Top Non Dairy Formula Options

non dairy formula seal

Need to find the best non dairy formula for your baby? This guide will explain different types, benefits, and tips for choosing the right one for allergies, lactose intolerance, or plant-based diets.


Key Takeaways

  • Non-dairy formulas, such as soy-based, hydrolyzed rice protein, and goat’s milk formulas, offer alternatives for infants with cow’s milk allergies, lactose intolerance, or specific dietary preferences, aligning with ethical and health concerns.

  • Hypoallergenic formulas like Neocate Syneo and Similac Alimentum are suitable for infants with severe allergies or multiple food intolerances, free from milk proteins, lactose, and soy, ensuring comprehensive nutrition without triggering allergic reactions.

  • Selecting the right non-dairy formula requires careful consideration of the baby’s nutritional needs, potential allergies, and dietary preferences, often necessitating consultation with a pediatrician and careful monitoring during the transition phase.

Top Non Dairy Formula Options for Happy Babies

For parents seeking alternatives to cow’s milk based formulas, there are several excellent non-dairy options available. Some top choices among soy-based formulas include:
  • Earth’s Best Non-GMO Plant Based Infant Formula with Iron: a nutritionally complete option for babies who cannot tolerate cow’s milk

  • Enfamil ProSobee Soy Infant Formula: known for its high purity and suitability for lactose intolerant infants

  • Similac Soy Isomil: provides essential nutrients without the discomfort associated with cow’s milk allergies

  • Our Else Nutrition Plant-Based Complete Nutrition for Toddlers is a great option for babies 12+ months.


These dairy-free formula options,  offer a great alternative for parents looking for non-dairy solutions for their babies.

For babies with severe allergies or multiple food intolerances, hypoallergenic formulas like Neocate Syneo Infant Hypoallergenic Amino-Acid Based formula and Similac Alimentum are excellent choices. These formulas are free from milk proteins, lactose, and soy, making them ideal for infants with complex dietary needs. Neocate Syneo, in particular, is highly recommended for its comprehensive nutrient profile and hypoallergenic properties.

If you’re looking for an alternative to regular cow’s milk formula, soy-based, and hypoallergenic formulas, goat’s milk formulas like those offered by Holle can be a great option. Holle’s goat’s milk infant formula is known for its easier digestibility and suitability for dairy-sensitive babies. This variety ensures that there is a non-dairy formula to meet the specific needs of every baby, ensuring their health and happiness.


For many parents, the journey of choosing the right baby formula can feel overwhelming. With so many options available, making an informed decision can seem daunting. This guide aims to simplify that process, providing you with the knowledge needed to select the best non-dairy or soy-free formula for your baby.

Understanding the different types of formulas, their benefits, and how they cater to specific dietary needs is essential. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the various non-dairy formula options, from soy-based to hydrolyzed rice protein and other plant-based formulas. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the information necessary to make the best choice for your baby’s health and well-being.

Understanding Non Dairy Formulas

Non-dairy formulas are designed to cater to babies who cannot consume cow’s milk based formulas due to lactose intolerance, cow’s milk allergies, or specific dietary preferences such as a vegan diet. These formulas often utilize alternative protein sources like soy, hydrolyzed rice protein, or other plant-based ingredients. They provide a viable solution for parents seeking to align their baby’s diet with ethical or health considerations.

Soy-based formulas, such as Earth’s Best Non-GMO Plant-Based Infant Formula with Iron, are among the most popular dairy-free options. Other alternatives include hypoallergenic formulas like Neocate Syneo Infant Hypoallergenic Amino-Acid Based formula, which is free from milk proteins, lactose, and soy, making it suitable for infants with severe allergies. Understanding these options allows parents to choose the best formula that meets their baby’s unique nutritional needs.

Benefits of Non Dairy Formula

Non-dairy formulas offer numerous benefits for infants, particularly those with specific dietary restrictions. For babies with lactose intolerance or cow’s milk protein allergies, these formulas can alleviate symptoms such as:

  • hives

  • eczema

  • abdominal pain

  • vomiting

Additionally, non-dairy formulas can reduce the risk of reflux in babies, improving their digestion and overall comfort.

Beyond addressing allergies and intolerances, non-dairy formulas have several benefits:

  • They align with ethical and sustainable dietary preferences.

  • Many parents are concerned about the safety of hormones and antibiotics in animal milk, making plant-based non-dairy formulas an attractive alternative.

  • These formulas provide a healthy, sustainable option that supports the well-being of lactose intolerant infants and aligns with a plant-based diet.

Types of Non Dairy Formulas

Non-dairy formulas come in various types, each catering to different dietary restrictions and preferences. The three main categories are soy-based formulas, hydrolyzed rice protein formulas, and other plant-based formulas. Each type offers unique benefits and is suited to different needs, ensuring that parents can find the perfect formula for their baby’s specific requirements.

Soy-Based Formulas

Soy-based formulas are a popular choice for parents seeking a plant-based option for their babies, as an alternative to cow’s milk based formulas. These lactose free formula options use soy proteins as the primary protein source, making them suitable for infants with lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergies. They are also ideal for families following a vegan diet, as they do not contain any animal derived products. Examples of soy-based formulas include Gerber Good Start Gentle Soy, which is designed for babies with lactose intolerance.

However, it’s important to note that soy allergies often co-occur with cow’s milk protein allergies. Therefore, parents should be cautious and consult with a pediatrician before switching to a soy-based formula. Despite this, soy-based formulas remain a reliable and nutritious alternative for many babies.

Hydrolyzed Rice Protein Formulas

Hydrolyzed rice protein formulas are an excellent option for infants with both cow’s milk protein and soy allergies. These formulas are made from rice proteins that have been processed through enzymatic hydrolysis, making them easily digestible and hypoallergenic. This process breaks down the proteins into smaller, more manageable pieces that are less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Bebe M offers a notable example of a hydrolyzed rice protein formula, which is free from both dairy and soy, making it ideal for infants with multiple food allergies. These formulas often use alternative sources of carbohydrates, such as corn starch or dextrin-maltose, to provide a balanced nutritional profile.

Other Plant-Based Formulas

Other plant-based formulas offer additional alternatives for parents seeking non-dairy options. These formulas can be made from various plant proteins such as:

  • almonds

  • coconuts

  • peas

  • other plants

For example, Else Nutrition’s plant-based formulas cater to a range of dietary needs, including vegan diets, lactose intolerance, FPIES, and dairy allergies.

These formulas provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth while offering unique flavors and benefits, as an alternative to breast milk. Almond milk, for instance, has a slightly nutty flavor, while rice milk is mildly sweet. These options ensure that parents can find a formula that not only meets their baby’s nutritional needs but also suits their dietary preferences.

Choosing the Right Non Dairy Formula

Parents navigating milk allergies or opting for a vegan lifestyle must carefully select the right non-dairy formula. It is crucial to ensure that the formula chosen is suitable for meeting their child’s nutritional needs while adhering to their dietary choices. The first step is to consult with a pediatrician to ensure that the chosen formula meets your baby’s nutritional needs and does not trigger any allergies or intolerances. Consulting with a healthcare provider is essential, especially if your baby has unique dietary restrictions or medical conditions that might require an alternative formula.

Consider your family’s dietary preferences and your baby’s digestive sensitivities when selecting a formula. Some families may need to try multiple brands before finding one that is well-tolerated by their baby. It’s also important to verify the ingredient list carefully, as formulas labeled ‘dairy and soy-free’ may still contain derivatives or trace amounts of these allergens.

Availability can also be a challenge, particularly for vegan families who may need to order specialized vegan baby formula internationally. Despite these challenges, finding the right formula is essential for ensuring your baby’s health and well-being. Some parents may even search for free baby formula options to help alleviate costs.

Top Non Dairy Formula Brands

Several brands stand out in the non-dairy formula market, offering reliable and nutritious options for babies with dietary restrictions. Earth’s Best Non-GMO Plant Based Infant Formula with Iron is highly regarded for its quality and nutritional content. Enfamil ProSobee Soy Infant Formula is another top choice, known for its high-purity soy protein and suitability for lactose-intolerant infants.


For those seeking hypoallergenic options, Neocate Syneo Infant Hypoallergenic Amino-Acid Based formula and Similac Alimentum are top contenders. These formulas are free from milk proteins, lactose, and soy, making them suitable for infants with severe allergies. Additionally, Gerber Extensive HA is a well-regarded hypoallergenic formula that is well-tolerated by many babies with milk allergies.

Transitioning to Non Dairy Formula

Transitioning to a non-dairy formula requires careful planning and consultation with a pediatrician. A gradual approach is often recommended, where the new formula is mixed with the current one and the proportion of the new formula is slowly increased over time. This method helps to minimize discomfort and allows the baby to adjust to the new formula more smoothly.

During the transition, it’s important to monitor your baby’s response closely. Look for signs of discomfort or allergic reactions, and consult with your pediatrician if any issues arise. Feeding the baby in a relaxed setting and keeping them upright post-feeding can help reduce the likelihood of discomfort such as reflux.

The goal is to ensure that the baby is drinking 16 to 24 ounces of non-dairy formula per day, providing them with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. With patience and careful monitoring, the transition to a non-dairy formula can be a smooth and successful process.

Nutritional Considerations

Non-dairy formulas are designed to provide essential nutrients that support healthy growth and development in infants. These formulas typically include protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, ensuring a balanced diet similar to that provided by cow’s milk formulas. For example, essential fatty acids like DHA, ALA, and LA are crucial for brain development, eyesight, and immune system support.

In addition to these nutrients, non-dairy formulas often offer unique benefits such as higher fiber and antioxidants compared to animal-based formulas. These properties contribute to better digestive health and overall well-being, making non-dairy formulas a valuable option for infants with specific dietary needs.

Addressing Common Concerns

When switching to a non-dairy formula, it’s natural for parents to have concerns about potential side effects and allergic reactions, such as cow’s milk allergies. Symptoms like bloating, loose stools, and colic can sometimes occur, and in rare cases, more severe reactions may develop in babies with a cow’s milk allergy or galactosemia. If any signs of intolerance or allergic reactions appear, it’s important to revert to the previously tolerated formula and consult with a pediatrician immediately.

Soy-based formulas, while a popular choice, can also present concerns such as higher aluminum content and the presence of isoflavones, which have potential hormonal activity similar to estrogen. Parents should be aware of these potential issues and seek personalized advice from healthcare providers to ensure their baby’s health and safety.

Preparing Non Dairy Formula

Proper preparation of non-dairy formula is essential to ensure your baby’s safety and nutritional balance. Here are some steps to follow:
  1. Always wash your hands thoroughly before preparing bottles or feeding your baby, and make sure that all bottles and feeding supplies are clean and sanitized.

  2. Use water from a safe source to mix the formula.

  3. Measure the water first before adding the formula powder to maintain the correct nutritional balance.

It’s important to avoid using a microwave to warm bottles, as it can create hot spots that might burn your baby. Any prepared formula left out for more than two hours should be discarded to prevent bacterial growth. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your baby’s non-dairy formula is prepared safely and effectively.


In summary, non-dairy formulas provide essential nutrition for babies with dietary restrictions or preferences, offering a range of options to suit their needs. From soy-based to hydrolyzed rice protein and other plant-based formulas, parents have a variety of choices to ensure their baby’s health and well-being. By consulting with healthcare providers and carefully selecting the right formula, you can support your baby’s growth and development while adhering to your family’s dietary values.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best non-dairy formula options for lactose intolerant infants?

The best non-dairy formula options for lactose intolerant infants are Earth's Best Non-GMO Plant Based Infant Formula with Iron, Enfamil ProSobee Soy Infant Formula, and Similac Soy Isomil. Choose the one that suits your infant's needs best.

How do I transition my baby to a non-dairy formula?

To transition your baby to a non-dairy formula, gradually mix the new formula with the current one, increasing the proportion of the new formula over time, and monitor your baby's response. This will help in adjusting your baby to the new formula smoothly.

Are non-dairy formulas nutritionally complete?

Yes, non-dairy formulas are nutritionally complete and provide essential nutrients for healthy growth and development.

What should I do if my baby shows signs of an allergic reaction to a non-dairy formula?

If your baby shows signs of an allergic reaction to a non-dairy formula, revert to the previously tolerated formula and consult with a pediatrician immediately.

Can non-dairy formulas support a vegan diet for my baby?

Yes, non-dairy formulas such as soy-based or other plant-based formulas can provide necessary nutrients for a vegan diet.


The content and advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment, advice for specific medical conditions. Always consult a pediatrician to understand the individual needs of your child. The article expresses the views of the brand editor.

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