Baby Formula Shortage Is Hitting State Of Emergency — New Months-Long Crisis
(ReliableNews.org) – Although the baby formula shortage has taken a backseat to other news in the United States as of late, the food supply to feed babies is still very limited. In response, the White House set in motion a plan to fly formula into the US from other countries, known as Operation Fly Formula. In fact, dozens of food-filled planes have brought the needed nourishment to hungry babies in America, but on June 28, experts said it will take months for the supply to catch up to the demand.
The US Is Still Short
According to Information Resources Incorporated (IRI), over 21% of liquid, ready-to-drink, and powder formula products were out of stock from June 12 through June 19. The shortage is despite the fact the federal government is set to bring in about 40 million 8-ounce bottles of food for babies.
White House Spokesperson Kevin Munoz recently stated the administration’s goal is to increase the supply of formula and fill grocery store shelves for families. However, the current deliveries only cover a few days of retail sales to feed US babies.
Part of the reason the supply isn’t meeting the demand is consumers are overbuying out of fear they won’t have enough formula to feed their babies. However, while experts believe hoarding will continue, some stores like Target, Walgreens, and CVS are responding by putting a cap on the amount of formula customers can purchase.
Underlying these problems are continuing supply chain issues at production plants even though many are working at full capacity.
Alternatives to Formula
Despite the setbacks and fear over baby formula shortages, the fact remains families still need to feed their children. Fortunately, there are some alternatives to try, but experts caution against parents trying homemade recipes or diluting formulas to make it stretch.
Instead, it’s recommended families in need try changing formula brands while they wait for their regular one to stabilize its supply or turn to a breast milk donation bank. Experts say these are the two best solutions for now. Also, experts suggest contacting the baby’s pediatrician and requesting baby formula samples. They likely have a supply. Although there are some picky babies that may not easily take to different brands, Doctor Victoria Regan from a children’s hospital in Texas said the infant’s appetite will typically bounce back within a week.
Parents can also use the power of the internet to order formulas from overseas, but they should only use reliable brands from known retailers. The Clean Label Project can help identify the best and worst products.
For those children over six months old, the CDC suggests introducing solids to supplement their nutrition.
When in doubt, call your pediatrician for advice.
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