Well actually - fed is the bare minimum. Yes I am going to say that feeding your child so that they don't starve to death is damned important, and so cannot possibly be described as "best" at all. But I don't want you to think I am advocating "breast is best" either because you might be surprised to hear that I hate that one just as much.
I get it. Everyone (including me) hates hearing "breast is best".
Saying "fed is best" is like saying it is fine to feed your child McDonalds every day. It is saying that it doesn't matter what you feed your baby. It does.
Human babies are designed to drink milk from human mothers. The milk is designed to nourish them in a way that cannot be substituted by taking the milk from another species and adding things to it to make it last a long time in powdered form. Furthermore, the companies that design, produce and sell formula do not have your babies' best interests at heart. They are wholly and completely focused on their profit margin. I know that no-one wants to believe this but it's true. If you are unsure, read The Politics of Breastfeeding by Gabrielle Palmer
What the formula companies don't want you to realise is that it is not the only option if you don't breastfeed, not the optimum option next to breastfeeding and it doesn't need to be culturally normal to replace human milk with supplemented cow's milk substitute. They purposely put us into two categories (I told you it was important) because they don't want us to realise there are other ways.
If you either cannot or do not want to feed your baby your milk from your breast, you have these options in this order of preference for your baby's needs (according to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF):
Important note - While raising my four children I have: exclusively formula fed, mix fed, exclusively expressed, used donor milk, donated milk and exclusively breastfed to past 2 years. I have zero issue with how people choose to feed their babies. Everyone is different. I have a massive issue with the formula companies and their unethical practices in promoting formula and the purposeful warmongering they manipulate between mothers.
Thank you for reading.