Enfamil vs Similac: Which is Better?

 If you are looking for the right infant formula, you've come to the right place. The number of options for infant formulas have increased drastically in recent years, thus making it complicated when it comes to choosing the right one.

With so many options and varieties, choosing a baby formula that's best for your child can be as difficult as it is important. Your decision on what to use will hinge on several factors, from your baby's health needs to cost, and many things in between. But most of all, it will depend on what your child will accept.

Breast milk or formula should be your baby's exclusive source of nutrition for the first six months of life and the primary source (supplemented with solid food) for the first year. If you formula feed, know your options so you can buy wisely.

In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of Enfamil and Similac.

All Formula Brands Are Safe

It's always helpful to ask your child's pediatrician for specific recommendations, but generally speaking, all baby and infant formula brands sold in the United States—generic or brand-name—are safe to use. Every formula is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must meet the minimum nutritional requirements of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the "Infant Formula Act").

This means that every major brand, such as Enfamil, Similac, Gerber Good Start, or Earth's Best, plus all store brands from Walmart, Target, or Kroger, etc., are safe to use and will meet your baby's basic nutritional needs.

General Nutritional Comparison of Enfamil vs Similac

Both brands have cow milk-based, lactose-containing formulas enriched with iron, vitamins, and other minerals. For lactose intolerant babies, there are soy-based formulas as well.

Milk Proteins
Similac - Whey and casein proteins
Enfalac - Whey and casein proteins

Both brands contain DHA and ARA (Except Nestle Nourish Plus)

Similac - Contains Prebiotics
Enfalac - Contains Prebiotics

Similac - No Probiotics
Enfalac - No Probiotics

Similac - Contains Antioxidants
Enfalac - No Antioxidants

Fat Source
Similac - Soy and Coconut Oil
Enfalac - Palm Olein Oil

Comparison of Enfamil vs Similac

1. Best Milk Formulas for Overall Nutrition

- Both have added ingredients usually only found in breastmilk. 
- Babies with cow’s milk aversion or are extra colicky should get a different option. 

- Enfamil contains 50% more DHA and AHA for neural, brain, and eye development
- Enfamil has partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk to make digestion easy

- Similac has added Lutein for eye health
- Similac avoids GMOs
- Similac may use allergenic milk protein isolate and more sugars for a tastier formula

2. Infant Formulas

- Both have about the same calories, fats, carbohydrate and protein contents.
- Both are milk-based and use a mixture of high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, and coconut oil.
- Neither uses extra added sugars.
- Both use DHA, choline, and vitamin K along with a prebiotic.

- Contains more vitamins B12, C, E, and K.
- Has more pantothenic acid, folic acid, choline, and inositol.
- Higher amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and selenium.
- Uses palm olein oil because it’s a fatty acid similar to breast milk, but it’s not gentle on tummies.

- Has higher levels of vitamin D, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and biotin.
- Better source of copper
- Has added lutein for better vision health

3. Milk Formulas for Babies who Spit Up Often

- Both use rice starch to thicken their formulas
- Both have a lot of sugars to help settle fussy stomachs
- Both have similar vitamin and mineral contents

- Enfamil A.R main ingredients are nonfat milk, vegetable oils, rice starch, lactose, and maltodextrin.
- Similac’s main ingredients are corn syrup, modified rice starch, milk protein isolate, vegetable oils and one prebiotic.

- Enfamil A.R. has two prebiotics, and overall has more prebiotic content than Similac.

- Similac for Spit-up has two different sugar sources to only one in Enfamil
- Similac for Spit-up has more sugars compared to Enfamil

- Similac for Spit-up has less milk products compared to Enfamil, which could help many babies with their spit-up
- Similac for Spit-up's formula does not contain GMOs.

4. Hypoallergenic Milk Formulas

Enfamil Nutramigen (with Enflora LGG Hypoallergenic Formula for Cow’s Milk Allergy)

- For babies who are allergic or show colicky symptoms to cow's milk, which have proteins that are more difficult to digest than human breastmilk. 
- Both use casein hydrolysate (milk), which are smaller, more digestible proteins derived from larger cow’s milk proteins.
- Both use sugars to aid in digestion

- Enfamil Nutramigen has been clinically proven to reduce colic caused by an allergy to cow’s milk in about two days.
- Enfamil Nuramigen claims to reduce future incidences of cow’s milk allergies.

- Similac Alimentum claims that their easy to digest formula can reduce colic symptoms in at least one day. 
- Has no lactose, but still contains other milk products.

- Enfamil Nutramigen uses corn syrup
- Similac Alimentum uses corn maltodextrin sugar on top of other sugars, thus Similac has more sugars than Enfamil.

- Similac Alimentum has a higher level of Linoleic Acid than Enfamil Nutramigen

5. Lactose Free Formulas

- Both are for babies who cannot digest cow’s milk proteins. 
- Suggested to try Enfamil’s Nutramigen or Similac’s Alimentum before switching to soy.
- Both formulas use corn syrup as the first ingredient.
- Both use soy protein isolate, completely avoiding milk-based products.

- Enfamil has soy protein as the third ingredient, after corn syrup and vegetable oils
- Similac uses soy protein as the second ingredient followed by oils
- Similac adds more sugar to their soy formula than Enfamil
- Similac has a higher Linoleic Acid levels



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