Bottled water for infants

The summer holiday season is upon us, and I am often asked about using bottled water to make up infant formulas when abroad.

There are three different sources of water: tap water – contains chloride and fluoride with all other minerals removed during the treatment process, bottled water – which is expected to conform to the same standards as the public water supply, and thirdly natural mineral/spring water. Mineral or spring waters may contain higher amounts of solutes including nitrate, sodium, fluoride and sulphate. Waters with high mineral contents are unsuitable for infants and young children.

Recommendations for using water abroad:

1. Use tap water which has been boiled once and allowed to cool to between 70-80 degrees Celsius before adding infant formula. In countries where the tap water quality cannot be guaranteed, bottled water can be used an alternative.

2. Use bottled water which conforms to the UK Dept of Health guidelines: (maximum amounts) sodium: 200mg/litre, nitrate: 100mg/litre, nitrite: 3mg/litre, sulphate: 500mg/litre.

3. Avoid using all water in bottles labelled ‘natural mineral water’ or ‘spring water’.

And happy holidays!

Hayley Kuter
Paediatric Dietitian 




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