With the national shortage of baby formula we are currently experiencing, a homemade alternative may be attractive to some parents

A post that features a homemade baby formula recipe has gone viral, but pediatricians are warning parents of its dangers.

The recipe that has gone viral is printed on letterhead that includes the image of an infant, reminiscent of the Gerber baby.

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An assumption from the person who posted this particular image only adds to the danger of the recipe:

Tori Dinkel added this line to the post:

A recipe from 1960 that I am willing to bet is healthier than what they're making it with now. - via Facebook

DISCLAIMER: I am not a parent, so I do not know the desperation that, I'm certain, many parents are feeling during the formula shortage. If I were a parent and were scrambling to find a suitable substitute for formula, seeing this recipe might tempt me. Seeing the "I am willing to bet is healthier than what they're making it with now" might be enough to get me to try the recipe. (Admittedly, desperate times call for desperate measures, but we must consider the health and welfare of the kids before spreading stuff like this).

I am all about saving money, and I am all about trying "Copycat" recipes (the Cane's Dipping Sauce recipe is spot-on!), but I would hope that people would check the safety of a recipe like the one that's gone viral prior to feeding it to their children.

Tim Bish via Unsplash
Tim Bish via Unsplash

The Truth or Fiction website references several articles about the current baby formula shortage, but the shortage didn't happen overnight: supplies have been waning for months.

It appears that the shortage issue can be blamed on several things, from being able to obtain the raw products to a shortage of workers to manufacture the formula to logistics issues for the raw materials, packaging materials, and the final product.

On top of those issues, we have this issue: certain brands of powdered formula are experiencing a recall, which shortens the supply even more.

And parents are panicking, worried about how and when they will be able to obtain more formula for their infants.

What are the risks of using homemade formula for your infant? Well, according to the article, homemade formulas usually can't provide all of the nutrients your infant needs.

Science has come so far since 1960 (the year this homemade baby formula recipe was produced) and has gotten very close to mimicking real breast milk. The recipe that has gone viral can't provide anywhere near the nutrients in formula or breast milk, and it can also cause other issues.

ABC News
ABC News

When you start messing with homemade alternatives, the possibility of contamination is greatly increased. The more ingredients, the higher the risk.

While researching this article, I learned something new: water isn't good for infants. Yes they need to be hydrated, but since an infant's liver and kidneys aren't well-developed, they have difficulty processing the minerals found in "free" water.

Even more of a reason to not trust some of the homemade formulas, since many of them call for more water than infants should consume.

What's the takeaway here? Verify anything you read on the internet, including this story (here are the links: TRUTHORFICTION, US Food and Drug Administration)

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