Many health-conscious parents first try a homemade milk-based baby formula when it becomes apparent that breastfeeding is not an option. If baby demonstrates an intolerance even when using fresh, grass-fed whole milk or yogurt, the non-dairy homemade formula recipe is an excellent alternative to use instead. A detailed how-to video tutorial is also provided.
This dairy-free DIY formula is based on homemade broth and a small amount of cooked, organic grass-fed liver instead of milk as the source of protein.
The recipe was originally published in the cookbook Nourishing Traditions in 1996 and developed by Dr. Mary Enig.
Traditional cultures sometimes used liver pre-chewed by the Mother as a baby first food. Liver is very easily digested and full of nutrition and cholesterol for the baby’s rapidly developing brain.
Commercial nondairy formulas rely on soy as the protein source. Soy formula is a devastating food for babies as it is loaded with plant estrogens which wreak havoc with the baby’s developing hormonal system. In addition, soy contains some of the highest levels of phytic acid found in any food. Phytic acid contributes to poorly developed, cavity-prone baby teeth and poor bone structure (i.e., turned-in feet, flat feet, crowded teeth, sunken chest, etc) as it blocks mineral absorption.
Whatever you do, if your child cannot drink a milk-based formula, DO NOT use soy! Other types of plant-based DIY baby formula can cause growth problems as well.
What a relief for a concerned parent that a safe, healthy, non-dairy homemade formula can be made at home with nutrient-dense, whole-food ingredients.
Most babies who cannot drink the homemade milk-based formula THRIVE on this hypoallergenic homemade formula.
You will immediately notice that whey and lactose are used in this hypoallergenic recipe. The vast majority of babies will do fine with these milk-derived ingredients as it is the milk protein (casein), not the lactose or whey that was causing the problems with the milk-based formula. In the rare case that the infant is not thriving on this homemade dairy-free formula, remove the whey and substitute GMO-free dextrose or sucrose for the lactose.
Nondairy Homemade Formula
Click here for where to source all the ingredients for the dairy-free homemade formula such as gelatin, lactose, and acerola powder, etc. See the dairy-free baby formula video below for visual details.
One batch of 36 ounces takes about 10 minutes to make.
Be sure to use bottle nipples designed for thicker flowing liquids when feeding this formula to your baby. Get them here.
If your baby is only allergic to cow milk, but not other types of dairy, this article provides a how-to for making homemade goats milk formula if you would like to try that first. A sheep milk formula is an option too. Or, if you cannot get goat milk in your area, you can make homemade formula with camel milk.
Dairy-Free Homemade Formula Recipe
A nourishing, dairy-free homemade baby formula that uses bone broth as the base instead of raw milk that was developed and tested by Dr. Mary Enig to match breastmilk as closely as possible.
- 3 3/4 cups bone broth
- 2 oz grassfed liver beef, bison, or lamb
- 1/4 cup liquid whey leave out if baby cannot tolerate
- 5 Tbl goat lactose OR nonGMO dextrose if baby cannot tolerate
- 1/4 tsp bifidobacterium infantis powder
- 1/2 tsp cod liver oil unflavored
- 1 tsp sunflower oil preferably organic
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil preferably organic
- 1 Tbl virgin coconut oil preferably organic
- 1/4 tsp acerola powder
Simmer liver cut up into small pieces gently in the homemade broth until just cooked through.
Liquefy the liver in the broth using a handheld blender or a food processor.
Let the broth cool to room temperature, then stir in the remaining ingredients or blend for a few seconds in a blender.
Store formula in glass jars in the refrigerator.
To serve the homemade formula, pour into glass baby bottles and warm in a baby bottle warmer or in a pan of hot water. Never microwave baby bottles!
You may make bone broth yourself (most budget-friendly) or buy it. Be aware that almost all bone broth on the market is not quality. Even if it is quality bone broth, it comes in toxic packaging. Watch out! The only brand I have found as of this writing that is worth purchasing is bone broth packaged in shelf stable glass jars.
Most babies allergic to milk formula are allergic to the milk proteins, so liquid whey is tolerated well. If baby shows signs of intolerance try using goat whey (strained from goat yogurt or goat kefir). Leave out only as a last resort. DO NOT use powdered whey from the store or whey from making cheese.
Substitute nonGMO dextrose or sucrose if the baby cannot tolerate lactose.
If your baby has a true dairy allergy and is not just dairy sensitive, this infant probiotic is dairy free to use as a substitute.
**Do not use krill oil as a substitute for the cod liver oil. It contains no Vitamin D and very little Vitamin A.