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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Is Goat Milk Formula Healthier than Cow’s Milk Formula?

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goat milk formula healthier than cows milk

Finding the best organic baby formula has been a hot topic for many of you – and understandably so! If you’re using formula for any number of totally legitimate reasons (breastfeeding is too mentally & physically exhausting / painful, your baby is allergic to a protein in your breastmilk, you adopted or had a surrogate, or you need to supplement just because!) – you want to make sure what you’re feeding your babies and toddlers is the best. And, it’s so hard to sort through the millions of types of baby formula on the market!

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to the best organic baby formula, I’ve outlined them here. But this post is dedicated to the differences between cow’s milk formula & goat milk formula, and the pros & cons of each! Also, here is my best goat milk formula guide, which ranks all of the options in a handy chart.

goat milk formula healthier than cows milk

So what’s the bottom line on goat milk formula? Is it healthier than cow’s milk? The answer is: It depends. Goat milk can be better, but a variety of factors will determine whether it’s better for your baby.

#1: Nutritionally, goat milk & cow milk are similar. Goat milk is higher in some vitamins and minerals, cow’s milk has more folic acid and B12 than goat milk. This doesn’t matter much for formula though, because all formulas are fortified so they include the right balance of vitamins & minerals to mimic breast milk. Some studies suggest that the nutrients in goat’s milk are easier to absorb than cow’s milk, which might give goat’s milk a slight benefit over cow’s milk formulas.

#2: Organic standards. This is very important – but neither goat or cow milk wins here – it all depends on the farm and the producer (e.g. goat milk isn’t going to be organic “more often” than cow’s milk or anything like that).

#3: Tolerability. Goat milk is often said to be a ‘hypoallergenic’ alternative to cow’s milk because many families report that it’s less likely to be troublesome for their babies who are sensitive to cow’s milk proteins. Additionally:

  • Goat milk doesn’t contain the type of casein protein, alpha-S1, that can be problematic in cow milk – which gives it a leg up here.
  • Goat milk protein generally forms a smaller, softer, and looser curd in the gut than cow milk (which makes it
    gentler). And, goat milk protein curds are broken down (degraded) faster than those from cow milk protein.
  • This makes goat milk naturally easier to digest and, for some children, better tolerated!
  • Note: If your baby has a diagnosed dairy allergy (confirmed cow milk protein allergy – CMPA), goat milk may trigger an allergic reaction in the same way that cow’s milk would!

#4: Protein composition. Many of you have asked me whether goat milk formula is dangerous for babies because goat milk naturally contains a higher amount of protein than breast milk. Also, like cow milk, goat milk naturally contains much less
whey protein than breast milk. To account for this, goat milk baby formulas adapt their protein to be safe
and suitable for little ones and, they also will add whey to balance this out. And my top goat milk formula – Kabrita USA – mimics the whey-casein ratio of breastmilk!

Given all of these factors, goat milk formula can be a good option for babies who are having trouble digesting cow’s milk formula and don’t have a diagnosed CMPA. But before choosing any formula, it’s important you talk to your pediatrician first.

There is obviously no “perfect” formula out there, but I look at the following factors when choosing the best formula: 1) Organic standards, Non-GMO, no added sugars, types of oils/fats added, hexane-extracted DHA/ARA, and any problematic synthetic preservatives or nutrients. Against this criteria, Kabrita USA gets really close to having an ideal composition for their formula, and you can see details on the rest of the goat milk formula options here!

58 responses to “Is Goat Milk Formula Healthier than Cow’s Milk Formula?”

  1. Hi Anjali! I don’t even know where to start, my baby is being in 6 different formulas already since he was born. We recently switched from Bobbie to Kendamil Goat, during the transition, lo got stomach flu, (we thought it was the formula) we stoped giving him goats milk, per pediatrician recommendation we started giving him goats milk again but she said I don’t need to mix it or anything since he had already tried it.
    Now it’s being two days of just taking Kendamil and he is having like diarrhea poop, twice a day, it is yellow and watery at times.
    Is this normal when switching formula or is more a reaction to the formula? Or it could be his GI is still sensitive from GI flu that he got.
    Thanks!!!!!

    • Hi Jenny! I’m so sorry to hear that it’s been difficult to find a formula that works for your little one! Given that he’s just getting over a stomach flu, and it’s only been two days on the formula, it could be that he’s still reacting to the stomach bug / that his digestive system is still super sensitive. That said, it’s really hard to know without seeing him whether he is reacting to Kendamil Goat negatively or not. I would talk to your pediatrician and get their opinion – because without knowing more about your baby I can’t give you a definitive answer either way!

  2. Help! My 8 week daughter has been on formula exclusively since 6 weeks. We chose Hipp Dutch stage 1 due to the reviews and clean formula. However, she became very constipated one week into formula use. She does have 1-2 BM a day but she strains very hard, turns extremely red and cries uncontrollably until she’s done. Her stool is pellet like rabbit stool. Some mucus has been seen on a few diaper changes. I ordered Hipp pre HA but still awaiting my order although I shipped overnight 2 days ago! My question to you is should I just go straight to goats milk? How long do I give the HA Hipp to work? .

    • Hi Laura! How quickly did you transition her from breastmilk to formula? You mentioned she started at 6 weeks, did you switch cold turkey or did you transition her slowly over 1-2 weeks? If it’s the former, that could be why her stool changed so dramatically. If you transitioned slowly, then it likely is an issue with the formula. When you start HiPP PRE HA, I would transition slowly again – over a period of 1 week – and see how she does. If, after 1 week on full HiPP HA she hasn’t improved, then I would switch to goat milk formula (assuming your pediatrician is ok with it!) Hope that helps!

  3. Hi,Anjali!
    Thank u so much for athis helpful and informing article. I have a question regarding Babys Only by Nature’s One. It’s also for toddlers. Is it appropriate for 3 months old by nutritional value? As my ignorant pediatrician didn’t even try to look at the nutritional table, said that it’s no good. And I read also that people used for infants. Help please. Thank u so much!

    • Hi Nina! Technically Baby’s Only is a toddler formula. The company does say that their formula meets the nutritional requirements for infants, and I know parents who use it for babies under the age of 1, but I can’t advise you to use it for your infant if your pediatrician doesn’t recommend it. Instead, I’d recommend using Bobbie Organic Infant Formula which is made in the US, and has really high quality ingredients! Hope that helps!

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