Since 2010, LCP’s (AA & DHA) and prebiotic oligossacharides (GOS) have been added to our formula range, so that bottle-fed babies can benefit. These are key ingredients which are also found in breastmilk. It is the addition of these compounds which means that HiPP milks are no longer vegetarian
The LCP’s which are added to our infant and hungry baby powdered formulas are from a fish source, although the ready-to-feed versions contain an algae source. The prebiotics which are included in the ready-to-feeds and the follow-on-milks are made from lactose, and the extraction method used to separate this lactose from the milk involves animal rennet. Similarly, the lactose and whey powder used in our Growing up milk (both powder and ready to feed) and Good night milks use the same extraction method.
Unfortunately, sources of non-animal rennet are scarce, and this is an industry-wide problem. As a result, most of the standard first infant formula milks currently available in the UK are not vegetarian. We believe strongly in the benefits of having prebiotics and LCPs in our formulas to help soften stools and aid digestion for babies so we believe the inclusion, and decisions made as a result, are the right ones in order to provide babies with ‘the next breast thing’.
For parents who wish to only feed vegetarian products, the options are either to breastfeed while following a vegetarian diet, or use a soya-based formula, however this is not recommended unless on healthcare professional advice.
"I have never seen a vegan option that has adequate nutrition, and even a vegetarian option without the Omega-3s from fish oil or the iron from liver would lack important nutrients." - Wellnessmama