July 9, 2008

DTQ: How Much Does That Formula Scoop Actually Hold?

Short answer: a rounded tablespoon, or about 3.5 teaspoons.

Longer explanation:

Breasts travel well, especially to the beach. Just one more way in which they're the best. But the true sign that you love your child is that you don't let her starve to death after the breastfeeding stops.

So when we went to the Outer Banks a couple of weeks ago, we didn't want to schlep a giant can of formula with us; we scooped enough for a week into Ziploc box, only we forgot the little scooper. Which we only realized when we went to make K2's bedtime bottle.

No problem, I thought, we'll just look up and see how much is in that proprietary scoop. Yeah, well. Googling around, I couldn't find anything. K2 was getting fussy, and if there's an scenario I'm particularly sensitive to, it's Baby Crying While Daddy Types. Gotta protect the brand, you know.

Finally, I found this finger-wagging bit of advice in Enfamil Canada's FAQ:

If I lose my scoop, what do I do?
To ensure that your baby receives the proper levels of nutrients and calories, it is best to use the exact measurement provided by the scoop contained within the can. Therefore, if the scoop is missing, it is best to buy another can of the same brand and type of powder and use the scoop from the new can.

Different products may have a different size of scoop. If the scoop is missing or in case of emergency only and as a temporary alternative, one level tablespoon can be used in place of the scoop. As soon as possible, get another can of the same product and use the scoop contained within the can. And put some socks on that kid, you freakin' hillbilly.

OK, I may have just heard that last part in my head, but the only thing more annoying than a Costco-sized can of formula in your luggage is buying a teacup-sized can at one-store-island prices--just to get the scoop.


So I measured it out three times. On the off chance that different products actually do have different scoop sizes, I'll be clear: this is the unmarked scoop for Enfamil with Lipil. One unpacked formula scoop came out to be 3.5 - 4.25 level teaspoons, which I'm calling a rounded tablespoon. That's with measuring teaspoons. When I did it with tea-stirring teaspoons, it was three level teaspoons, barely.

Which meant we kind of stuffed K2 during the first weekend at the beach, because I was guessing it was like three rounded teaspoons/scoop. The kicker, of course, is that we ended up staying a few days longer, we ran out of formula, so we picked up a dainty little can at Food Lion for, like, $200, with the scoop included absolutely free!

I'd be interested to see if other formula brands really do have different sized scoops. Anyone else mind measuring their scoops? Or if you have any useful tips for measuring formula on the road? I guess you could just not throw away the old scoops; save them instead, maybe make a giant scoop pyramid, right where your beer can pyramids used to be.

[update: Sam suggested that by mentioning taking a Formula Scoop Wreath to a lactivist gathering, this post now warranted an Uma sighting. Uh-uh. Formula posts now officially get a picture of British actress/model/whatever Jordan, who rather famously feeds her babies out of very large cans. So here you go.]



We don't formula feed, but I have seen these Packin' Smart containers for storing formula & snacks. They look like they would be useful for a long tome past the bottle-feeding stage. Not sure if they are BPA free, though?

Here's an info-mercial-ish video I found on for them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8jUIpwRsQ

So, once you figured out how much to use, how did it taste mixed up with that Diet Coke?

Ok, total deja vu. We JUST went through this last week! I had just purchased a can on the way to an amusement park (having left ours at home) I used the scoop and then it disappeared. Needless to say I called Enfamil (we use the same brand) and the woman told me (almost word for word) that first paragraph you have there... but then she told me to use 1 Tbs and 1 tsp to equal one scoop... Now I know that the Nutramagin (sp?) is supposed to be a packed scoop and the Lipil is to be unpacked... maybe that's the difference?

I am suffering from a lost scooper right now. I have one travel pack of Infamil Advance, which is 2 scoops worth. I then used that to measure out the rest from the can. OK, when you say "teaspoon", you mean those teeny tiny spoons, not the teaspoon they mean in cookbooks, right? I happen to have the teeny tiny spoon and it is 3 spoonfulls, not at all heaping and barely rounded.

Love you site, mind if I link to you in mine?

[teaspoon, like the one you get at Denny's with the Lumberjack slam grits, just a regular spoon. -ed.]

We just horde the scoops from all the formula bottles. We have a drawer filled with 100+ scoops.

I take several with me when I go out to sell to dads who lose their scoop...

[Are you saving them to make a formula scoop wreath or something? -ed.]

Then sport that Scoop-Wreath at anti breastfeeding events;-{... Uma time! ;-}

Thank you thank you thank you! My husband lost the scoop right after opening and I too did not want to buy another fortune worth of formula. Nowhere else could I find how much it actually contained. Thanks again!

THANK YOU SO MUCH. no where else online could I find anything. The husband is at work with the car and I accidentally threw away the scoop and the trash came already. so thank you so much.

thanks for the tip. this also is in line with a calculation that you can get from the enfamil website on mixing large quantities. they said 1 cup and 3 teaspoons is equal to 124 grams of enfamil with lipil. with 48 teaspoons per cup that is 51 teaspoons for 124 grams or 2.431 grams per teaspoon. each scoop is 8.5 grams or 3.5 teaspoons.

Love this idea. Enfamil tells people different things. I read that they told some people one thing and me something else. I vote to hoard them all and do what you said. My son through mine away, too funny.

I called Enfamil and they told me for a temporary solution with Premium Infant 1 Formula use 1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon for each 2 oz. of water. They also said that it varies with each of the different formulas. wow.

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