HiPP Combiotic Baby Formula Reviews and Analysis

hipp baby formula review analysis

HiPP baby formulas have been around for nearly 100 years, starting from humble beginnings in Pfaffenhofen, Germany (in the Bavaria region), and continuing in that location to this day. HiPP makes some of the absolute best European baby formulas on the market, including the popular HiPP Combiotik (Combiotic in UK), and other hypoallergenic, comfort, and anti-reflux formulas.

HiPP makes three versions of their Combiotik baby formula, the Dutch version, UK version, and German version. All of these are made in Germany, but then packaged in either the Netherlands, UK, or Germany. Only the Dutch (Netherlands) version appears on our list of the best organic baby formula.

Because these three versions of Combiotik are so different in ingredients and nutritional profiles, we've divided this review into three sections. First we review the Dutch HiPP Combiotik, second the UK HiPP Combiotic, and finally the German HiPP Combiotik.

    1. Dutch vs UK vs German HiPP: Which is Best?
    2. DUTCH HiPP Combiotik Formula Review
    3.   Dutch HiPP Combiotik Ratings
    4.   Dutch HiPP Combiotik: Pros and Cons
    5.   Some Dutch Translations to Know
    6.   Dutch HiPP Ingredients
    7.      Stage 1 Ingredients
    8.      Stage 2 Ingredients
    9.      Stage 3 Ingredients
    10.   Dutch HiPP Stage Differences
    11.   Dutch HiPP Combiotik Nutrition
    12.      Stage 1 Nutrition
    13.      Stage 2 Nutrition
    14.      Stage 3 Nutrition
    15.   Dutch HiPP Testing
    16.   Dutch HiPP Conclusions
    17.   Where to Buy Dutch HiPP
    18. UK HiPP Combiotik Formula Review
    19.   UK HiPP Combiotic Ratings
    20.   UK HiPP Combiotic: Pros and Cons
    21.   UK HiPP Ingredients
    22.      Stage 1 Ingredients
    23.      Stage 2 Ingredients
    24.      Stage 3 Ingredients
    25.   UK HiPP Stage Differences
    26.   UK HiPP Combiotic Nutrition
    27.      Stage 1 Nutrition
    28.      Stage 2 Nutrition
    29.      Stage 3 Nutrition
    30.   UK HiPP Testing
    31.   UK HiPP Conclusions
    32.   Where to Buy UK HiPP
    33. German HiPP Combiotik Formula Review
    34.   German HiPP Combiotik Ratings
    35.   German HiPP Combiotik: Pros and Cons
    36.   Some German Translations to Know
    37.   German HiPP Ingredients
    38.      Stage 1 Ingredients
    39.      Stage 2 Ingredients
    40.      Stage 3 Ingredients
    41.   German HiPP Stage Differences
    42.   German HiPP Combiotik Nutrition
    43.      Stage 1 Nutrition
    44.      Stage 2 Nutrition
    45.      Stage 3 Nutrition
    46.   German HiPP Testing
    47.   German HiPP Conclusions
    48.   Where to Buy German HiPP
    49. More Information about HiPP Organic Formula
    50.   HiPP Farming Practices
    51.   HiPP Organic Practices
    52. References Cited

HiPP Dutch vs UK vs German: Which is Best?

We like to get things out of the way right up front! People always ask us which version of HiPP Combiotik they should use: Dutch, UK, or German? 

Well, there is a simple answer and a more in-depth answer, as always.

The simple answer is that we prefer the Dutch HiPP, especially Stages 1 and 2, versus the UK or German varieties.

The more complicated answer is that we have four main reasons for this conclusion:

  • The Dutch version includes both prebiotics and probiotics in Stages 1-2. The German version does as well, but the UK version doesn't include probiotics in any Stages.
  • The Dutch version does not include Starch as a carbohydrate in any Stages. The UK version also doesn't include starch, but the German version includes it in every Stage.
  • The Dutch version includes lactose as a primary carbohydrate in all Stages. The UK version does as well, but the German version uses starch instead of lactose in Stage 1.
  • The Dutch version does not include Soy in Stages 1 or 2. Neither does the UK version, but the German version uses Soy in Stages 2 and 3.

Review of HiPP Dutch Combiotik

We begin this article with what we believe is the overall best version of HiPP Combiotik: the Dutch version. If you want to jump down to our review of the UK or German HiPP versions, use the Table of Contents (above) to quickly navigate the article.

Formula StageOur Rating
HiPP Combiotik Dutch Stage 1 5 star rating
HiPP Combiotik Dutch Stage 2 5 star rating
HiPP Combiotik Dutch Stage 3 4 star rating

HiPP Dutch Combiotik Formulas: Pros & Cons

Most people don't want to read this entire article to see what we found. So here is the summary of what we loved, and what we didn't like about HiPP Combiotik from The Netherlands:

✔️  High quality organic formulation.
✔️  Nutrition at USDA guidelines.
✔️  Prebiotics in all Stages.
✔️  Probiotics in Stages 1-2.
✔️  Omega-3 and Omega-6.
✔️  First ingredient is skim milk.
✔️  Nothing artificial.
✔️  No maltodextrine or starch.
✔️  No sucrose or corn syrups.
✔️  Gluten-free.
✔️  Soy-free (Stages 1-2).
✔️  High infant acceptance, good taste.
✔️  No gas, indigestion, or constipation.
❌  Palm Oil as a fat source.
❌  Soy in Stage 3.
❌  No probiotics in Stage 3.

hipp combiotik baby formula organicstart

HiPP Dutch Formulas: Some Translations

Because the Dutch HiPP packaging is in Dutch (and French), here are a few important translations.

Bio: This means Organic in German, and the EU and Germany take Organic standards very seriously. 

Biologisch: This means Organic in Dutch, and the EU and Netherlands take Organic standards very seriously.

Zuigelingenmelk: This means Infant Milk in Dutch, meaning that it is intended to be used from birth onward (usually up to 6 months).

Opvolgmelk: This means Follow-On Milk in Dutch, meaning that it is intended to be used from 6 months onward (vanaf 6 maanden).

Groeimelk: This means Growth Milk in Dutch, meaning that it is intended to be used from 12 months onward (vanaf de 12e maanden).

HiPP Dutch Formula Ingredients

Not only is HiPP world-renowned for their high quality organic ingredients, they are also unique in their inclusion of prebiotics, probiotics, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in most of their formulas. These characteristics make the HiPP Combiotik (especially the Dutch version) a popular choice among healthcare facilities, such as neonatal intensive care units.

Here are the ingredients in each of the Dutch HiPP Combiotik baby formulas:

dutch hipp stage 1 formula ingredients

Dutch HiPP Stage 1 Ingredients (translated): Organic Skim Milk, Organic Whey, Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Palm Oil, Organic Rapeseed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil], Organic Lactose, Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharides (Obtained From Organic Lactose), Whey Protein, Fish Oil, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Choline, Mortierella Alpina Oil (ARA), Sodium Citrate, L-Phenylalanine, Calcium Salts of Orthophosphoric Acid, Magnesium Sulfate, L-Tryptophan, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Lactic Acid, Vitamin C, Lactic Acid Culture [Hereditum® Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716], Vitamin E, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Potassium Iodate, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin K, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D, Biotin, Vitamin B12.

dutch hipp stage 2 formula ingredients

Dutch HiPP Stage 2 Ingredients (translated): Organic Skim Milk, Organic Lactose, Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Palm Oil, Organic Rapeseed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil], Organic Whey, Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharides (obtained from Organic Lactose), Fish Oil, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Salts Of Orthophosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, L-Tyrosine, L-Tryptophan, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Carbonate, Vitamin C, Iron Sulfate, Lactic Acid, L-Cystine, Niacin, Zinc Oxide, Lactic Acid Culture [Hereditum® Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716], Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Potassium Iodate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, D-Biotin.

dutch hipp stage 3 formula ingredients

Dutch HiPP Stage 3 Ingredients (translated): Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic Lactose, Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Palm Oil, Organic Rapeseed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil], Galacto-Oligosaccharides (Obtained From Lactose), Calcium Carbonate, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Iron Sulfate, Sodium Citrate, Vitamins (Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Biotin, Vitamin B12), Magnesium Carbonates, Calcium Chloride, L-tryptophan, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodine, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenate.

Here are some ingredients that are not in any of the stages of HiPP Dutch Combiotik: corn syrup, corn syrup solids, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, sucrose, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), maltodextrine, food starch, carrageenan, or high fructose corn syrup.

Some ingredients we didn't appreciate: All of the stages use Palm Oil, which isn't ideal. Stage 3 contains soy lecithin, which some parents avoid because it's a possible allergen, and stage 3 doesn't contain probiotics (only prebiotics). Of course, by the time you're at stage 3 you're likely supplementing with starter foods (cereals, fruit and vegetable purees, yogurts, etc), so the probiotics aspect may not be as important for you. 

HiPP Dutch Stages: Ingredient Differences

1. Dutch HiPP Stage 1 versus Stage 2: There are a few minor differences between Stages 1 and 2. First, Stage 1 includes choline, which is an essential nutrient also in breast milk, but Stage 2 omits it. Stage 1 also includes Mortierella Alpina Oil, which is an Omega-3 fatty acid (ARA), but Stage 2 omits it (but still contains a different Omega-3, ALA). Also, Stage 2 does include a couple additional amino acids relative to Stage 1, namely L-tyrosine and L-cystine. Stage 1 is intended for babies 0-6 months of age, whereas Stage 2 is intended for babies 6+ months of age.

2. Dutch HiPP Stage 2 versus Stage 3: There are some large differences between Dutch HiPP Stages 2 and 3. Stage 3 omits whey, fish oil (Omega-3, DHA), two amino acids (L-tyrosine, L-cystine), and probiotics. Stage 3 also adds in soy lecithin, which some believe can trigger a food allergy in infants and toddlers. Stage 2 is intended for babies 6+ months of age, whereas Stage 3 is intended for babies 12+ months of age.

HiPP Dutch Formula Nutritional Analysis

To gather insights into whether the Dutch version of HiPP Combiotik meets stringent US nutritional recommendations by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Academy of Pediatrics, we gathered insights from a dietician nutritionist with expertise in infant feeding. In addition to offering us guidance, he also directed us to the USDA's published recommendations (see References).

The USDA does not publish recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for infants between 0-6 months. Instead, they publish information about Adequate Intaks (AI), which are used when there is not enough evidence to make a formal RDA. The AI is set at a level assumed to provide nutritional adequacy.

Note that the US FDA also publishes minimum infant formula nutritional requirements (see references), but all of the infant formulas we reviewed met these requirements, and they are only relevant for 0-6 months. Because the HiPP formulas met the FDA minimum requirements, we compared them to the more general USDA daily intake recommendations.

Here are the USDA's AIs (per day) for infants aged 0-6 months, and 6-12 months. Units are grams (g), milligrams (mg), micrograms (μg).

USDA Nutritional Recommendations:

Carbohydrates 0-6mo: 60g 6-12mo: 95g
Proteins 0-6mo: 9.1g 6-12mo: 11g
Fats 0-6mo: 31g 6-12mo: 30g
Omega-3 0-6mo: 0.5g 6-12mo: 0.5g
Omega-6 0-6mo: 4.4g 6-12mo: 4.6g
Vitamin A 0-6mo: 400μg 6-12mo: 500μg
Vitamin B1 0-6mo: 0.2mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B2 0-6mo: 0.3mg 6-12mo: 0.4mg
Vitamin B6 0-6mo: 0.1mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B12 0-6mo: 0.4μg 6-12mo: 0.5μg
Vitamin C 0-6mo: 40mg 6-12mo: 50mg
Vitamin D 0-6mo: 5μg 6-12mo: 5μg
Vitamin E 0-6mo: 4mg 6-12mo: 5mg
Vitamin K 0-6mo: 2μg 6-12mo: 2.5μg
Folate 0-6mo: 65μg 6-12mo: 80μg
Niacin 0-6mo: 2mg 6-12mo: 4mg
Calcium 0-6mo: 210mg 6-12mo: 270mg
Iron 0-6mo: 0.27mg 6-12mo: 11mg

Given that the Stage 1 HiPP formula is intended for use from birth to 6 months, we evaluated its nutritional content against the USDA 0-6 month recommendations. For the Stage 2 and 3 versions, we evaluated against the USDA 6-12 month recommendations, realizing that Stage 3 is intended for 12+ months.

Because the USDA recommendations are for daily intake, we considered the daily intake recommended by HiPP in their "Quantity & Dosing." Stage 1 suggests an average of about 750mL of prepared formula per day for the first 6 months.

750mL prepared formula equates to about 100g of powdered formula per day. We used this daily serving to derive estimates of how much nutrient a baby would receive each day while using Dutch HiPP Combiotik Stage 1. We used the same process for Stages 2-3.

Does Dutch HiPP Stage 1 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, very similarly to US-made baby formulas. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 0-6 months to what the Dutch HiPP Stage 1 provides (in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 60g Stage 1: 54.3g
Proteins USDA: 9.1g Stage 1: 9.7g
Fats USDA: 31g Stage 1: 27.9g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 1: 0.5g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.4g Stage 1: 3.2g
Vitamin A USDA: 400μg Stage 1: 419μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.2mg Stage 1: 0.28mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 1: 1.1mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.1mg Stage 1: 0.18mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.4μg Stage 1: 0.8μg
Vitamin C USDA: 40mg Stage 1: 69mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 1: 11.6μg
Vitamin E USDA: 4mg Stage 1: 5.4mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2μg Stage 1: 39.5μg
Folate USDA: 65μg Bio Pre: 77.5μg
Niacin USDA: 2mg Bio Pre: 2.6mg
Calcium USDA: 210mg Bio Pre: 395mg
Iron USDA: 0.27mg Bio Pre: 3.9mg

Notice how close all of those numbers are to each other. The carbohydrates and fats are very close to USDA recommendations; remember that these are averaged over 6 months, which means that these levels are a bit high for newborns and a bit low by 6 months. That's totally normal because the 100g daily serving over and underestimates actual feeding during early and late months, respectively.

Also notice that the protein levels are basically exactly on the USDA recommendations. HiPP prides itself on including relatively low levels of protein that are relatively high quality, citing studies demonstrating that high protein (and lower quality proteins) during infancy are related to childhood obesity (see references).

We compared the Dutch HiPP Stage 1 nutritional profile with the most popular US Similac and Enfamil formulas. Those US formulas are basically exactly the same as Dutch HiPP for fat content (about 27g in 100g formula), and carbohydrate content (about 55g in 100g formula). 

In other words, Dutch HiPP Stage 1 provides an overall nutritional profile that extremely similar to the major American baby formula brands. It goes beyond most US brands, however, in its inclusion of prebiotics and probiotics.

Does Dutch HiPP Stage 2 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, especially assuming you'll begin supplementing with additional carbohydrates, such as rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the HiPP Stage 2 provides (approximately, in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 95g Stage 2: 55.8g
Proteins USDA: 11g Stage 2: 10.1g
Fats USDA: 30g Stage 2: 28.7g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 2: 0.54g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.6g Stage 2: 3.3g
Vitamin A USDA: 500μg Stage 2: 434μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 2: 0.29mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.4mg Stage 2: 1.1mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 2: 0.33mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.5μg Stage 2: 0.78μg
Vitamin C USDA: 50mg Stage 2 78mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 2: 12.4μg
Vitamin E USDA: 5mg Stage 2: 6.2mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2.5μg Stage 2: 24μg
Folate USDA: 80μg Stage 2: 78μg
Niacin USDA: 4mg Stage 2: 4.1mg
Calcium USDA: 270mg Stage 2: 543mg
Iron USDA: 11mg Stage 2: 7.8mg

Similar to Stage 1, the Stage 2 has great nutritional content in terms of both macronutrients and micronutrients. It is low on carbohydrates for this age range (6+ months). Of course, this does not consider the fact that you'll likely be supplementing formula with first foods like rice cereal, which is basically pure carbohydrates (usually about 80% carbohydrate content). 

Does Dutch HiPP Stage 3 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, but with some exceptions. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the Dutch HiPP Stage 3 provides (approximately, in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 95g Stage 3: 62.0g
Proteins USDA: 11g Stage 3: 10.9g
Fats USDA: 30g Stage 3: 23.3g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 3: 0.47g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.6g Stage 3: 3.9g
Vitamin A USDA: 500μg Stage 3: 543μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 3: 0.47mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.4mg Stage 3: 0.9mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 3: 0.31mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.5μg Stage 3: 1.6μg
Vitamin C USDA: 50mg Stage 3: 78mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 3: 10.1μg
Vitamin E USDA: 5mg Stage 3: 9.3mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2.5μg Stage 3: 38.8μg
Folate USDA: 80μg Stage 3: 155μg
Niacin USDA: 4mg Stage 3: 5.4mg
Calcium USDA: 270mg Stage 3: 619mg
Iron USDA: 11mg Stage 3: 9.3mg

In terms of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), you'll notice that your growing baby will get sufficient protein, but will definitely need supplemental carbohydrates and fat. That's not especially surprising given that HiPP Stage 3 is intended for toddlers over 12 months old, when they will definitely be supplementing with solid foods.

The micronutrient content is mostly over USDA recommendations.

Note that in 2020, the EU passed (well, it was passed in 2016, but enforcement started February 2020) a requirement that baby formulas include Omega-3. While many other European baby formula companies have been scrambling to add Omega-3 to their formula, HiPP has included it for many years. Like we said, HiPP tracks the nutritional sciences and typically makes progressive changes long before they become requirements. 

european baby formulas omega 3 dha requirement law

Some parents might be interested to learn that Dutch HiPP formulas (in fact, most HiPP formulas) contain trace levels of fluoride. This is not added by the manufacturer, but appears in trace amounts (< 0.02mg per 100mL) due to the water used during manufacturing. This is equivalent to about 0.2 mg of fluoride in a liter of prepared formula, which is about half of what is found in typical bottled water (about 0.4mg per liter), and way less than found in fluoridated tap water (about 5mg per liter).

HiPP Dutch Testing in Infants

We tested Stage 1 and Stage 2 varieties in three infants, one aged 3 months (Stage 1), one 4 months (Stage 1), and one 8 months months (Stage 2).

Mixing and Taste-Testing

The first thing we noticed is that the Dutch HiPP formulas were not clumpy or bubbly during or after mixing. They did a nice job blending easily with water, and any bubbles setted quickly. 

Dutch HiPP is not as thick and creamy as something like Holle Pre, but instead has a consistency and taste that is a bit more like breastmilk, making it a thinner and better flowing formula (through slow flow nipples). 

When a tiny bit is used to fortify breastmilk (only if your doctor says so) the formula mixed nicely. We didn't taste any fish oil in either Stage, which was great.

Safety First: Never prepare powdered formula with anything but water. If you're interested in fortifying your breast milk with formula you must ask your doctor for guidance first, as this can be very dangerous for your baby.

Feeding with Dutch HiPP Formula

All of our test babies took the Dutch HiPP formula without any issues, and continued feeding with it willingly. Note that two of these babies were exclusively breastfed until this point, and one was formula fed for the past 3 months.

None of the babies developed any noticeable gas relative to their usual post-feeding burps or spit-up. Same goes for conspitation and bowel movements, which the parents reported proceeded as usual after feeding with Dutch HiPP. Note that one of the parents, the one who was already exclusively formula feeding, switched permanently to Dutch HiPP Stage 2 after the test, no longer using Similac. 

HiPP Dutch Formula: Conclusions

HiPP Combiotik formulas have been near the top of our best organic baby formulas list for several years now, and we were excited to do an updated and more thorough review of the Dutch variety. We loved the progressive macronutrient and micronutrient contents, including the presence of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the prebiotic and probiotic contents of Stages 1 and 2, and the fact that the nutritional contents met USDA recommendations.

We also love what the HiPP formulas do NOT have, including maltodextrine, food starches, and other unfortunate ingredients such as corn syrups or other added sugars.

Spoiler alert: we think Dutch is the best HiPP version, with UK and German versions coming in second and third place in comparison to each other.

Where to Buy Dutch HiPP Combiotik?

We found the best prices on Dutch HiPP Combiotik, shipped from the US directly to your door, at OrganicStart.com.


Review of HiPP UK Combiotic

Moving along to our review of the United Kingdom's version of HiPP Combiotic. Note how the spelling of "Combiotik" changes slightly to "Combiotic" - that's one way to recognize you're getting the UK version, in addition to the obvious all-English label.

Formula StageOur Rating
HiPP Combiotic UK Stage 1 4.5 star rating
HiPP Combiotic UK Stage 2 4.5 star rating
HiPP Combiotic UK Stage 3 3 star rating

HiPP UK Combiotic Formulas: Pros & Cons

Most people don't want to read this entire article to see what we found. So here is the summary of what we loved, and what we didn't like about HiPP Combiotic from the United Kingdom (UK):

Pros and Cons for UK HiPP Combiotic

✔️  High quality organic formulation.
✔️  Nutrition at USDA guidelines.
✔️  Prebiotics in all Stages.
✔️  Omega-3 and Omega-6.
✔️  First ingredient is skim milk.
✔️  Nothing artificial.
✔️  No maltodextrine or starch.
✔️  No sucrose or corn syrups.
✔️  Gluten-free.
✔️  Soy-free.
✔️  High infant acceptance, good taste.
✔️  No gas, indigestion, or constipation.
❌  Palm Oil as a fat source.
❌  No probiotics in any Stages.
❌  Stage 3 lacking in nutrition.

hipp combiotik baby formula organicstart

HiPP UK Formula Ingredients

Not only is HiPP world-renowned for their high quality organic ingredients, they are also unique in their inclusion of prebiotics, probiotics, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in most of their formulas. However, the UK is the one exception to the probiotics inclusion: there are no probiotics in the UK HiPP formulas, which is one of the primary differences between HiPP UK versus Dutch or Germany.

Here are the ingredients in each of the UK HiPP Combiotic baby formulas:

UK HiPP Stage 1 Ingredients: Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic Whey Powder (Partially Demineralized), Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Sunflower Oil], Organic Lactose, Prebiotic Fibers (Galacto-oligosaccharides from Lactose), Whey Protein, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Chloride, Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPs Oils) [Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil from Mortierella Alpina], L-tyrosine, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Orthophosphate, Vitamin Mix [Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Biotin, Vitamin B12], L-tryptophan, Iron Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Stabiliser (Lactic Acid), Inositol, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenate.

UK HiPP Stage 2 Ingredients: Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Organic Lactose, Organic Whey Powder (Partially Demineralized), Fiber [Galacto-oligosaccharides from Lactose), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Biotin, Vitamin B12], Ferrous Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, L-tryptophan, Zinc Sulfate, Magnesium Carbonate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite.

UK HiPP Stage 3 Ingredients: Skimmed Milk, Vegetable Oils (Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Sunflower Oil), Lactose, Fiber (Galacto-Oligosaccharides From Lactose), Potassium Citrate, Calcium salts of Orthophosphoric Acid, Calcium Salts of Citric Acid, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin C, Ferrous Sulfate, Stabilizer Lactic Acid, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Potassium Iodate, Biotin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.

Here are some ingredients that are not in any of the stages of HiPP UK Combiotic: corn syrup, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, sucrose, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), maltodextrine, food starch, carrageenan, or high fructose corn syrup.

The biggest drawback of UK HiPP versions, in our opinion, is the absence of probiotics. Prebiotics and probiotics can do a nice job counteracting any constipation experienced from certain fats (like palm oil) and iron content. They are also present in breast milk (lactobacilli and bifidobacterial), and are thought to help establish a healthy microbiota in the newborn.

Some ingredients we didn't appreciate: All of the stages use Palm Oil, which isn't ideal when used as a primary fat source (it is used along with two other fats in these formulas, however), though it is organically and sustainably sourced.  

HiPP UK Stages: Ingredient Differences

1. UK HiPP Stage 1 versus Stage 2: There are a few minor differences between Stages 1 and 2. First, Stage 2 omits Mortierella Alpina-Oil, which is an Omega-3 fatty acid (ARA), but still contains a different Omega-3 (ALA). Also, Stage 2 does include a couple additional amino acids relative to Stage 1, namely L-tyrosine and L-cystine. Stage 1 is intended for babies 0-6 months of age, whereas Stage 2 is intended for babies 6+ months of age.

2. UK HiPP Stage 2 versus Stage 3: There are some large differences between UK HiPP Stages 2 and 3. Stage 3 omits whey, fish oil (Omega-3, DHA), and two amino acids (L-tyrosine, L-cystine). Stage 2 is intended for babies 6+ months of age, whereas Stage 3 is intended for babies 12+ months of age.

HiPP UK Formula Nutritional Analysis

To gather insights into whether the UK version of HiPP Combiotic meets stringent US nutritional recommendations by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Academy of Pediatrics, we gathered insights from a dietician nutritionist with expertise in infant feeding. In addition to offering us guidance, he also directed us to the USDA's published recommendations (see References).

The USDA does not publish recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for infants between 0-6 months. Instead, they publish information about Adequate Intaks (AI), which are used when there is not enough evidence to make a formal RDA. The AI is set at a level assumed to provide nutritional adequacy.

Here are the USDA's AIs (per day) for infants aged 0-6 months, and 6-12 months. Units are grams (g), milligrams (mg), micrograms (μg).

USDA Nutritional Recommendations:

Carbohydrates 0-6mo: 60g 6-12mo: 95g
Proteins 0-6mo: 9.1g 6-12mo: 11g
Fats 0-6mo: 31g 6-12mo: 30g
Omega-3 0-6mo: 0.5g 6-12mo: 0.5g
Omega-6 0-6mo: 4.4g 6-12mo: 4.6g
Vitamin A 0-6mo: 400μg 6-12mo: 500μg
Vitamin B1 0-6mo: 0.2mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B2 0-6mo: 0.3mg 6-12mo: 0.4mg
Vitamin B6 0-6mo: 0.1mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B12 0-6mo: 0.4μg 6-12mo: 0.5μg
Vitamin C 0-6mo: 40mg 6-12mo: 50mg
Vitamin D 0-6mo: 5μg 6-12mo: 5μg
Vitamin E 0-6mo: 4mg 6-12mo: 5mg
Vitamin K 0-6mo: 2μg 6-12mo: 2.5μg
Folate 0-6mo: 65μg 6-12mo: 80μg
Niacin 0-6mo: 2mg 6-12mo: 4mg
Calcium 0-6mo: 210mg 6-12mo: 270mg
Iron 0-6mo: 0.27mg 6-12mo: 11mg

Given that the Stage 1 HiPP formula is intended for use from birth to 6 months, we evaluated its nutritional content against the USDA 0-6 month recommendations. For the Stage 2 and 3 versions, we evaluated against the USDA 6-12 month recommendations, realizing that Stage 3 is intended for 12+ months.

Because the USDA recommendations are for daily intake, we considered the daily intake recommended by HiPP in their "Quantity & Dosing." Stage 1 suggests an average of about 750mL of prepared formula per day for the first 6 months.

750mL prepared formula equates to about 100g of powdered formula per day. We used this daily serving to derive estimates of how much nutrient a baby would receive each day while using UK HiPP Combiotic Stage 1. We used the same process for Stages 2-3.

Does UK HiPP Stage 1 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, very similarly to US-made baby formulas. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 0-6 months to what the UK HiPP Stage 1 provides (in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 60g Stage 1: 56.6g
Proteins USDA: 9.1g Stage 1: 9.7g
Fats USDA: 31g Stage 1: 27.1g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 1: 0.5g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.4g Stage 1: 4.7g
Vitamin A USDA: 400μg Stage 1: 543μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.2mg Stage 1: 0.47mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 1: 0.8mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.1mg Stage 1: 0.31mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.4μg Stage 1: 1.2μg
Vitamin C USDA: 40mg Stage 1: 77.5mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 1: 9.3μg
Vitamin E USDA: 4mg Stage 1: 6.9mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2μg Stage 1: 38.8μg
Folate USDA: 65μg Bio Pre: 77.5μg
Niacin USDA: 2mg Bio Pre: 3.1mg
Calcium USDA: 210mg Bio Pre: 388mg
Iron USDA: 0.27mg Bio Pre: 3.9mg

Notice how close all of those numbers are to each other. The carbohydrates and fats are very close to USDA recommendations; remember that these are averaged over 6 months, which means that these levels are a bit high for newborns and a bit low by 6 months. That's totally normal because the 100g daily serving over and underestimates actual feeding during early and late months, respectively.

Also notice that the protein levels are basically exactly on the USDA recommendations. HiPP prides itself on including relatively low levels of protein that are relatively high quality, citing studies demonstrating that high protein (and lower quality proteins) during infancy are related to childhood obesity (see references).

We compared the UK HiPP Stage 1 nutritional profile with the most popular US Similac and Enfamil formulas. Those US formulas are basically the same as Dutch HiPP for fat content (about 27g in 100g formula), and carbohydrate content (about 55g in 100g formula). 

In other words, UK HiPP Stage 1 provides an overall nutritional profile that extremely similar to the major American baby formula brands, just like Dutch Stage 1.

Does UK HiPP Stage 2 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, especially assuming you'll begin supplementing with additional carbohydrates, such as rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the HiPP Stage 2 provides (approximately, in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 95g Stage 2: 60.5g
Proteins USDA: 11g Stage 2: 11.6g
Fats USDA: 30g Stage 2: 27.1g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 2: 0.54g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.6g Stage 2: 4.7g
Vitamin A USDA: 500μg Stage 2: 541μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 2: 0.47mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.4mg Stage 2: 0.85mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 2: 0.31mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.5μg Stage 2: 1.16μg
Vitamin C USDA: 50mg Stage 2 77.5mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 2: 9.3μg
Vitamin E USDA: 5mg Stage 2: 7.8mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2.5μg Stage 2: 38.8μg
Folate USDA: 80μg Stage 2: 77.5μg
Niacin USDA: 4mg Stage 2: 4.7mg
Calcium USDA: 270mg Stage 2: 581mg
Iron USDA: 11mg Stage 2: 7.8mg

Similar to Stage 1, the Stage 2 UK HiPP has great nutritional content in terms of both macronutrients and micronutrients. It is low on carbohydrates for this age range (6+ months). Of course, this does not consider the fact that you'll likely be supplementing formula with first foods like rice cereal, which is basically pure carbohydrates (usually about 80% carbohydrate content). 

Does UK HiPP Stage 3 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, no. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the UK HiPP Stage 3 provides (approximately, in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 95g Stage 3: 38.8g
Proteins USDA: 11g Stage 3: 14.8g
Fats USDA: 30g Stage 3: 19.4g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 3: 0.39g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.6g Stage 3: 3.9g
Vitamin A USDA: 500μg Stage 3: 279μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 3: 0mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.4mg Stage 3: 1.4mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 3: 0mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.5μg Stage 3: 3.1μg
Vitamin C USDA: 50mg Stage 3: 51.9mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 3: 13.2μg
Vitamin E USDA: 5mg Stage 3: 4.7mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2.5μg Stage 3: 0μg
Folate USDA: 80μg Stage 3: 0μg
Niacin USDA: 4mg Stage 3: 0mg
Calcium USDA: 270mg Stage 3: 1g
Iron USDA: 11mg Stage 3: 7.8mg

In terms of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), you'll notice that your growing baby will get sufficient protein, but will definitely need supplemental carbohydrates and fat.

In terms of micronutrients, the UK Stage 3 formula appears to be lacking in several key nutrients. However, it's important to realize that this formula is intended for babies 12+ months, whereas the USDA recommendations are for babies 6-12 months.

It is very likely that your toddler will be eating many solid foods, and this toddler formula will serve as merely a supplemental food source.

Some parents might be interested to learn that Stage 1 and 2 UK HiPP formulas contain trace levels of fluoride. This is not added by the manufacturer, but appears in trace amounts (for example < 0.005mg per 100mL) due to the water used during manufacturing. This is equivalent to about 0.05 mg of fluoride in a liter of prepared formula, which is about a tenth of what is found in typical bottled water (about 0.4mg per liter), and way less than found in fluoridated tap water (about 5mg per liter).

HiPP UK Testing in Infants

We tested Stage 1 and Stage 2 varieties in two infants, one aged 2 months (Stage 1), one 7 months (Stage 2).

Mixing and Taste-Testing

The first thing we noticed is that the Dutch HiPP formulas were not clumpy or bubbly during or after mixing. They mixed just like the Dutch HiPP versions, mixing easily with water, and any bubbles settling quickly. 

UK HiPP is not as thick and creamy as something like Holle Pre, but instead has a consistency and taste that is a bit more like breastmilk, making it a thinner and better flowing formula (through slow flow nipples). 

When a tiny bit is used to fortify breastmilk (only if your doctor says so) the formula mixed nicely. We didn't taste any fish oil in either Stage, which was great.

Feeding with UK HiPP Formula

Both of our test babies took the UK HiPP formula without any issues, and continued feeding with it willingly. Note that both of these babies were exclusively breastfed until this point, so our little experiment came as a bit of a surprise to both of them!

None of the babies developed any noticeable gas relative to their usual breastfeeding burps or spit-up. Same goes for conspitation and bowel movements, which the parents reported proceeded as usual after a day of feeding with UK HiPP.  

HiPP UK Formula: Conclusions

HiPP's UK Combiotic formulas have been near the top of our best organic baby formulas list for several years now, and we were excited to do an updated and more thorough review of the UK variety.

We loved the progressive macronutrient and micronutrient contents, including the presence of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the prebiotic contents, and the fact that the Stage 1 and 2 formulas met USDA nutrition recommendations.

We also love what the UK HiPP formulas do NOT have, including maltodextrine, food starches, and other unfortunate ingredients such as corn syrups or other added sugars.

However, in comparison to the Dutch HiPP, we thought it was unfortunate that the UK HiPP did not include probiotics. We also thought the nutritional profile of the Stage 3 formula was very lacking, especially in comparison to the Dutch HiPP Stage 3.

Overall, we give the UK HiPP Combiotic formula a solid 2nd place in the comparison between Dutch, UK, and German versions.

Where to Buy UK HiPP Combiotic?

We found the best prices on UK HiPP Combiotic, shipped from the US directly to your door, at OrganicStart.com.


Review of HiPP German Combiotik

Moving along to our review of Germany's version of HiPP Combiotik.

Pros and Cons for German HiPP Combiotik

✔️  High quality organic formulation.
✔️  Nutrition at USDA guidelines.
✔️  Prebiotics and probiotics.
✔️  Omega-3 and Omega-6.
✔️  First ingredient is skim milk.
✔️  Nothing artificial.
✔️  No maltodextrine.
✔️  No sucrose or corn syrups.
✔️  Gluten-free.
✔️  Soy-free (Stage 1).
✔️  High infant acceptance, good taste.
✔️  No gas, indigestion, or constipation.
❌  Stage 1 has no lactose.
❌  Starch used in all Stages.
❌  Soy used in Stages 2-3.
❌  Palm Oil as a fat source.
hipp combiotik baby formula orgnaicstart

HiPP German Formulas: Some Translations

Since the German HiPP packaging is written in German (go figure!), here are a few important translations:

Bio: This means Organic in German, and the EU and Germany take Organic standards very seriously. 

Anfangsmilch: This means Starting Milk in German, meaning that it is intended to be used from birth onward (usually up to 6 months).

Folgemilch: This means Follow-On Milk in German, meaning that it is intended to be used from 6 months (stage 2) or 10 months (stage 3) onward.

HiPP German Formula Ingredients

Not only is HiPP world-renowned for their high quality organic ingredients, they are also unique in their inclusion of prebiotics, probiotics, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in most of their formulas.

Unlike the UK versions, the German HiPP product contains both prebiotics and probiotics in Stages 1 through 3.

Here are the ingredients in each of the German HiPP Combiotik baby formulas (based on latest specifications published by HiPP, on 04/22/20):

german hipp stage 1 ingredients

German HiPP Stage 1 Ingredients: Skim milk *, whey product *, vegetable oils * (palm oil, rapeseed oil *, sunflower oil *), starch *, galactooligosaccharides * from lactose *, lactose *, fish oil, calcium chloride, potassium citrate, Mortierella alpina oil, choline, L-tyrosine, sodium citrate, calcium carbonate, L-tryptophan, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, L-histidine, stabilizer lactic acid, calcium orthophosphates, vitamin C, natural lactic acid culture (Lactobacillus fermentum hereditum®3), niacin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, copper sulfate, magnesium sulfate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin B6, Sodium selenate, vitamin K, manganese sulfate, vitamin D, biotin, vitamin B12.

german hipp stage 2 ingredients

German HiPP Stage 2 Ingredients: Skim milk *, vegetable oils * (palm oil, rapeseed oil *, sunflower oil *), whey product *, lactose *, Starch *, galactooligosaccharides * from lactose *, fish oil, calcium carbonate, emulsifier lecithins (soy) *, potassium chloride, calcium orthophosphates, calcium chloride, L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, magnesium carbonate, vitamin C, L-cystine, iron sulfate, sodium chloride, natural lactic acid culture (Lactobacillus fermentum hereditum®3), vitamin E, niacin, zinc oxide, Copper sulfate, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, potassium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenate, vitamin K, vitamin D, manganese sulfate, biotin.

german hipp stage 3 ingredients

German HiPP Stage 3 Ingredients: Skim milk *, vegetable oils * (palm oil, rapeseed oil *, sunflower oil *), lactose *, starch *, whey product *, Galactooligosaccharide * from lactose *, fish oil1, Calcium carbonate, emulsifier lecithins (soy) *, potassium chloride, calcium orthophosphate, sodium chloride, magnesium carbonate, L-tryptophan, vitamin C, iron sulfate, L-cystine, natural Lactic acid culture (Lactobacillus fermentum hereditum®3), vitamin E, niacin, zinc oxide, pantothenic acid, copper sulfate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, potassium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenate, vitamin K, vitamin D, manganese sulfate, biotin.

Here are some ingredients that are not in any of the stages of HiPP Germany Combiotik: corn syrup, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, sucrose, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), maltodextrine, carrageenan, or high fructose corn syrup.

Some ingredients we didn't appreciate: All of the stages use Palm Oil, which isn't ideal when used as a primary fat source (it is used along with two other fats in these formulas, however), though it is organically and sustainably sourced. 

Also, the biggest drawback of German HiPP versions, in our opinion, is the inclusion of starch in all three Stages (the Dutch and UK versions do not have starch), and the inclusion of soy lecithin in Stages 2-3 (the only other country/stage with soy is Dutch Stage 3). Also, not only does German HiPP use starch, it uses it as the primary carbohydrate instead of lactose, which is unfortunate.

HiPP Germany Stages: Ingredient Differences

1. German HiPP Stage 1 versus Stage 2: There are a few minor differences between Stages 1 and 2. First, Stage 2 omits Mortierella Alpina-Oil and fish oil, which are both Omega-3 fatty acids (ARA, DHA), but it still contains a different Omega-3 (ALA). Also, Stage 1 uses starch as the primary carbohydrate, whereas Stage 2 includes both starch and lactose. Stage 1 is intended for babies 0-6 months of age, whereas Stage 2 is intended for babies 6+ months of age.

2. German HiPP Stage 2 versus Stage 3: Stages 2 and 3 are nearly identical. Stage 2 is intended for babies 6+ months of age, whereas Stage 3 is intended for babies 12+ months of age.

HiPP Germany Formula Nutritional Analysis

To gather insights into whether the German version of HiPP Combiotik meets stringent US nutritional recommendations by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Academy of Pediatrics, we gathered insights from a dietician nutritionist with expertise in infant feeding. In addition to offering us guidance, he also directed us to the USDA's published recommendations (see References).

The USDA does not publish recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for infants between 0-6 months. Instead, they publish information about Adequate Intaks (AI), which are used when there is not enough evidence to make a formal RDA. The AI is set at a level assumed to provide nutritional adequacy.

Here are the USDA's AIs (per day) for infants aged 0-6 months, and 6-12 months. Units are grams (g), milligrams (mg), micrograms (μg).

USDA Nutritional Recommendations:

Carbohydrates 0-6mo: 60g 6-12mo: 95g
Proteins 0-6mo: 9.1g 6-12mo: 11g
Fats 0-6mo: 31g 6-12mo: 30g
Omega-3 0-6mo: 0.5g 6-12mo: 0.5g
Omega-6 0-6mo: 4.4g 6-12mo: 4.6g
Vitamin A 0-6mo: 400μg 6-12mo: 500μg
Vitamin B1 0-6mo: 0.2mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B2 0-6mo: 0.3mg 6-12mo: 0.4mg
Vitamin B6 0-6mo: 0.1mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B12 0-6mo: 0.4μg 6-12mo: 0.5μg
Vitamin C 0-6mo: 40mg 6-12mo: 50mg
Vitamin D 0-6mo: 5μg 6-12mo: 5μg
Vitamin E 0-6mo: 4mg 6-12mo: 5mg
Vitamin K 0-6mo: 2μg 6-12mo: 2.5μg
Folate 0-6mo: 65μg 6-12mo: 80μg
Niacin 0-6mo: 2mg 6-12mo: 4mg
Calcium 0-6mo: 210mg 6-12mo: 270mg
Iron 0-6mo: 0.27mg 6-12mo: 11mg

Given that the Stage 1 HiPP formula is intended for use from birth to 6 months, we evaluated its nutritional content against the USDA 0-6 month recommendations. For the Stage 2 and 3 versions, we evaluated against the USDA 6-12 month recommendations, realizing that Stage 3 is intended for 12+ months.

Because the USDA recommendations are for daily intake, we considered the daily intake recommended by HiPP in their "Quantity & Dosing." Stage 1 suggests an average of about 750mL of prepared formula per day for the first 6 months.

750mL prepared formula equates to about 100g of powdered formula per day. We used this daily serving to derive estimates of how much nutrient a baby would receive each day while using UK HiPP Combiotic Stage 1. We used the same process for Stages 2-3.

Does German HiPP Stage 1 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, very similarly to US-made baby formulas. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 0-6 months to what the German HiPP Stage 1 provides (in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 60g Stage 1: 55g
Proteins USDA: 9.1g Stage 1: 10.1g
Fats USDA: 31g Stage 1: 27.9g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 1: 0.47g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.4g Stage 1: 3.1g
Vitamin A USDA: 400μg Stage 1: 426μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.2mg Stage 1: 0.28mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 1: 1.1mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.1mg Stage 1: 0.19mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.4μg Stage 1: 0.78μg
Vitamin C USDA: 40mg Stage 1: 69mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 1: 11.6μg
Vitamin E USDA: 4mg Stage 1: 5.4mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2μg Stage 1: 40.3μg
Folate USDA: 65μg Bio Pre: 77.5μg
Niacin USDA: 2mg Bio Pre: 2.6mg
Calcium USDA: 210mg Bio Pre: 403mg
Iron USDA: 0.27mg Bio Pre: 4.7mg

Notice how close all of those numbers are to each other. The carbohydrates and fats are very close to USDA recommendations; remember that these are averaged over 6 months, which means that these levels are a bit high for newborns and a bit low by 6 months. That's totally normal because the 100g daily serving over and underestimates actual feeding during early and late months, respectively.

Also notice that the protein levels are basically exactly on the USDA recommendations. HiPP prides itself on including relatively low levels of protein that are relatively high quality, citing studies demonstrating that high protein (and lower quality proteins) during infancy are related to childhood obesity (see references).

We compared the German HiPP Stage 1 nutritional profile with the most popular US Similac and Enfamil formulas. Those US formulas are basically the same as German HiPP for fat content (about 27g in 100g formula), and carbohydrate content (about 55g in 100g formula). 

In other words, German HiPP Stage 1 provides an overall nutritional profile that extremely similar to the major American baby formula brands, just like Dutch and UK Stage 1. It goes beyond most US brands, however, in its inclusion of prebiotics and probiotics.

Does German HiPP Stage 2 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, especially assuming you'll begin supplementing with additional carbohydrates, such as rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the German HiPP Stage 2 provides (approximately, in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 95g Stage 2: 55.8g
Proteins USDA: 11g Stage 2: 10.1g
Fats USDA: 30g Stage 2: 28.7g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 2: 0.47g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.6g Stage 2: 3.3g
Vitamin A USDA: 500μg Stage 2: 434μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 2: 0.29mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.4mg Stage 2: 1.09mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 2: 0.33mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.5μg Stage 2: 0.78μg
Vitamin C USDA: 50mg Stage 2 77.5mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 2: 12.4μg
Vitamin E USDA: 5mg Stage 2: 6.2mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2.5μg Stage 2: 24μg
Folate USDA: 80μg Stage 2: 77.5μg
Niacin USDA: 4mg Stage 2: 4.1mg
Calcium USDA: 270mg Stage 2: 543mg
Iron USDA: 11mg Stage 2: 7.8mg

Similar to Stage 1, the Stage 2 German HiPP has great nutritional content in terms of both macronutrients and micronutrients. It is low on carbohydrates for this age range (6+ months). Of course, this does not consider the fact that you'll likely be supplementing formula with first foods like rice cereal, which is basically pure carbohydrates (usually about 80% carbohydrate content). 

Does German HiPP Stage 3 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?

In general, yes, especially assuming you'll be supplenting with additional carbohydrate and fat sources in a toddler over 12 months old. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the UK HiPP Stage 3 provides (approximately, in 100g of formula):

Carbohydrates USDA: 95g Stage 3: 55g
Proteins USDA: 11g Stage 3: 10.8g
Fats USDA: 30g Stage 3: 28.7g
Omega-3 USDA: 0.5g Stage 3: 0.47g
Omega-6 USDA: 4.6g Stage 3: 3.3g
Vitamin A USDA: 500μg Stage 3: 434μg
Vitamin B1 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 3: 0.29mg
Vitamin B2 USDA: 0.4mg Stage 3: 1.09mg
Vitamin B6 USDA: 0.3mg Stage 3: 0.33mg
Vitamin B12 USDA: 0.5μg Stage 3: 0.78μg
Vitamin C USDA: 50mg Stage 3: 77.5mg
Vitamin D USDA: 5μg Stage 3: 12.4μg
Vitamin E USDA: 5mg Stage 3: 6.2mg
Vitamin K USDA: 2.5μg Stage 3: 24μg
Folate USDA: 80μg Stage 3: 77.5μg
Niacin USDA: 4mg Stage 3: 4.1mg
Calcium USDA: 270mg Stage 3: 543g
Iron USDA: 11mg Stage 3: 7.8mg

In terms of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), you'll notice that your growing baby will get sufficient protein and fats, but will definitely need supplemental carbohydrates. Micronutrient profile is pretty good.

However, it's important to realize that this formula is intended for babies 12+ months, whereas these USDA recommendations are for babies 6-12 months.

It is very likely that your toddler will be eating many solid foods, and this toddler formula will serve as merely a supplemental food source.

Some parents might be interested to learn that Stage 1 and 2 Germany HiPP formulas contain trace levels of fluoride. This is not added by the manufacturer, but appears in trace amounts (for example < 0.01mg per 100mL) due to the water used during manufacturing. This is equivalent to about 0.1 mg of fluoride in a liter of prepared formula, which is about a quarter of what is found in typical bottled water (about 0.4mg per liter), and way less than found in fluoridated tap water (about 5mg per liter).

HiPP Germany Testing in Infants

We tested Stage 1 and Stage 2 varieties in three infants, one aged 3 months (Stage 1), one 5 months (Stage 1), and one 11 months (Stage 2).

Mixing and Taste-Testing

Just like the Dutch and UK versions, the German HiPP formulas mixed really nicely, and were not clumpy or bubbly. They mixed easily with water, and any bubbles that formed settled very quickly.

All of the HiPP formulas, including the German variety, are not as thick and creamy as something like Holle Pre, but instead have a consistency and taste that is a bit more like breastmilk, making it a thinner and better flowing formula (through slow flow nipples). 

When a tiny bit is used to fortify breastmilk (only if your doctor says so) the formula mixed nicely. We didn't taste any fish oil in Stage 1, which was great (it's not included in stages 2-3).

Feeding with UK HiPP Formula

Two of our three test babies took the German HiPP formula without any issues, and continued feeding with it willingly. The one who rejected it was solely breastfed for her entire life (5 months), and her mom reported that she had rejected several other formulas too. The other two babies were formula supplemented, and took the German HiPP without any issues.

None of the babies developed any noticeable gas relative to their usual breastfeeding burps or spit-up. Same goes for conspitation and bowel movements, which the parents reported proceeded as usual after a day of feeding with UK HiPP.  

HiPP UK Formula: Conclusions

HiPP Combiotik formulas have been near the top of our best organic baby formulas list for several years now, and we were excited to do an updated and more thorough review of the German variety.

We loved the progressive macronutrient and micronutrient contents, including the presence of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the prebiotic and probiotic contents, and the fact that the Stage 1 and 2 formulas met USDA nutrition recommendations.

We also love what the UK HiPP formulas do NOT have, including maltodextrine and other unfortunate ingredients such as corn syrups or other added sugars.

However, in comparison to the Dutch HiPP, we thought it was unfortunate that the German HiPP included starch in all three Stages. Note that HiPP told us they just released a non-Starch version of Stage 2, which we are excited to see come to the US eventually.

Overall, we give the German HiPP Combiotik formula a solid 3nd place in the comparison between Dutch, UK, and German versions. This is mostly due to the starch content (especially how Stage 1 swaps out lactose for starch as the primary carbohydrate source), but if you're not worried about that, it makes a great option!

Where to Buy German HiPP Combiotik?

We found the best prices on German HiPP Combiotik, shipped from the US directly to your door, at OrganicStart.com. You can always check our monthly chart that details the best current prices on European baby formulas. Click this link to use our OrganicStart coupon code: mommyhood101 for a 10% discount!


All HiPP German Formulas: Best Practices?

For over 60 years, HiPP has been dedicated to organic farming, long before most other baby formula companies were even an idea, nevermind a best-in-class organic baby formula company.

HiPP doesn't make any grand claims about Demeter-certified Biodynamic farming (like Holle formula) or Bioland farming (like Lebenswert formula). Instead, they make a few simple claims.

First, they state that they follow best nutritional practices backed by research in pediatrics, agriculture, and nutrition sciences. This includes being one of the only European baby formula brands that places prebiotics, probiotics, Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids into most of their formulas. It also means conforming to the most recent science regarding macronutrient contents and ratios.

hipp organic logos

Second, HiPP goes far beyond the EU's statutory regulations for organic farming. Not only do they source all dairy products (whey, milk, lactose) used in their Combiotik formulas from certified organic farms, every single ingredient they use is repeatedly tested before it goes into any product.

The founders and owners of HiPP personally guarantee the high quality organic content of HiPP formulas. You'll see that in their logo (above, left), you'll also see the EU certified organic logo (the green leaf with stars); note that EU organic regulations are more stringent than USDA Organic certification.

Dairy farms are selected by HiPP not only for organic practices, but also appropriate animal husbandry practices where cows can graze on natural meadows without mineral fertilizers or chemical or synthetic agents (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers). 

What are the EU's organic regulations? 

The European Union (EU) has a strict system of organic controls that are enforced through an annual inspection process. These inspections result in an annual certificate being issued for conforming products. 

All HiPP Combiotik formula, whether Dutch, German, or UK branded, is made in Germany. The difference is where the formula is packed, and the ingredients. Here are the specific organic regulatory criteria:

  • No protecting plants by using synthetic chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides.
  • No use of soluble mineral fertilizers.
  • No application of chemical growth regulators.
  • Feeding animals with farm-grown feed, not purchased feed, when possible.
  • No use of antibiotics other than to treat infection.

Overall, to use the EU certified organic label, products must meet a stringent 98% organic content (by weight). By comparison, the United States USDA organic certification process has a 95% minimum.

Not only is HiPP world-renowned for their high quality organic ingredients, they are also unique in their inclusion of prebiotics, probiotics, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These characteristics make the HiPP Combiotik a popular choice among healthcare facilities, such as neonatal intensive care units.

HiPP baby formula organicstart

References Cited

German Organic Farming Regulations

Links between Protein Intake and Childhood Obesity

Consulting Dietician Nutritionist (Mr. John Anderson)

EU Legislation Requirements for Infant Formula Composition 

Consulting Food Sustainability Expert (Dr. Alexi Ernstoff)

United States FDA Infant Formula Nutrient Requirements

United States USDA Infant Nutritional Needs & Recommendations

Published Analysis of Nutritional Contents of European Baby Formulas

Disclaimer: To our knowledge, all ingredient and nutritional information contained in this article was accurate at the time of publication. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or timeliness of the information. Always read the packaging and instructions, and consult with your child's pediatrician before making nutritional and feeding decisions.

The Best Organic Baby Formulas: 2020 Reviews

The Best Organic Baby Formulas: 2020 Reviews

There are many very high quality, organic baby formulas to choose from, some of which...

Holle Baby Formula Reviews and Analysis

Holle Baby Formula Reviews and Analysis

Holle is not only one of the biggest and most popular European baby formula companies,...

Lebenswert Baby Formula Reviews and Analysis

Lebenswert Baby Formula Reviews and Analysis

Lebenswert organic formulas were introduced in 2009 by the biggest and most popular...