PHMDC: Avoid online baby formula recipes despite shortages

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County health officials are warning parents against trying online baby formula recipes as formula shortages worsen on store shelves.

Baby formula is one of many items that became more difficult to find amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the issue has gotten worse in recent months. Shelves across the country are empty and some stores are now limiting how much formula people can buy.

A formula recall in February by Abbott Nutrition after reports of babies getting sick further contributed to the issue.

“Maybe you have half a can of formula left and you think you can stretch it out with adding a little extra water or deviating from the instructions on that can of formula, and we would just urge against… doing that,” Public Health Madison & Dane County spokesperson Morgan Finke said. “It can lead to some nutritional issues for the infant and can be dangerous for their health.”

Finke also recommends parents consider shopping at multiple stores or on different days to get the formula they need. It’s also a good idea, she said, to call the store ahead of time before making the trip and ask employees when they expect to receive shipments.

Finke also cautioned against stockpiling formula.

Manufacturers have ramped up formula production, but it’s not clear when shortages may ease. The Wisconsin Grocers Association told WKBT-TV there is no clear solution to the problem, which is caused in part by a lack of workers to meet demand and bring the product to market.

Those in need should reach out to their child’s pediatrician, United Way of Dane County or PHMDC. While PHMDC doesn’t have a formula stockpile, Finke said those enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program can reach out and the health department can help.