Cooking & Baking

How To Make Baby Formula From Scratch Using Mt.Capra Recipe

August 23, 2023

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Lorina Nilsson

Table Of Contents:

 

Intro:

Being a first time mom, it was pretty shocking how difficult the breastfeeding journey was. We were sent home from the hospital with a formula that later we found had so many bad oils and preservatives and made our baby supper gassy and fussy. After searching for a good clean formula, I was shocked to see how many have inflammatory oils, soy, low fat milks, and so on. Thankfully our pediatrician recommended a handful of good options for us, including this Mt.Capra formula kit. The only ingredient I wasn’t loving in the kit was the grapeseed oil but that had an approved substitute with Hemp seed oil. That’s one of the big benefits of this formula as well, that you can substitute specific items so you can find if your baby reacts badly to any of them. ONLY substitute items that have been researched and approved by Mt.Capra (list below).

Why Making Your Own Formula is Frowned Upon (DEBUNKED):

Before I get into this recipe, let’s go over why it isn’t recommended to make your own formula. Why are formula recipes so controversial? If you do some surface level research, you’ll quickly see the reason it’s frowned upon is

  1. If you make it yourself you could be missing key ingredients your baby needs. The Mt.Capra recipe resolves this issue by having proper research and science behind the recipe to match the FDA requirements. The problem arrises only if someone decides to not follow the recipe (or approved substitutions) and wing it — which can then be dangerous and it’s the reason they got recalled (a mom decided to completely leave out the vitamins and her baby got sick).
  2. The second reason google lists as dangerous to make your own formula is the chance of contamination. The issue there is it can happen with store bought formula too! Basically, you need to have a clean area to make the bottles, be sure to sterilize as recommended and don’t cut corners.

 

The Science Behind the Mt.Capra Formula Recipe:

First of all, the creator, Joe Stout, wasn’t just a random person. Not only is he a father of many children who grew up on this recipe, but he also has education in this area. Joe received a Masters of Science in Clinical Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and a Bachelors of Science in Human Nutrition and Food Science from Washington State University. Here’s a letter he wrote for your doctors.

I recently spent over 40 hours researching and compiling a database that compares the nutrient minimums and maximums allowed by the Infant Formula Act of 1980 to nutrient levels found in the goat milk formula recipe when it is properly mixed and prepared. The results were astounding. Every single nutrient is in compliance with federal law making this formula the first of its kind.

The following data is cited from the original Mt.Capra Article:

“Protein

Goat milk is the sole source of protein in this recipe. There are no other significant sources of protein from other ingredients and is the most important macronutrient from growing muscle, tissue, and over infant growth. Goat milk is the perfect ingredient in this category for reasons I have mentioned before such as the fact that the nucleotide (DNA) structure of goat milk is very similar to breast milk and the presence of taurine in goat milk is between 20 times that of cow’s milk which is, not surprisingly, the same ratio found in breast milk,(Being a conditionally essential amino acid, taurine is often added to cow milk formulas to make up for the natural absence of this key AA in cow milk) and the polyamine content is higher in goat milk than any any other mammalian milk.

Carbohydrates

Lactose makes the main source of energy for baby in this homemade infant formula. Lactose, also known as “milk sugar”, is a combination of glucose and galactose which is perfect for an infant’s diet. Babies naturally produce excessive amounts of lactase, an enzyme used to digest lactose so the fit is natural. Also, lactose is really helpful in establishing Lactobacillus acidophilus (good bacteria) in the newly formed GI tract of your little one and aids in the absorption of the minerals magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. 

Lactose isn’t the only carbohydrate found in goat milk though. In fact, one of the most unique and nutritionally beneficial aspect to goat milk is its potential as a functional food due to the high levels of oligosaccharides. These forms of soluble fiber are absolutely vital in establishing a health microflora in the digestive tract of an infant and are found in levels 4-5 times higher than in cow milk and 10 times higher than the content found in sheep milk. In addition to this, the Journal of Nutrition found that “(the oligosaccharide) profile of goat milk is most similar to that of human milk. In fact, a larger amount and variety of acidic (oligosaccharide) structures were identified in goat milk than in cow and sheep milk. Therefore, goat milk (oligosaccharides) could be included in infant formulas to improve the nutrition of infants.”

Fat

The benefits of making your own homemade baby formula really becomes apparent when it comes to the fat content and fatty acid profile of the final product. When you buy commercially manufactured infant formula, by law it will be required to have an appropriate amount of fat and linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid). However simply having the correct amount of fat is not the same as having the correct kinds of fat.

First some biochemistry

Proper fatty acid profile is critical. 

For decades we’ve heard that fat is bad for you. Fortunately this myth is going away but the science it was based upon was not entirely faulty. Properly restated, inflammatory fat is bad for you. 

The fatty acid profile of the Standard American Diet is made up primarily of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).We eat about 20 times more of  these inflammatory fatty acids than we need and because of this are constantly struggling with inflammation issues and not surprisingly obesity. The far more beneficial fatty acids are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and animal sourced saturated fatty acids (SFA) are what we should be focusing on for baby’s health.  Yes, some PUFA’s are essential, the main one being linoleic acid (C18:2). These are essential because the body cannot synthesize linoleic acid on its own which is why the Infant Formula Act of 1980 stipulates that for every 100 calories of formula, there must be a minimum of 300mg linoleic acid. 

So far so good.

The problem we run into with commercially produced formulas is the fact that the cheapest oils have the most linoleic acid.

Soybean, canola, corn oil, it all will easily fulfill the minimum requirement for linoleic acid and its already super cheap. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that if compliance can be achieve while using the cheapest ingredient most manufacturers are going to take this path. This is a problem because the formula, while technically in compliance, has an unhealthy fatty acid profile. 

High in PUFA’s and low in MUFA’s/SFA’s. Not good.

There are 3 ingredients that contain fat in the homemade infant formula. Here they are along with their fatty acid profile.

  1. Goat Milk Ghee/Full Cream Milk Powder
    • 65% SFA
    • 23% MUFA
    • 4% PUFA
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 7% SFA
    • 79% MUFA
    • 14% PUFA
  3. Expeller-pressed Grapeseed Oil
    • 7% SFA
    • 21% MUFA
    • 71% PUFA

The real beauty lies in the fact that we can include a relatively tiny amount (1/8 tsp) of high PUFA oil (Grapeseed) which is enough to ensure the recipe meets the linoleic acid requirement without flooding the formula with these inflammatory oils.

The homemade baby formula recipe I recommend has a fatty acid profile that is 65% grass-fed saturated fatty acid (SFA), 24% mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and only 9% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).”

The Purpose of Each Ingredient in the Mt.Capra Formula:

You can purchase these on their website and get $10 using our code “REFNAW5BSS9HK” of $50+. My recommendation is you get their Membership for $9/month so you can get free shipping and earn points, especially if you’re planning to make this formula for a while. I wish I discovered this membership sooner as I would have saved SO much in the long run. I added a link to each item below so it’s easier to find it (some are better on amazon).

** As stated on the original website.

Whole Goat Milk Powder:
Closely resembles the protein, fat, and carbohydrate structure of breast milk more than any other ingredient available. The benefits range from the nucleotide (DNA) structure of goat milk being as similar to breast milk to the presence of taurine in goat milk amounting to 20 times that of cow’s milk which is, not surprisingly, the same ratio found in breast milk.

Goat Milk Lactose:
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for baby. Lactose is the preferred carb source because it is true “milk sugar”. It is a combination of glucose and galactose perfect for an infant’s diet. Babies naturally produce excessive amounts of lactase, an enzyme used to digest lactose, so the fit is natural. Lactose is beneficial for establishing Lactobacillus acidophilus (good bacteria) in the newly formed GI tract of your little one.

Goat Milk Ghee:
This clarified “butter oil” from goat milk cream does not contain any of the allergens found in cow milk and provides the necessary saturated fat for the formula. Saturated fat is extremely important for the brain development and overall health of your growing little one. The saturated fat in goat milk ghee is high in medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) and because our goats are grass-fed, our ghee contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as well as important fatty acids such as lauric acid which is found in high amounts in breast milk. NOTE: Coconut oil is a great substitution option for the saturated fat category of the formula and can be used in the same amount as the goat milk ghee.

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Provides the necessary monounsaturated fats. It is a good source of oleic acid.

Expeller Pressed Grapeseed Oil OR Hemp Seed Oil:
Delivers linoleic acid which is vital in infant nutrition. This is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that the body cannot produce on its own but needs in small amounts.

Fair Trade Organic Molasses:
High in B vitamins, minerals, and is a natural source of iron. It can help keep baby from getting constipated. The unsulphured variety is far less processed.

Head Start Multivitamin™:
Goat milk is dangerously low in folate, iron, and B12, so any goat milk based formula needs those elements added in. This multivitamin provides methylated b-vitamins (B12 and folate) and iron, as well as many other vitamins helpful for infant health. One serving is enough for the whole day, which is why this is a Once Daily Ingredient (ODI).

DHA:
DHA also known as Docosahexaenoic acid is found in fish, algae and most importantly here, breast milk. It is not found in goat milk and is a required addition to the formula for its content of DHA as well as Vitamin D and Vitamin A. This is another ingredient that only needs to be added once per day based on the the weight of baby.

Goat Milk Colostrum:
Colostrum is the thick yellow fluid which is produced as a precursor to mother’s milk. It is found in humans, goats, and other mammals where it is produced by the mother for two days following birth. Colostrum can be described as a brilliantly designed transfer system which effectively “jump starts” a newborn’s undeveloped immune system. Colostrum adds many beneficial bioactive ingredients such as lactoferrin, cytokines, growth factors, and immunoglobulins. It only needs to be added once per day.

Flora Start Kids Probiotic or another probiotic of your choice, we choose Mary Ruths Infant Probiotic:
Probiotics are naturally present in breast milk. Flora Start Kids™ is designed to deliver live probiotic bacteria that promote healthy gut microflora, protect intestinal integrity and boost immune function. It contains three strains of Lactobacilli and three strains of Bifidobacteria, as well as Streptococcus thermophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii, an extensively researched microorganism shown to help restore microflora balance. The eight strains in Flora Start Kids have been strategically selected based on research supporting their survivability and adherence to the intestinal tract. Flora Start Kids comes in a powder form for easy administration to children. This is also an ODI.

 

The History of Baby Formula:

Baby formula is an industry driven by profits and not the love of providing the best nutrition for your baby. Keeping that in mind, it’s no wonder that they’re trying to get babies and parents hooked on it as soon as they can. They used to travel from hospital to hospital to provide free samples as soon as a baby was born. This led to many moms not being able to breastfeed as their babies were getting hooked on the ease of formula. They also had a movement back in the day where they were trying to promote formula was for the wealthy and if you don’t feed your baby formula that you’re poor and looked down upon. That quickly didn’t sit well with people so now you’ll see formula companies say things like “breast is best” even though they’re trying to sell their formula. They also try to claim that their formula is a close science to breast milk but in reality that’s impossible to do since breast milk actually changes! It changes at different times of day, changes if your baby is sick, and changes over the period of their first year+ to give a baby what it needs most. There’s not one set of nutrients that are the same in breast milk but over time, they have been able to get an estimated guess to the proteins, fats, and cholesterol in breastmilk.

The other thing to consider is many, MANY, baby formulas have also been recalled or led to malnourished and even death of babies. Going with formula isn’t a guarantee that it’s safer than formula you make at home. And looking at other industries, isn’t it common sense that making something from scratch at home with great ingredients is better than the processed things in the store? So why would this be any different?

I was surprised to get a full pack of samples from Similac while pregnant with my second baby. The fact that they send it to new moms, who probably have no clue that if they don’t spend their first two weeks trying to breastfeed they might not be able to, is pure evil. On the front of the box it reads “we promise to help you keep your baby fed, happy, and HEALTHY.” Yet if you look at the ingredients and find soy, corn syrup, nonfat milk, and Similac is currently being sued for having heavy metals in their formula. Yet they claim this bs statement that they help our babies being happy (as if they had any ability to effect that) and healthy (literally failing at their only job).

 

Better Formulas:

If you have to choose a formula on the market, there are better ones to look for (mostly the Europe made ones as they tend to be stricter). A favorite I keep hearing about is the Goat version of Kendamil. Other ones our pediatrician recommended are: Hipp – Bio Combiotik, Holle, Nannycare, and Jovie. These are all better options than Similac, Enfamil and similar ones in the US market. Be sure to look at all the ingredients though as companies continue to change them, especially as awareness increases which leads to an increase in demand.

Speaking of demand, I feared the formula shortage issues which kind of leaves you hopeless if your baby gets used to one of these. That’s another perk of making your own formula and having approved substitutions if anything runs out.

 

How To Make The Mt. Capra Baby Formula:

The Mt. Capra Serving Sizes:

This is the “Dry Mix” version which is the one I recommend as it’s easier to store safely, travel with, and overall makes it easier on you. I used this for a whole year+ with our daughter and I would normally make a batch once a week (sometimes every 5 days when she was drinking extra).

I recommend following the “32 servings” column in the recipe card which calls for:

  • Goat Milk Powder – 453 g
  • Lactose – 384 g
  • Ghee – 72 g
  • Olive Oil – 36g
  • Hemp seed oil – 18g (originally it called for grapeseed oil but cold pressed, organic hemp seed oil is listed as a substitute)
  • Molasses – 29g to start with, if your baby is constipated you can double it, if they have diarrhea you can lessen it.

** MAKE SURE YOU WEIGH EVERYTHING (don’t use tps measurements as it can cause inaccurate amounts).

Mt Capra Formula Dry Mix Recipe

That is the BASE of the formula but we need to add the vitamins in ONCE a day to a 8oz bottle (then you can split that bottle into serving sizes per your baby).

DO NOT SKIP THESE – this is why they got in trouble because a mom decided to leave out these important vitamins.

  • 1 serving of Head Start Multivitamin Powder (keep an eye on this as the serving changes with your baby’s age)
  • 1 scoop of Goat Milk Colostrum (you can technically leave this one out but it’s meant to help strengthen their immune system). Especially great to add during the flu season.
  • 1 serving of Flora Start Kids Probiotics – This one you can substitute with your probiotics of choice. It’s actually great for a babys gut to switch up the probiotics every so often too. Be sure to follow the serving size on each probiotic bottle. One we highly recommend is the Mary Ruths Organic Infant Probiotics but you can ask your pediatrician for recommendations here.
  • 1 serving of Nordic Naturals DHA infant (refrigerated after opening). This one our baby had a hard time with (I read a lot of babies do) so we asked our pediatrician for a substitute and he recommended if we give her 8oz of breastmilk a day that it’s enough to cover that. That said, there are a few versions of DHA you can test, just do your research. Nordic Naturals is one of the better brands out there for it though so if your baby tolerates it well, that’s great. Our daughter didn’t for her first 6 months but then she was able to later on.

 

DRY Mix Recipe Directions (Once a Week):

Easiest way to make this is in a kitchen-aid blender as it really mixes it all well and makes it easier for the formula to not get stuck in the bottles.

  1. Grab your blender bowl, add it on a scale, and add the following ingredients to it (making sure to 0 it out between each one): 453 g of Goat Milk + 384 g of Lactose
  2. Get a second bowl for your liquids, juuuust in case you mess up, and add it on the scale and then add: 36 g of Olive Oil + 18 g of Hemp Seed Oil + 29~60g of Molasses
  3. I like to keep my Ghee in the fridge and microwave it (without the lid) every time I’m about to make it so I throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it’s melted then I add the 72 g of Ghee to the liquids above.
  4. Stir liquids together, use a silicone spatula to stir the dry mixes together, and then finally combine the two
  5. Turn the blended on low with the whisk attachment and blend until mixed. Then use your spatula to push everything on the sides down (usually the ghee sticks to the sides) and blend it one more time for good measure.
  6. Now you have your dry mix for the week! All you want to do next is have an airtight storage solution and store it in the fridge for peek freshness. I used a clear container from walmart but you can always use mason jars or whatever is easiest to pull out every day.

**Storage wise; the dry mix lasts 5 days at room temperature, 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and 6-12 months in the freezer. Personally I made it once a week and kept it in the fridge except for when traveling. You can travel with the dry mix as is but it would probably be best to keep in a cooler away from sun.

 

Making the bottles (Once a Day):

Easiest way to do this is by making the bottles for the whole day at once. I like to make them in 8oz bottles and then pour them into serving sizes as the baby needs (ours started with 2oz at a time and ended with 6oz at a time but it constantly changed so this was the easiest way).
  1. Grab your scale, Electric Kettle, Water, 8oz Baby Bottles, etc.
  2. Clean your area – remember this is one of the “dangers” of homemade formula, not having a sterile area. So be sure your area is clean to work with, we had a designated bottle area.
  3. Heat your water to 158 degrees (the level it takes to make the formula and water sterile)
  4. Pour 5 oz of this hot water into each of your bottles (I usually make three 8oz bottles at a time)
  5. Use your scale and add 30 g of the formula mix to each bottle (be sure to 0 it out between each bottle)
  6. Add a top to your bottles and shake it to dissolve the formula.
  7. Add regular (filtered) water to each of the bottles to bring up the whole thing to 8oz. Basically fill it until it reaches 8oz but don’t count the bubbles in that number (since that will die down).
  8. Shake all the bottles
  9. In one of your bottles, add the Once a Day Ingredients (as listed above); Head Start Multivitamin Powder (no substitutes) + Goat Milk Colostrum + Probiotics + DHA and shake it all together. This is the FIRST bottle you want to give your baby portions from that day. That insures that you don’t forget to give them the vitamins and creates a good habit to do it first thing every day.
  10. Store those in the fridge and when it’s time to feed your baby, shake the bottle really well and add the # of oz your baby drinks in a new bottle. If you’re lucky it’s 4oz and then you have another bottle ready to go with the rest in the fridge.

**Storage for the liquid; 1 hour at room temperature, and up to 2 days in fridge. Unfortunately, if there’s leftover milk from the bottle you served them you should discard it as it’s now contaminated with the baby germs. This is why it’s best to pour the desired amount in a new bottle before feeding. If they want more within that hour, you could always pour a little more to it.

Approved Substitutions for the Formula:

Let’s say your baby reacts badly and you want to find out which ingredient is causing it and substitute it. This is one of the benefits of this formula, they have approved substitutions as follows:

Lactose:

  • organic, raw turbinado sugar
  • cow milk lactose – if no sensitivity

NOTE: Honey is not a good option as it is not recommended for babies less than 12 months old.

Ghee:

  • Virgin Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

  • High Oleic Sunflower Oil (La Tourangelle is a good brand)
  • Avocado Oil (Chosen foods is a good brand)

Grapeseed Oil:

  • Hemp Seed Oil (Manitoba Harvest or Nutiva are some good brands)
**Any substitutions made will be a 1:1 exchange. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp. of Lactose, you will use 1 Tbsp. of the above substitutions. Some brand recommendations are made as suggestions. You may choose to go with another high quality brand.

 

The products I use when making the recipe:

I found many items that helped us along the way so I wanted to share those as well. These are affiliate links but honestly just trying to make a buck towards her formula and all these items are what I use.

Here they are in order how they show up in the video:

Mt. Capra Membership: (use code “REFNAW5BSS9HK” for $10 off if you spend a min of $50).

→ Turbinado Sugar: https://amzn.to/3YLr0pS

→ Scale: https://amzn.to/3KQR4dq

→ Glass Spring Water: https://bit.ly/3YKhCD3

→ Electric Kettle: https://amzn.to/3qMYgR9

→ Bottle Sealing Disks: https://amzn.to/3qIkJ1Q

→ Baby Bottles: https://amzn.to/3P9oruI (sometimes they have them at Marshalls/Home Goods/Ross for cheaper)

→ Baby Dish Soap: https://amzn.to/3QMeODu

→ Clear Containers for Formula: https://bit.ly/3YKg245 (just bought at walmart)

→ Large Container to Carry Bottles In: https://bit.ly/3YQDoFo

 

FAQs:

Q. What if my baby is constipated? 

A. Add extra molasses to their formula. Note that when switching formula the baby takes a few days to adjust.

 

Q. Is my baby drinking too much a day?

A. This formula is closer to breast milk so your baby will drink more than other formulas on the market. Don’t worry and just feed them as they’re requesting, however, make SURE that you’re weighing all the ingredients so you’re giving them the proper amount each time.

 

Q. What do I do if I’m traveling?

A. By Plane: The easiest way is to prepare your dry mix for the 1 week you’re gone (or double it if it’s two) and then prepare the liquid amount needed for the travel time and store it in a cooler with ice packs. TSA will need to test them but they don’t open the bottles, instead they use a wipe of some sorts to test everything. It might take a while so be sure to head early to the airport (for us it took 1 hour one way and on the way back they finished in 10 min). Look up each airline but they have exceptions for these things as they are considered medically necessary. If your baby only drinks warm milk then you can heat the bottle with a portable bottle warmer, OR go to a starbucks and ask for a cup of hot water and stick your bottle in it until it heats up.

A. By Car: Similar to the plane, you prep everything ahead and store it in a cooler with ice.

 

Q. I want to use liquid/raw goat milk in my homemade formula instead of the powder. How should the recipe be modified?

A. The ratio is easy ratio to remember: 1:1.

It is a 1:1 ratio of milk to water. 4 ounces milk  to 4 ounces of warm water and everything else in the recipe stays the same.

“Warning: I LOVE raw milk. I completely believe that it is superior to pasteurized milk. However, I don’t recommend using raw goat milk in the homemade formula for one very important reason. While raw milk can be incredibly healthy, it can also be incredibly dangerous. I am specifically referring to raw milk that has been improperly handled. Dirty raw milk will get you sicker quicker than anything! Babies especially are even more susceptible to kind of food borne illness. Please keep your little one safe. This formula is meant to mimic raw milk (probiotics, food based vitamins/minerals, unprocessed fats, etc.) without the risks that raw milk comes with such as campylobacter, salmonella, e. coli, and listeria poisoning. Consider a basic risk assessment. In my opinion, the cons outweigh the pros in using raw milk.” – Joe

 

Q. Why is the nipple clogging!?

A. The main cause is not using a blender to mix everything properly. Otherwise the ingredients that can cause clogging is the probiotic (which is why we recommend the Mary Ruth one) and or the colostrum.

 

Q. If I am breastfeeding do I still need to include the once daily items?

This is totally up to you. I recommend that we provide baby with the most nutrient dense food possible and therefore I recommend adding the once daily items.

 

Lastly, there’s a Facebook group in which you can get support for any questions you might have for this mix.

Best of luck mamas!

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