How to Make Baby Formula With Karo Syrup

Before the introduction of commercial baby formula, most mothers who could not breastfeed, or who chose not to, would make formula for their child at home. The recipes for homemade baby formula almost always included Karo syrup as an ingredient. While the syrup is not approved for feeding babies today, it's interesting to know how such a common ingredient was used to feed infants in the past.

Bring 20 oz. of water to a rolling boil and let boil for five minutes. You will only need 18 oz., but this allows for some evaporation of the water.

Measure 18 oz. of the boiled water into a large measuring cup.

Cover the measuring cup with a paper towel or a saucepan lid that will completely cover the top of the cup. Allow the water to cool to room temperature.

Add in 1 can (13 oz.) of evaporated milk and 2 tbsp. of light Karo syrup. Stir until well-blended.

Pour into a sterilized half-gallon jar or bottles and store in the refrigerator until needed.


Breastfeeding is the best way to ensure that your baby receives all of his nutritional needs.

Any light-colored corn syrup can be substituted for the Karo brand. Dark corn syrup is not recommended for this recipe.


For children younger than age 1, Karo syrup may cause a rare but serious form of food poisoning known as infant botulism.

Before starting solid foods, breast milk or commercially prepared infant formulas are all that should be fed to your baby unless your baby's pediatrician instructs otherwise.

Homemade formula should be thrown out if not used within 36 hours.

This formula should not be used if your child is lactose intolerant or if she has any issues with milk-based commercial formulas.