Fertility

Parent’s Choice Formulas: What’s The Best Option For Your Baby?

Updated on 21 December 2021 • 10 minute read
1686 Views

 

Overview 

Formula name brands like Enfamil from Mead Johnson Nutritionals and Similac from Abbott Laboratories have long been trusted by parents to provide their children’s nutritional needs. But cheaper store brands and generic formulas like Walmart’s Parent’s Choice may be steadily growing in popularity. (1)

The huge price differences might be the biggest reason why many parents are buying these cheaper brands. (1)

For example, Enfamil Infant costs $28.49 per 21.1-oz can and Enfamil Premium costs $27.33 per 22.2-oz can. But Parent’s Choice Infant formula, which promises a comparable formulation, only costs $19.98 for a 36-oz canister. 

So, you only spend around $0.56 per oz for the Parent’s Choice formula but pay $1.35 and $1.23 per oz for Enfamil Infant and Premium, respectively. That’s a big difference, especially for parents who are on tighter budgets.

But remember that price shouldn’t be the only factor to consider when buying baby formula. After all, infant formula is baby food. (2)

For exclusively formula-fed babies, it’s important to ensure that the formula can provide the nutrition they need for proper growth and development.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires formula brands to meet specifications for 29 nutrients. Formula-fed infants may not need supplements unless they’re fed a low-iron formula. (2)

The FDA’s rules apply to name brands and generic formulas alike.

But always make sure to seek your pediatrician’s recommendations before starting a new formula for your child.

What Parent’s Choice Formulas can you buy? What ingredients are in these formulas, and can they provide your baby with complete nutrition despite the much lower prices than name brands? Find out below.

 

Parent’s Choice Formulas

These are the formula options offered by Parent’s Choice:

  • Infant
  • Advantage
  • Gentle
  • Sensitivity
  • Organic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Soy
  • Tender
  • Supplementation
  • Added Rice Starch
  • Comfort
  • Toddler
  • Next Stage

 

Similarities

Most of these formulas have the following features:

  • Gluten-free
  • Milk-based powder infant formula with iron, except Parent’s Choice Soy
  • Non-GMO formulas or free from genetically engineered ingredients, except Parent’s Choice Soy
  • GMOs (genetically modified organisms) may cause allergies, growth failure, endocrine disruption, autoimmunity, neurological disorders like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and autism. (3)
  • TC (Triple Care) ingredients – DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), lutein, and vitamin E that may help with better brain function, growth, and immunity (4)(5)(6)
  • ARA (arachidonic acid) can help develop your baby’s nervous, muscle, and immune systems (4)
  • Certified Kosher by the OU (Orthodox Union) (7)
  • Compliant with SQF (Safe Quality Food) Program
  • Meets all nutritional levels recommended by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) (2)
  • Meets all infant formula requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (2)
  • Dairy ingredients sourced from farms in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand
  • Made in an ISO 9001:2015-certified production facility inspected by the FDA 

 

Like name brands, most Parent’s Choice formulas are made for babies up to 12 months of age. But they also have toddler formulas for children one year old and above.

These Parent’s Choice infant formulas contain the highest iron content (1.9 mg):

  • Advantage
  • Sensitivity
  • Comfort

 

Prebiotics are abundant in breast milk. Studies show that they may help promote better gut health for your baby. (8)

These Parent’s Choice formulas have dual prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides): 

  • Infant
  • Added Rice Starch
  • Toddler
  • Next Stage

 

Cons & Potential Disadvantages

Most of their formulas have these potential disadvantages:

  • Highly processed, questionable vegetable oils
  • Palm oil, which can reduce calcium absorption (9)
  • Soy oil. Although it can be non-allergenic, it may still be best to avoid this ingredient if your baby has soy allergies. (10)
  • Some parents complained about the foul smell in many of these formulas.
  • Clumping or difficulty in dissolving the formula
  • Many of the products also contain corn syrup solids or maltodextrin.

 

Differences

Parent’s Choice claims that their products have comparable nutrition to popular formulas made by name brands.

The formulas have many similarities, and most are formulated for your baby’s first year. But these features make them different:

 

Parent’s Choice Infant

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Premium
  • Dual prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) that may help promote better gut health (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Advantage

  • May be comparable to Similac Pro-Advance
  • No artificial growth hormones (used to increase cow’s milk production) (11)
  • Although the effects of these artificial growth hormones in humans remain inconclusive, you might want to consider choosing formulas that are free from these. (11)
  • 2’FL HMO (2’-fucosyllactose human milk oligosaccharide) – prebiotic commonly found in breast milk which can provide immune support for your baby (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro
  • Partially hydrolyzed (broken down) whey protein
  • Easy-to-digest formula for gas, fussiness, and crying

 

Parent’s Choice Sensitivity

  • May be comparable to Similac Pro-Sensitive
  • Milk-based, low-lactose formula (99% less lactose) with iron 
  • For fussiness and gas, if your baby is sensitive to lactose
  • 2’-FL HMO prebiotic that can support immunity (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Organic

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Simply Organic
  • USDA certified organic 

 

Parent’s Choice Hypoallergenic

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum
  • May help calm colic due to a cow’s milk allergy
  • The brand claims that it’s clinically proven to manage cow’s milk allergy
  • Lactose-free formula
  • Probiotic (Lactobacillus Rhamnosus) that may help support digestive health (12)
  • Highest protein content (2.8 g) of all Parent’s Choice formulas

 

Parent’s Choice Soy

  • May be comparable to Similac Soy Isomil
  • Lactose-free formula with complete soy nutrition
  • For fussiness and gas
  • Highest calcium content (110 mg) of all Parent’s Choice formulas

 

Parent’s Choice Tender

  • May be comparable to Gerber Good Start Gentle
  • Infant milk with partially broken-down, 100% whey proteins that may be easier to digest
  • Contains both DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid), which can support eye and brain development (4)
  • GOS prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides) that may support babies’ immune system (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Supplementation

  • May be comparable to Similac For Supplementation
  • Formulated for breastfeeding moms who want to supplement with formula
  • GOS prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides) that may promote a healthier immune system (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Added Rice Starch

  • May be comparable to Similac Spit-Up
  • May help reduce frequent spit-up
  • Dual prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotics), which can help promote digestive health (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Comfort

  • May be comparable to Similac Pro-Total Comfort
  • Easy-to-digest proteins for delicate tummies
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • 2’-FL HMO prebiotic that can support immunity (8)

 

Parent’s Choice Toddler

  • May be comparable to Enfagrow Toddler
  • Dual prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides)
  • No artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives
  • Formulated for toddlers nine months old and above
  • Highest iron content (2.0 g) of all Parent’s Choice formulas

 

Parent’s Choice Next Stage

  • May be comparable to Go & Grow by Similac

 

Learn more about each Parent’s Choice formula below.

 

Parent’s Choice Infant

Price

  • 36 oz canister: $19.98

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Premium
  • Dual prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides)
  • Prebiotics are abundant in breast milk. Studies show that they may help promote better gut health for your baby. (8)

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It contains processed vegetable oils.
  • It contains palm oil. (9)
  • It also has soy oil. Although it can be considered non-allergenic, it may still be best if you avoid this ingredient if your baby has soy allergies. (10)

 

Ingredients

  • Nonfat milk
  • Lactose
  • Vegetable oils (soy, palm olein, coconut, and high oleic safflower or sunflower oil)
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotics
  • Fructo-oligosaccharide prebiotics
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)
  • Soy lecithin

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.3 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 11.3 g
  • Proteins: 2 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78 mg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 2 IU

 

Reviews

The best formula compared to any other expensive or inexpensive brands.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Horrible; brown specks in food!” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Parent’s Choice Advantage

Price

  • 36 oz can: $19.98

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Similac Pro-Advance
  • No artificial growth hormones (used to increase cow’s milk production) (11)
  • 2’FL HMO (2’-fucosyllactose human milk oligosaccharide) – prebiotic commonly found in breast milk which can provide immune support for your baby (8)

 

Product Recall

  • One lot (C26EVFV) of Parent’s Choice Advantage Infant Formula (35-oz containers) was recalled due to possible metal foreign matter in June 2019. (13)

 

Cons

  • It contains palm oil, soy oil, and other processed vegetable oils.

 

Ingredients

  • Nonfat milk
  • Lactose
  • Palm olein
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • High oleic (safflower or sunflower) oil
  • Fructooligosaccharide prebiotics
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • 2’-fucosyllactose prebiotics

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.6 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.7 g
  • Proteins: 2.07 g
  • Iron: 1.9 mg
  • Calcium: 82 mg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Choline: 24mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

 

Reviews

The formula is great on a budget parents.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

It smells bad, kind of fishy.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula

Price

  • 21.5 oz container: $13.98

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro
  • Partially hydrolyzed whey protein
  • Easy-to-digest formula for gas, fussiness, and crying

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It contains corn syrup, soy oil, palm oil, and other processed vegetable oils.

 

Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Nonfat milk
  • Palm olein oil
  • Partially hydrolyzed whey milk protein
  • Soy oil, coconut oil, or high oleic safflower or sunflower oil
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.3 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.8 g
  • Proteins: 2.3 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 82 mg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 2 IU

 

Reviews

There were no tummy or taste issues and Im saving a TON of money now.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

It tended to constipate the baby somewhat.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Parent’s Choice Organic

Price

  • 23.2 oz tub: $18.48

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Enfamil Simply Organic
  • USDA certified organic 

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It contains corn syrup, maltodextrin, palm oil, soy oil, and other processed vegetable oils.

 

Ingredients

  • Organic nonfat milk
  • Organic vegetable oils (palm or palm olein, soy, coconut, high oleic safflower, or sunflower)
  • Organic corn syrup solids
  • Organic maltodextrin
  • Fructooligosaccharide prebiotics
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)
  • Organic soy lecithin

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.63 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.4 g
  • Proteins: 2.07 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Choline: 16 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

 

Reviews

This was the first formula that we didn’t have to use probiotic drops to combat the constipation.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

He couldnt poop and also throw up most of it after every feed.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Parent’s Choice Soy

Price

  • 22 oz container: $13.12

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Similac Soy Isomil
  • Lactose-free formula with complete soy nutrition
  • For fussiness and gas

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It contains corn syrup, palm oil, soy oil, and other processed vegetable oils.
  • It also contains soy, a potential allergen.
  • Some parents want to avoid soy because it’s believed to affect immune and thyroid function and sexual or reproductive development. (14)

 

Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Palm olein, soy oil, coconut oil, high oleic (safflower or sunflower) oil
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)
  • Soy lecithin

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.46 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.4 g
  • Proteins: 2.45 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 110 mg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Choline: 12 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

 

Reviews

You save soooo much money buying this over prosobee.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

My daughter is having hard poop like an adult.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Parent’s Choice Added Rice Starch

Price

  • 32.2 oz tub: $19.98

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Similac Spit-Up
  • May help reduce frequent spit-up
  • Dual prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotics), which can help promote digestive health (8)

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It contains maltodextrin, rice starch, palm oil, soy oil, and other questionable vegetable oils.

 

Ingredients

  • Nonfat milk
  • Vegetable oils (palm olein, soy, coconut, and high oleic safflower or sunflower oil)
  • Rice starch
  • Maltodextrin
  • Lactose
  • Galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotics
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides prebiotics
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)
  • Soy lecithin

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.1 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Proteins: 2.5 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78mg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 2 IU

 

Reviews

It helped keep the spitting up to a minimum and reduced her discomfort.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Twin girls spit up every bit as much and get even more irritated.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Parent’s Choice Comfort

Price

  • 22.5 oz container: $14.98

 

Best Features & Safety

  • May be comparable to Similac Pro-Total Comfort
  • Easy-to-digest proteins for delicate tummies
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • 2’-FL HMO prebiotic that can support immunity (8)

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It contains maltodextrin, palm oil, soy oil, and other questionable vegetable oils.

 

Ingredients

  • Corn maltodextrin
  • Partially hydrolyzed whey protein
  • High oleic safflower oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, and coconut oil
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides prebiotics
  • 2’-fucosyllactose prebiotics

 

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.4 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Proteins: 2.32 g
  • Iron: 1.9 mg
  • Calcium: 105 mg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Choline: 24mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

 

Reviews

She is gaining weight and not having diarrhea and getting awful diaper rashes anymore.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

This formula is very clumpy and causes major constipation.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Summary & Recommendation 

All Parent’s Choice formulas may provide your baby with complete nutrition. These are our recommendations to help you pick the right one for your child:

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Infant if:

  • You want a formula with dual prebiotics for better gut health (8)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Advantage if:

  • You want a formula with no artificial growth hormones and that has prebiotics (8)(11)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula if:

  • You prefer a formula that may be easier to digest to deal with gas, fussiness, and crying

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Sensitivity if:

  • You prefer a milk-based, low-lactose formula (99% less lactose) for fussiness and gas
  • You want a formula with prebiotics (8)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Organic if:

  • You prefer USDA certified organic formula

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Hypoallergenic if:

  • You prefer a lactose-free formula with probiotics
  • You need a formula marketed as clinically proven to manage cow’s milk allergy

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Soy if:

  • You need a lactose-free formula with complete soy nutrition for fussiness and gas
  • You’re looking for a formula with high calcium content (110 mg)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Tender if:

  • You’re looking for a formula with partially broken-down, 100% whey proteins and prebiotics (8)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Supplementation if:

  • You’re a breastfeeding mom who wants to supplement with a formula that has prebiotics (8)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Added Rice Starch if:

  • You need a formula that can reduce frequent spit-up and has dual prebiotics (8)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Comfort if:

  • You need an easy-to-digest formula with prebiotics and free from artificial growth hormones (8)(11)

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Toddler if:

  • You prefer a formula with dual prebiotics and high iron content (2.0 g) for your baby who’s nine months old and above

 

Choose Parent’s Choice Next Stage if:

  • You prefer a formula with dual prebiotics ideal for your baby one year old and above

 

FAQs

Is Kirkland And Parents Choice Formula The Same?

No. Kirkland Signature is a Costco store brand, while Parent’s Choice is Walmart’s store brand.

Why Is Walmart Out Of Parents Choice Formula?

If Walmart is out of Parent’s Choice, it might be possible that there’s a recall of their products.

Does WIC Cover Parents Choice Formula?

Parent’s Choice isn’t included among the brands on WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/26/business/personal-business-formula-fight-a-generic-vs-the-giants.html

(2) https://www.fda.gov/food/people-risk-foodborne-illness/questions-answers-consumers-concerning-infant-formula

(3) https://www.greenamerica.org/blog/downsides-gmo-infant-formula-we-asked-pediatrician

(4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29413359/

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107217/

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5496727/

(7) https://oukosher.org/the-kosher-primer/

(8) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25535999/

(9) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16582027/

(10) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3894482/

(11) https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone.html

(12) https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/formula-feeding/Pages/Probiotics-in-Infant-Formula.aspx

(13) https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/perrigo-issues-voluntary-recall-parents-choice-advantage-infant-formula-milk-based-powder-iron

(14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6265372/

 

as seen on
We Got You, Mama.

Self-Care Rituals & Self-Love Practices To Support You & Your Family.

[gravityform id="6" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]