milk taste/smell is stronger than cow milk?
Also, did you ever find out anything about that issue with the European brands posted by another mom? Something about testing done in Europe revealing substances in both Holle and HiPP that were not safe?
Thank you for your great site!
I received 4 boxes of Holle Stage 1 Cow and 2 boxes of Holle Stage 1 Goat from a girlfriend whose LO did not tolerate them. She ended up going to HIPP and all is well. I am switching from the Baby’s Only to Holle. I don’t want to let the goat milk go to waste and was wondering if it would be ok to mix it with the cow? My LO has been on mainly BM since birth and has only been on the Baby’s Only for about 3 weeks with no issues. I would just prefer her to be on the Holle moving forward. Thoughts?
I have also researched so many brands but the one I came across and feel comfortable giving my 6 month old is called Mt. Capra. It comes directly from Dutch goat milk farms in the Netherlands. Their company has no pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics no chemicals are added. It’s a goat milk powder and also has a lactose powder. You do have to add a few other ingredients such as organic sunflower oil, molasses, dha, colostrum and vitamins. I make it in large batches and my little one loves it. It doesn’t take long to make.
Can you guide about Mt. Capra…. is ur lo thriving??
Thank you for this article! The Amazon link to NannyCare no longer works. Which retailer do you recommend for buying NannyCare?
Thanks so much for this information. Do you know if there is any corn or corn products in Nannycare? Thank you.
From reading through the literature on organic infant formulas, it seems Holle Stage 1 Lebenswert is the best option.
Can you site any scientific literature on the oils (and their affects on babies) used in Holle Stage 1L? Also, I do not see the nutrition label on the Holle package, does it contain all the vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth as defined by the USDA? I know it’s not an American brand, but I want to make sure my LO is getting everything he needs! where can I find the % daily values of the vitamins and minerals in this formula?
Is the fat and protein content the same as most American formulas?
We have just ordered Baby’s Only, unfortunately before we recognized their was soybean oil in it. It also uses brown rice syrup , which I’m not sure about. Do we know how brown rice syrup affects insulin response and blood glucose levels in babies (in comparison to milk)?
First off, great website- I find it so helpful as a new mama! Ty!
Question for you regarding your opinion- we give our 4 month old Holle goat formula but I have found it to be constipating for her…not sure why the goat does that? Have you done any reviews on Holle Pre formula which is new? I love that it does not use maltodextrin and has apparently less oils too since they use milk fat…thinking of trying that out to see if it will help with constipation issue. What are your thoughts?
I too am also interested in this. My 5 month old is going to be transitioning from breastmilk to formula. In your opinion, of course, could I still give her Holle Pre formula instead of Holle Stage 2? What would really be the difference? I am concerned about giving my LO a formula that won’t meet her needs.
….Also, what prebiotic do you recommend for infants?
I’m confused bc I was just on kabritas website and I see an infant formula but above you say there isn’t one. Can you clarify?
I have been nursing and supplementing lebenswert stage 1. I’m current weaning from breastfeeding as I don’t produce enough. my pediatrician has recommended I switch to a hypoallergenic formula after his stool test was positive for blood. I ordered hipp hypoallergenic but now I’m concerned about the aluminum. Which hypoallergenic formula would you recommend for a 6 week old?
Is Kabrita toddler formula safe for 2 month old? I’m getting conflicting information: I called Kabrita and they said its approved for infants but not FDA approved in US, which I knew but some say there is not enough iodine and too high levels of calcium. What have you found to be true? Thanks!
I was wondering what your opinion was on Sanmys Milk now that the recall is over and it is FDA approved? Would you still rate Kabrita above it? (If so, why?) my LO is 13 months and has been on Baby’s Only Whey for a few months (your blog helped me find Babys Only), I am a little worried about the brown rice used and was considering Sammys Milk before the recall. I wasn’t aware of the other goat milk options. Would love to here your opinion! Thanks!
May I ask why you moved Kabrita’s formula as top choice ? Would this be suitable for infants?
It should be noted that all the goat’s milk formulas listed here EXCEPT SAMMYS contains cow milk lactose.
And I contacted the European formula companies listed here who stated that their products are not allowed to be sold to US customers. Buying from sites based in the US is apparently illegal business practices?? I find that rather strong language but there ya go. Maybe something was lost in translation.
Also Sammy’s Milk’s recall ended and is now available from her website.
I am starting Holle goats milk. Do you recommend adding DHA or anything? Or does the formula have everything needed for my 2 month old? Thanks!!
Hello Sarah, I use Holle Goat’s formula stage 1 for my 2 month old as well and I add DHA and probiotics on 1 bottle per day. Hope this helps!
My LO started on Lebenswert when she was 3 months old. Because of her eczema, we switched her to holle goat milk and her face got clear up after two weeks. However, the goat milk formula caused her to constipated badly. We wonder if she can have both holle goat milk and lebenswerts at the same time.
Thanks for always sharing the great info!
I have the same issue with my 5 month old- she broke out on Holle cow and cleared up with Holle goat but is so constipated. What did you end up doing to fix the issue? Any tips?
We used Baby’s Only Whey and have a happy and healthy one and a half yr. old. If I had another baby, I would probably use it again, but if they had allergies I would switch to a goat’s milk formula.
This is wonderful information! Quick question for you — can these be used for an older child (18-months) when weaning from breastfeeding? I’m looking for alternatives to cow’s milk and have heard good things about goat’s milk. I’m just confused as to whether to switch to a goat-milk formula, like the ones you have reviewed, or just regular goat’s milk.
Thanks so much!
Thanks for the great list!
We have been making the Weston A. Price homemade formula for the last 4 months now and our 7 month old is THRIVING and so healthy!
I can attest to how amazing the formula is. If you have access to very clean and healthy animals then, both the Raw Cow & Raw Goat milk formulas are simply wonderful. It takes about 15-20 minutes to make a batch. We often make a double batch a freeze extra for future use. Our little boy is strong, active, and loves the formula.
We have access to a wonderful farm and have confidence that we area getting the best possible milk for our formula. While buying raw milk is “illegal”, it is legal to own a Share of a cow/goat and then the milk is technically free…
If you have access to the Raw milk, it is just the best alternative to Breast milk possible.