Everywhere you go on the Internet right now, you will see the discussion of the shortage of baby formula. You will also see pictures of empty shelves and panicked moms. While breastfeeding is always the perfect food for infants, not all moms are able to nurse. After a successful 26-month nursing journey with my son, I was unable to nurse our daughter — despite trying ‘all the things.’
I had to supplement with a bottle for our daughter starting when she was 12 weeks old — and there just wasn’t an option on the market that I was happy with either for quality or price. It was very important to me to give her the best nutrition possible, so I researched as only a desperate Mama of a three-month old who isn’t gaining weight can do!
If you’ve been in the alternative health world for long, you will have heard of Weston Price’s Homemade Formula Recipe. It has helped many mamas, and I can’t even convey how much I respect their Foundation. I’ve eaten a loose WAPF diet for years — so I was surprised at some of their ingredients when I looked up their formula recipe in early 2020.
I tweaked it for a few reasons, but mostly based on new science and data that has come out over the years since it was formulated. As a benefit, these changes are cheaper financially as well since we’re removing a few ingredients or swapping them for alternatives that happen to be more affordable.
Three Changes I made to the homemade formula recipe: IMPROVED Weston Price Formula
Swap Out The Nutritional Yeast Flakes. The nutritional yeast flakes are added to the Weston Price recipe to be a source of B vitamins since both cow’s milk — and especially goat’s milk — have less B vitamins than human breast milk.
The company that WAPF links to — and every other brand I could find on the market — say that their Nutritional Yeast is fortified with Folic Acid.
In the years since the WAPF put together this formula recipe, lots of new research has come out about the widespread prevalence of the MTHFR gene mutation. This relatively recent discovery has been shown to affect up to 40% of people.
Those people who have one or both copies of the MTHFR mutation cannot process synthetic Folic Acid, because they cannot break synthetic B vitamins (like folic acid) down into methylated forms. Failure to do so can cause many health issues — most importantly for the purpose of baby formula, lack of absorption.
That is, people with the MTHFR gene mutation will not absorb B vitamins from Folic Acid because they lack the enzyme to methylate it properly.
Even if you or your husband don’t have a copy of this mutation, that doesn’t mean your baby might not! Your child would have to be specifically tested to rule MTHFR out.
Because I have one copy of the MTHFR gene mutation — and knowing that at least 1 in 3 Americans have at least one copy as well — I replaced the nutritional yeast flakes with these Methylated B Vitamin Drops.
Eliminate The Sunflower Oil. Even expensive, organic sunflower oil is high in Omega-6s — and cheaper ones are often diluted with soybean oil. I knew that Omega 6s aren’t a huge problem if they’re in the correct ratio with Omega 3s (which the other oils would provide), but I also knew from personal experience that when you live out in the sticks like I do, it can be nearly impossible to find the high quality stuff except on Amazon. I have no way of knowing how long it sat on their shelf or how hot it got in their warehouse, etc. Now, that might not be a concern for you, in which case, feel free to leave it in!
Swap Acerola. I swapped out Acerola for another form of Vitamin C that I preferred: Sodium Ascorbate. This is because Sodium Ascorbate is a very gentle form of Vitamin C. It’s an alkaline form, non-acidic and is buffered – meaning it’s easily tolerated and doesn’t cause stomach upset like other forms of Vitamin C.
Note: Can’t find raw milk?
I drove two hours one way once a month to load up on raw goat’s milk. I bought a little chest freezer and removed an inch or two of milk from each half-gallon to give it room to expand when frozen, etc. I did this for nearly two years.
I say all that to say that I was dedicated to giving my little girl the best I could. But even if I had no access to raw milk, I still believe that the nutrition I was adding to her bottles — coupled even with pasteurized goat milk from the grocery store — was better than the conventional formulas made from corn syrup solids, soybean oil, and worse. So while raw milk is always preferred, in a pinch, Myenburg Pasteurized goat milk was still a preferable choice for my family over commercial powdered formula.
One Quart Recipe: IMPROVED Weston Price Formula:
2 cups Whole Raw Cow Or Goat Milk (preferably from pasture-fed cows)
1/4 teaspoon Bifidobacterium Infantis
2 or more Tablespoons Good-Quality Cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized) (more if you are using milk from Holstein cows)
8 drops of these Methylated B Vitamin Drops.
1/2 Teaspoon Unflavored High-Vitamin or High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil (or 1 Teaspoon Regular Cod Liver Oil)
1/4 teaspoon High-Vitamin Butter Oil (optional)
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon MCT oil
2 teaspoons Coconut Oil
4 tablespoons Lactose powder (I use NOW brand.)
2 teaspoons Gelatin
1 7/8 Cups Filtered Water
Single Bottle Recipe: IMPROVED Weston Price Formula
3.5 oz Hot Water
1 Tablespoon Lactose
1/2 tsp Gelatin
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
Dissolve the three ingredients above together. I would often use my Keurig to quickly heat the water. I poured off any excess water to get the amount to just under 4oz. Then I added the lactose and gelatin to this and stirred it for about thirty seconds.
Put 4 oz of Raw Milk into a glass bottle and add:
2 teaspoons Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (organic single farm sourced)
1/2 teaspoon organic MCT oil
1/8 teaspoon butter oil (Optional. I didn’t add it.)
1/16 teaspoon or less of Sodium Ascorbate (I only added this to every other bottle!)
1/16 teaspoon Bifobacterium Infantis
1 drop Methylated B Vitamins
Preparation: Put water on to heat. Once it’s nearly boiling (or your Keurig has run 6 oz water into a cup) pour off any extra until you have just under 4 oz. Add the Lactose, Coconut Oil, and Gelatin and stir for a few seconds and then let it sit.
While it sits, pour the cold raw Milk, Oils, B-vitamins, Probiotic, Sodium Ascorbate and Cream into the bottle. It should be just over half full. Turn back to the hot water mixture and give it another stir before slowly pouring it into the bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously to help the oils emulsify and that’s it!
With the help of my Keurig or teapot, I could make my daughter a fresh bottle in less than two minutes. I was able to carry all the ingredients (except the milk, cream and probiotic) in a shoe-box sized tote on long trips, etc.
When traveling, I took a mug and spoon along in my little shoe box of supplies. Then I could stop at any gas station and get a cup of hot water from their coffee and tea area and quickly make up a fresh bottle on the road. For longer trips, I would combine the oils (MCT, Olive, Butter oil) into a small bottle and then did the math to figure out that I would need just over 1 teaspoon of that mixture in each bottle. I did the same thing with the cream — adding a cup of cream to the top of a half gallon jug of raw milk. This made it even easier to make bottles on the go!
Hopefully these recipes will help you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or message me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
~EMILY from the PPN Team