Recipes for Evaporated Milk, Goat Milk, and Homemade Rice Milk Baby Formula

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Baby formula is made in high-tech labs and can’t be reproduced, right? Wrong

Widely available baby formula was not available until the 1950s. Baby formula has been used since the 1920s. So what did everyone do for those 30 years in between? They made their own emergency baby formula.

The baby formula has a basic three-ingredient recipe:

13 OZ evaporated milk
19 OZ boiled water
2 TBSP corn syrup (or sugar)

Optional: Additional Ingredients.

Infant Vitamin D Drops, optional
Infant DHA Drops, optional
2 tsp. nutritional yeast, optional

Combine the liquid ingredients in a quart size container. Add the sugar or corn syrup and shake or stir until fully dissolved. Feed immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within three days. The ingredients are widely available, and you can even stock up on evaporated milk online. Both evaporated milk and sugar can last in the pantry for at least six months, which should carry you through all but the worst case emergencies.

The corn syrup was meant to stave off constipation. These days, health services suggest using sugar instead (Alaska DHSS) in homemade baby formulas. You can also tweak the amount of sugar based on your child’s needs.

To follow the recipe, you simply combine the ingredients and thoroughly mix. If your infant is larger, you will want to proportionally increase the ingredients, making sure the ratios stay the same. This recipe helps babies gain weight, but does miss out on some of the vitamins and nutrients store-bought formula provides. Vitamin supplements can always be added to the recipe to make up for any deficits.

What Can I Substitute For Baby Formula?

If you find yourself in a bind without formula or evaporated milk, a few other options could help you out. Breast milk, whole milk, goats milk, and even homemade rice milk can get the job done if life depends on it.

Breast milk – You may be thinking, “Well if I could provide breast milk I would”- but that is not the only source. Sure, you should consider inducing lactation if you are not completely sure that you cannot provide milk. If you are pregnant or have breastfed before, it can take between one and six weeks for milk to start producing. If it doesn’t work for mom, you don’t necessarily need to give up.

Any woman with mammary glands could make breast milk. It is, after all, what the glands are meant to do. If a woman has been pregnant in the past it is much easier, but almost any woman can create milk with some work. Having an infant to nurse in regular intervals (even if it is not producing) can help draw the milk in.

Whole Milk – Whole milk alone can cause some digestion issues, but for older babies you can start phasing it in. Diluting whole milk with equal parts water allows it to be substituted for the evaporated milk in the emergency baby formula recipe. Once your baby hits one year old, it is generally safe to switch them to undiluted whole milk anyways.

Goat Milk – Goats have been a homesteading favorite due to their versatility and ruggedness. Milk from a goat can be used in an emergency. It isn’t recommended for long-term use (it is low in vitamins B12 and folic acid), but it can get your baby much needed sustenance if there is a disaster.

Homemade Formula for Babies with Goats Milk
8 oz. purified water
1 serving goat milk powder, according to the package
½ tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. brown rice syrup
2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
½ tsp. cod liver oil, optional
Infant Vitamin D Drops, optional
Infant DHA Drops, optional

Combine all ingredients in a quart sized container and mix until fully dissolved and incorporated. Refrigerate any unused formula immediately. Discard any unfinished bottles.

Notes: The nutrition in goats milk is far different than cow’s milk. The additions in this recipe are necessary in order to boost the nutrition that your child will need. The nutritional yeast adds B vitamins and folate. The brown rice syrup and molasses give necessary carbs and iron. The cod liver oil is fed once a day adds vitamins A&D.

This recipe does not keep long. Discard any unused formula after 24 hours. Because of this short lifespan, it is usually best to make this formula recipe by the bottle vs. a larger batch.

Homemade Rice Milk Baby Formula:
1 c. brown rice, cooked
4 c. purified water
2 tbsp. granulated sugar or 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
Infant Vitamin D Drops, optional
Infant DHA Drops, optional
1 tsp. nutritional yeast, optional

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until the mixture has completely liquified. This will take at least five minutes, but may take longer depending on your blender. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within 48 hours.

Notes: White rice may be used, but brown rice has more nutritional value. Again, do NOT use honey to sweeten as it poses a risk of botulism in children under the age of one.

These options may be tougher to come across during an emergency or disaster. Milk and formula are usually a few of the first things to sell out at a grocery store, goats are not exactly found everywhere, and it may be difficult to talk somebody into breastfeeding your baby. Stashing some evaporated milk in the pantry is definitely a good route to go when it comes to being prepared with your little one.

Additional References:

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Evaporated Milk as a Substitute for Infant Formula.

Evaporated Milk as Substitute for Baby Formula

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