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Regulation for Formula Products and Foods for Infants and Young Children

Frequently Asked Questions (For public)

1. Is it necessary to feed baby with infant formula?

No. Breastmilk is the best natural food for baby. It is recommended exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months, then with the introduction of complementary foods and to continue to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond. In the case of infant formula, where breastfeeding is not feasible, it is the processed foodstuff which wholly fulfils the nutritional requirements of babies during the first months of life until the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding.

2. How can parents choose infant formulae for their babies?

When the requirements on nutritional composition of infant formulae in the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2014 come into operation (on 13 December 2015), infant formulae in the market shall generally comply with the relevant requirements on nutritional composition and are similar in nutritional composition. So, parents can choose infant formulae of any brand for their babies. If parents have difficulty securing the brand currently consumed by their babies, they can switch directly to another brand.

3. Is it necessary to feed baby aged 6 months or above with follow-up formula?

No. For breastfeeding babies aged 6 months, it is recommended to introduce complementary foods and continue to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond. For babies feeding with infant formulae, during 6 to 12 months, they can start taking complementary food. Infant formulae or No.2 follow-up formulae may be given to them, although there is currently inadequate scientific evidence to suggest the use of follow-up formula. For children aged 1 year or above, milk is only a part of their balanced diet. They can drink pasteurized fresh milk, ultra high temperature (UHT) milk or full fat milk powder. There is no reason to switch to No.3 or No.4 follow-up formulae. Children under two years should take whole milk, between 2 and 5 years take low-fat milk and those above 5 years take skimmed milk.

4. How can parents check the nutrient contents of infant formulae, follow-up formulae and prepackaged food for infants and young children?

When the requirements on nutrition labelling of infant formulae and the requirements on nutrition labelling of follow-up formulae and prepackaged food for infants and young children in the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2014 come into operation (on 13 December 2015 and 13 June 2016 respectively), infant formulae, follow-up formulae and prepackaged food for infants and young children should generally comply with the relevant requirements on nutrition labelling. Parents can check their nutrient contents from their nutrition labels.
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Last Revision Date : 13-12-2015