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The Scoop on Kendamil Formula: Review & FAQ

baby formula european formula formula review goat milk formula infant formula organic formula Jul 26, 2022
Can of Kendamil baby formula against a blue background with green leaves

You're strolling through Target with your baby, you turn into the formula aisle and instead of seeing the all-too-familiar bare shelves, you see a new brand: Kendamil First Infant Milk. What's the deal with it? What formula is it similar to? Should you buy it?

Read on for an overview of one of my new favorite formula brands, plus how they ended up on U.S. shelves, and answers to common parent questions!

 

The Story of Kendamil Formula in the U.S.

Kendamil is a beloved family-owned infant formula manufacturer operating out of the U.K.-- it's actually the ONLY British-owned formula company! For over 60 years, they have sold high-quality whole cow milk and goat milk formulas in Britain and across Europe. One claim to fame? Kendamil was the formula of choice for Britain's Royal Family (yes, Prince William and Duchess Kate used Kendamil formula and cereal for Prince Louis)!

As a result of the FDA's recent "enforcement discretion" pathway that has allowed for expedited approval of foreign formula imports, three of Kendamil's products were recently approved for sale in the United States: their classic first infant milk, their organic first infant milk, and their goat first infant milk. These formulas are available for purchase in Target stores nationwide, online at Target.com, and from additional retailers and their US website later this summer.

 

Overview of Kendamil's Formulas

The FDA has approved three Kendamil formulas for sale in the U.S., and they are all nutritionally-compliant with all FDA guidelines! While all three formulas contain some of the same features (like the use of whole milk, which offers natural MFGM, HMOs and dual prebiotics, as well as being soy-free and palm oil-free), they also differ in a few ways. Here are some of the key features of each formula type:

 

Kendamil Classic First Infant Milk

  • 100% lactose as the carb source
  • Uniquely produced with liquid whole milk from grass-fed cows (from milk to formula in less than 24 hours for optimal freshness!)
  • Added whey protein to mirror the 60% whey/40% casein protein ratio found in mature breastmilk, including alpha-lactalbumin which is a primary protein component in human milk
  • Prebiotics (including GOS, FOS, and HMO 3'-GL)
  • Naturally-occurring milk fat globule membrane (MFGM)
  • Highest levels of DHA and ARA essential fatty acids in the U.S, from sustainable plant-based sources
  • No palm oil (reduces constipation risk)
  • Soy-free
  • Kosher, halal, and vegetarian-certified

Kendamil's classic first infant milk is similar in composition to many U.S. formulas, and is a good swap for ByHeart, Enfamil Enspire, Similac 360 Total Care, Similac Pro-Advance, Enfamil NeuroPro, generic Advantage/Advantage Premium, Kirkland Pro-Care, generic Infant, and other standard formulas!

 

Kendamil Organic First Infant Milk 

  • Organic to EU standards
  • 100% organic lactose as the carb source
  • Uniquely produced with liquid organic whole milk from grass fed cows (from milk to formula in less than 24 hours for optimal freshness!)
  • Added organic whey protein to mirror the 60% whey/40% casein protein ratio found in mature breastmilk
  • Prebiotics (including GOS and HMO 3'-GL, which makes this the only organic formula globally to contain HMOs!)
  • Naturally-occurring milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) 
  • Highest levels of DHA and ARA essential fatty acids in the U.S, from sustainable plant-based sources
  • No palm oil (reduces constipation risk)
  • Soy-free
  • Vegetarian-certified and halal

Kendamil's organic first infant cow milk is similar in composition to many U.S. formulas, and is a good swap for ByHeart, Bobbie, Similac Pure Bliss, Enfamil Enspire, Happy Baby Organic, Burt's Bees Organic, Earth's Best Organic, and other standard formulas!

 

Kendamil Goat Milk Formula

  • 100% lactose as the carb source
  • Uniquely produced with liquid whole milk from grass fed goats (from milk to formula in less than 24 hours for optimal freshness!)
  • Natural A2 beta-casein proteins like breastmilk
  • Added goat whey protein (gentler than cow whey) to mirror the 60% whey/40% casein protein ratio found in mature breastmilk
  • Prebiotics (including GOS and HMO 3'-GL, making it the only goat milk formula with HMOs in the world!)
  • Naturally-occurring milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) 
  • Highest levels of DHA and ARA essential fatty acids in the U.S, from sustainable plant-based sources
  • No palm oil (reduces constipation risk)
  • Soy-free
  • Vegetarian-certified and halal

Kendamil's first infant goat milk formula is a great option for babies who have a milk protein sensitivity (chronic nasal congestion, eczema, occasional mucus in stool) but no diagnosed milk protein intolerance or allergy.  This formula is a good swap for Kabrita goat milk formula, Bubs goat milk formula, Similac Organic A2, Gerber A2 Gentle Supreme, Enfamil A2, and Baby's Only Premium toddler formula.

 

How Do I Prepare Kendamil Formula?

In many ways, you can prepare it just like you have been preparing your formula from the US, with ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE! Kendamil formula is made using 1 scoop of formula per 1 ounce of water. In the US, we're used to formulas using 1 scoop of powder per 2 ounces of water! To make a 6oz bottle of Kendamil, you'd use 6oz of water and then add 6 scoops of formula. The good news? It's much easier and more straightforward to make a bottle with an odd number of ounces.

The preparation instructions on the formula tin follow UK guidelines which are a bit stricter than our U.S. guidelines. You may notice that the instructions ask you to boil water to mix with the formula and to make each bottle fresh versus preparing in advance and storing in the fridge. Please know-- there is nothing inherently more dangerous about this formula that would necessitate this prep! This is simply how they are required to label their cans according to UK health guidelines.

If you have not been boiling water (i.e. you've been using tap water, distilled water, etc.) to prepare your US formula, you can continue to use whatever water you've been using! Likewise, if you were preparing batches (using the Dr. Browns Formula Mixing Pitcher or something similar) before using Kendamil, you can continue to do so. You won't increase your risk at all to keep doing what you've been doing, though I alway recommend discussing with your child’s doctor to confirm if you chose not to follow the stated label instructions.

Outside of these differences, major food safety rules still apply such as:

  1. Wash your hands before preparing formula or touching clean bottles
  2. Prepared formula is good for no more than 2 hours at room temperature
  3. Prepared formula is good for no more than 1 hour after being offered to baby
  4. Batches of formula (in a formula pitcher or individual bottles) are good in the refrigerator for 24 hours

As always, discuss with your pediatrician any questions you have about safely preparing formula. 

 

FAQs about Kendamil

Q: Can I use Organic First Infant Milk and the Classic First Infant Milk interchangeably? 

A: Yes! They are very similar in composition and your baby will very likely tolerate one if they tolerate the other. Small differences include the type of whey protein (alpha-lactalbumin) and the addition of FOS prebiotics in the classic first infant milk, and that all ingredients are organically sourced for the organic first infant milk.

 

Q: The container says "Stage 1" for 0-6 months and my baby is older than that. Can I use these formulas?

A: Yes! Kendamil's stage 1 formulas are nutritionally-complete and appropriate for ages 0-12 months. While you can move to a stage 2 product at 6 months, you don't need to.

 

Q: My pediatrician is concerned about Kendamil having lower iron. Should I be worried?

A: Nope! When the serving size is adjusted from 100mL (European label serving size) to 120mL/5oz/100kcal (U.S. label serving size), Kendamil offers 1mg/iron per serving. You can see the full nutrition labels for 100kcal here! This is on par with other FDA-approved U.S. infant formulas like ByHeart and Bobbie, and falls well within the FDA's minimum nutrient guidelines set forth by the Infant Formula Act. It's also worth remembering that human milk contains very little iron! For families or pediatricians concerned about iron-deficiency anemia, be sure to introduce iron-rich solids by 6 months when iron stores from pregnancy decrease.

 

Q: How does Kendamil compare, price-wise, to U.S. formulas?

A: Kendamil's tins contain more formula than we're used to seeing in the U.S.-- 900g per tin for the classic first infant milk and 800g per tin for the organic first infant milk and goat milk formulas. When comparing on a price-per-gram basis, Kendamil is significantly cheaper  than most name-brand U.S.-based infant formulas. For example, 900g of Enfamil Enspire costs $57, compared to 900g of Kendamil classic which costs $34. Want another way to think about it? Kendamil costs roughly 16 cents per fluid ounce of formula, while Enspire costs nearly 27 cents. If your baby drinks 32oz of formula a day, you’ll save $96/month by using Kendamil over Enspire. 

You can see a breakdown of how other common U.S. formulas compare in price here!

 

Q: How does Kendamil compare, ingredient-wise and quality-wise, to U.S. formulas?

A: Kendamil has put together a variety of comparison charts for parents considering switching from Enfamil, Similac, Gerber, Earth’s Best and Bobbie! You can check these out here.

 

Q: Since I’m using 1 scoop per 1 ounce, won't I use twice as much formula? Will I go through the can twice as fast?

A: No, because Kendamil's scoop is half the size of US scoops! While most U.S. scoops hold about 9 grams of formula, Kendamil's scoop holds 4.3 grams. So while you are using twice the number of scoops for each bottle, you'll be using roughly the same amount of formula as you're used to.

 

Q: Do I have to measure my water in mL now? 

A: You can, but you don’t have to! 1oz of water equals 30mL. 

2oz = 60mL

3oz = 90mL

4oz = 120mL

5oz = 150mL

6oz = 180mL

7oz = 210mL

8oz = 240mL

 

Q: My baby has CMPA. Can I swap my hypoallergenic formula for Kendamil Goat Milk Formula?

A: Unfortunately, no. Goat milk formula is not suitable for CMPA as many infants with allergies to cow milk protein will also react to goat milk protein. Goat milk formulas can be helpful for babies with sensitivities to cow milk, but are not appropriate for those with diagnosed allergies.

 

Q: Will Kendamil infant formula be available in the U.S. long-term?

A: It's looking like it! The FDA released a statement on July 6th with information about steps being taken to allow Kendamil and other foreign manufacturers to sell in the U.S. permanently. Per the FDA on a White House briefing call, "This policy is specifically intended to create permanent access." Follow-up guidance will be issued in September 2022.

It’s also important to note that Kendamil has been working with the FDA for nearly five years (long before the current shortages!) to become approved for sale in the States. As such, Kendamil has already completed the required animal trial (to show protein efficiency) and is in the final stages of their human trial (to demonstrate adequate growth in infants) which will be completed this year. Both studies are required for new manufacturers to sell in the U.S. Given this background and their proximity to completing the clinical requirements, the FDA has assured Kendamil that they will be allowed to stay in the market permanently.

 

Q: As The Formula Mom, do you recommend Kendamil formulas?

A: Absolutely! I am thrilled to have Kendamil in the U.S. market and am so glad that we have a new high-quality, more cost-effective option for families. I typically recommend Kendamil to families that have been using a standard formula (one that has lactose for the carb source and intact milk proteins) and those that want a high-quality, organic option. While Kendamil is new to the market, it is getting rave reviews both on Target.com and in my DMs on a weekly basis. If you're looking for a formula option that is available on shelf and in stores, offers great extras like MFGM, HMO prebiotics and high levels of DHA, and is a great value for the quality, Kendamil can't be beat.

 

Q: Where can I learn more about the product and upcoming retailer releases?

A: If you haven’t already, be sure to follow @kendamil.usa on Instagram and sign-up for their e-mail list on their U.S.-facing website!

 

Planning to try Kendamil?

I love to hear how families are liking these new formulas to market. Leave a comment below or send me a DM on IG @theformulamom with your feedback!

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