Shopping for baby formula can be daunting for a new mother. And whether or not you’re a first-time mom, chances are you’ll scratch your head in the formula aisle… Similac Advance vs Pro Advance. ..there are so many formula options to choose from.
Good thing Similac, an infant formula brand, offers these two options. Consumers rate these two infant formulas highly, making each of them a popular choice.
You’ve probably heard about these two Similac formulas already. Their names are pretty similar, so it can be hard to tell which one is better. But don’t worry!
This article will help you discover whether Similac Advance or Similac Pro Advance formula will provide the best nutrition for your baby’s first year.
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What is Similac Advance?
Similac Advance infant formula is milk-based and designed to provide nutrition similar to human breast milk. It is available in both powder and ready-to-feed liquid form.
It provides all of the nutrients necessary for proper growth and development for baby’s first year of life. It is specially formulated with OptiGRO an exclusive blend of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), lutein, and vitamin E. These ingredients are present in breast milk and are important for brain and eye development.
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid, important for brain health. Lutein is a carotenoid and is essential to eye function. And Vitamin E is critical for a baby’s development.
What is Similac Pro Advance?
Next, let’s talk about Similac Pro Advance formula.
This formula is a bit more expensive than Similac Advance. We calculated a 13% price difference. It is also available in powder and ready-to-feed liquid form, and is designed with OptiGRO.
The first thing that sets this formula apart is that it is a non-GMO formula.
What are GMOs? GMOs are genetically modified organisms. They are foods developed through genetic engineering.
Similac Pro Advance does not contain ingredients that are genetically engineered.
Similac Pro Advance has one more significant difference to explain the higher price point.
Similac Pro-Advance contains 2′-fucosyllactose human milk oligosaccharide (2’FL HMO), making it more similar to human breastmilk than Similac Advance.
What is 2′-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide
According to Abbott Laboratories, the makers of Similac, 2′- FL human milk oligosaccharide is a prebiotic that helps build the baby’s immune system, helps promote healthy gut bacteria, and is even thought to contribute to learning and memory.
Abbott reports that 80% of moms make 2’FL HMO. In those moms, 2’FL HMO is highly concentrated in breast milk.
By including this key ingredient in Similac Pro-Advance, the Pro-Advance formula has been engineered to more closely resemble human breast milk than Similac Advance.
Similac Advance vs Pro-Advance Formula: Similarities and Differences
You may be surprised that these two Similac products are incredibly similar.
Here, are their similarities:
- Both are infant formulas. Infant formulas are designed to provide adequate nutrition for the first year of life. They are not designed for older children or adults.
- Milk based formulas
- Fortified with iron
- The main ingredients for both formulas are the same: Nonfat Milk, Lactose, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil
- Both formulas are pretty similar when it comes to nutrient content. Similar calorie counts, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and equal mineral content.
- To develop strong bones, they are made without palm olein oil. Palm olein oil can interfere with calcium absorption.
- They are formulated with OptiGRO an exclusive blend of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), lutein, and vitamin E
- They do not contain artificial growth hormones
- Gluten free
- Both are Kosher and Halal
- They should not be given to children with galactosemia
However, there are the three major differences:
- Similac Pro Advance costs a bit more (less than $1 more per 32 oz ready-to-feed formula)
- Similac Pro Advance is free of GMO ingredients
- Pro Advance contains 2′- FL human milk oligosaccharide (2’FL HMO) for immune support, digestive health, and cognition
Similac Advance Full List of Ingredients for Unflavored Powder Formula:
Nonfat Milk, Lactose, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil. Less than 2% of: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Short-chain Fructooligosaccharides, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Salt, Taurine, Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, LCarnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, and Nucleotides (Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate, Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5’- Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5’-Monophosphate).
Allergens: Contains milk and soy ingredients.
Similac Pro-Advance Full List of Ingredients for Unflavored Powder Formula:
Nonfat Milk, Lactose, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil. Less than 2% of: Schizochytrium Sp. Oil, M. Alpina Oil, 2′-Fucosyllactose, Short-chain Fructooligosaccharides, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Salt, Taurine, Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols, d-AlphaTocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, and Nucleotides (Adenosine 5′-Monophosphate, Cytidine 5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5′- Monophosphate).
Allergens: Contains milk and soy ingredients
Is A Similac Pro-Advance Generic Formula Available?
Yes. In the United States, baby formula is strictly regulated by the FDA. Generic formula is a safe alternative to expensive name-brand formulas.
Store brand Advantage formulas are non-GMO, free of growth hormone, and contain 2′-FL HMO similar to Similac Pro-Advance.
If you are looking to save money or the formula of your choice is unavailable, generic or store-brand options are safe alternatives.
This tool can help you find a substitute for your Similac formula.
Keep in mind that during formula shortages, like the baby formula shortage of 2022, even generic and store-brand formulas may be hard to find.
Similac Advance vs Pro-Advance Formula: Which is the Best Formula?
Both Similac infant formulas are designed to provide children with the complete nutrition they need.
Similac Advance and Similac Pro-Advance formula have similar ingredients. However, Similac Pro-Advance is free of GMOs and contains a prebiotic called 2′-FL HMO to support your baby’s immune system and digestive health. Similac Pro-Advance is said to more closely resemble human breast milk.
While Similac Pro Advance is marketed as being the closest formula to breast milk, remember that all infant formula is regulated by the FDA. They all meet strict criteria to ensure they provide the appropriate nutrition your baby will need.
In my opinion, given the minimal difference in cost, Similac Pro Advance is the superior option in providing the most optimal substitute for human breast milk for babies. In other words, I think Similac Pro Advance is better.
If you are still undecided, consider talking to your baby’s doctor.
Given this information about Similac Advance and Similac Pro Advance, have you decided which is the best option for your family? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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