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Frequently Asked Questions About Formula Answered by Dr. Lisa Thornton

Dr. Lisa Thornton answers some common formula questions that she hears from parents.

Question 1: Ingredients

Do store brand infant formulas offer the latest ingredients and advancements just like the more expensive name brand formulas?


Store brand infant formulas are specially formulated with the latest and greatest advancements in infant nutrition, just like the higher priced name brands.

Question 2: Variety

Do store brand infant formulas offer the same variety as the leading name brand infant formula?


There are more than twelve different store brand baby formulas in the United States that are designed to meet a wide variety of infant nutritional needs, just like the name brands. These store brand formulas contain the latest innovations in infant nutrition, including DHA, choline, lutein, and prebiotics.

Question 3: Tolerance

Will my baby develop tolerance issues if I switch from a more expensive name brand formula to a store brand infant formula?


I tell my patients that it is perfectly safe to switch from one infant formula to another, regardless of brand. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia considered a baby’s tolerance of switching between different brands of formula. The study proved that:

  • Switching baby formula is safe.
  • Infants did not have tolerance issues when switched from one brand of formula to another.
  • Gradual versus immediate switching made no difference in tolerance.

So, parents can confidently switch from one brand of formula to another. This includes nationally advertised brands and store brand formula.

Question 4: Cost

How can store brand infant formulas cost so little and provide the same complete nutrition?


Store brand infant formulas cost less because they are not available for free in hospital sampling programs and very little money is spent on marketing.

I often tell my patients that the savings is passed along to them. I recommend store brand formula because it meets the same FDA guidelines as the name brands but costs much less. Store brand formulas can handle your baby’s nutritional needs and help with your family budget.

Lisa Thornton, MD

Pediatrician and Infant Nutrition Expert

Dr. Lisa Thornton is a mom and a pediatrician who specializes in the care of children with disabilities. She is passionate about providing reliable health information for families and believes that childhood is the best time to develop good habits for the body and mind. Dr. Lisa has practiced medicine in a busy clinical setting for more than 15 years, has lectured widely, and provides health commentary for network morning shows and various other media outlets. Her friendly, engaging, straightforward style makes health information accessible whether she's talking to a private patient or a network audience. Aside from raising her own children, Dr. Lisa's next greatest passion is partnering with parents to help them guide their children to the best life possible.

Dr. Lisa is the founder and director of C.A.M.P. Schwab (Children with Adapted Mobility Play), whose mission is to encourage athletic participation among children with disabilities. She has lectured at academic institutions (Fisk University, Northwestern University, Tulane University, University of Chicago), corporations (Boeing, Kraft Foods, National Association for Black Journalists, Safeway, The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation), and for the Michigan Legislature. She has led audiences to a greater understanding of a variety of topics including childhood obesity, childhood disability, injury prevention, and overall health and wellness.

Dr. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and completed her residency at Children's Memorial Hospital Northwestern University.

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