HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

Tricks for introducing new tastes

Posted on 24 August 2016 by Admin

 

Once your baby starts the wonderful adventure of weaning, it’s a great idea to offer as many new tastes as you can, to get him or her used to the idea that food can have a wide range of flavours. (The exceptions to this, of course, are salty and sugary foods; babies don’t need either of these!)

 

It won’t take you long to realise that your baby has some decided preferences. For instance, many babies will hoover down as much pureed fruit as you’ll give them, but turn up their button noses at veg. According to HiPP’s nutritionist, Helen Gardiner, “This is a natural reaction – after all, babies are born with a preference for the sweet flavour of breastmilk – but it’s important to expand their tastes to include less sweet foods, too.”

 

This means offering some of the more pungent veg, like broccoli, greens, green beans and even that bane of children everywhere, sprouts. The more variety you can expose them to at this age, the better; research has shown that babies who were offered a wide range of vegetables early in the weaning process ate more veg at age 6, and were more willing to try new foods as well.

 

But what’s the best way to get a reluctant small person to try that spoonful of green puree, without having it end up on the floor (or the walls, or in your hair)?

Here are some tips on introducing your baby to new flavours that will have you spooning your way to success in no time.

  • Persistence is key. We’re putting this tip at the top, because it’s probably the most important. If your baby spits out sprouts once, that doesn’t mean you need to bin the rest! Instead, try the opposite tactic: Move on to something else for now, but offer the sprouts (or broccoli, or beans) again at the next meal. And the next, and the next; the study above showed it can take up to ten tries for a baby to decide that a new taste is actually okay after all. (However, once they’ve changed their little minds, it seems to stick; most of the babies in the study were still eating the previously disliked vegetable six years later!)
  • Don’t be afraid to mix flavours – at least at first. It sounds less-than-appetising to us, but if your baby loves squash and hates spinach, try blending them together. You might need to start with 10% spinach for the first meal, but you’ll probably find you can gradually increase the proportion until there’s not much squash in there – or none at all.
  • Try a different shape. Some babies are little individualists, and just want to explore this new, fun activity for themselves. So if your baby won’t have pureed broccoli, try steaming a spear until it’s quite soft, cooling it and just handing it over. (After all, everything ends up in the mouth before long, so why not take advantage of it?)

 

What’s your little one’s favourite “grown-up” food? Are there any they just won’t touch? Join the conversation in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page!

 

 

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Why weaning is so wonderful (yes, really!)

Posted on 16 August 2016 by Admin

 

If you’re about to embark on the adventure of introducing your baby to solid foods, you may well be a bit nervous and unsure. What do you try first? What about the mess? And what if they just don’t like grown-up food and decide they’re not having any of it?

All of these are reasonable questions to have, but we’ve got good news for you – weaning really isn’t that bad. In fact, it can be an amazingly fun time (as long as you put down some plastic first!)

Why? Think of it this way: your baby comes equipped with an amazingly sensitive set of tastebuds that have (so far) never been used to taste anything except milk. You get the exciting job of introducing this brand-new little person to all the wonderful flavours there are in the world, from earthy carrots to tangy citrus to cool cucumber, and everything in between. (Bonus: the faces they make on tasting a new flavour for the first time are often quite priceless, so keep a camera handy!)

Another helpful thought to keep in mind is the old mantra “Food is just for fun until they’re one.” What this means is that the early months of weaning are all about helping your baby get used to the amazing range of flavours that foods have to offer. Quantity isn’t nearly as important as variety, because at this age, your baby will still be getting most of his or her nutrition and energy from milk.

This is a wonderful thing, because it frees you both up to relax and have a great time exploring the world of flavour. You might find your little one has a real preference for pumpkin or peas. A bit of soft watermelon makes a wonderful warm-weather treat to gnaw on. Or try offering a wedge of lemon for them to taste – the screwed-up face they make will be a sight to see, but don’t be surprised if they go straight back for more!

This is also a great chance to introduce lots and lots of less-sweet vegetables to your baby’s diet – the more savoury and pungent veggies (like greens, kale, broccoli and sprouts) are fantastic sources of nutrition, and younger babies are much more likely to accept these new flavours than, say, 2-year-olds!

Over time, you’ll come to know your baby’s favourites, but it’s also a good idea to keep pushing the boundaries of their flavour preferences, especially in the first months. If you’re offering your baby a healthy food and you get knocked back, try again another time (and again, and again – research shows it can take around ten tries to get babies to accept a new flavour they’re not sure about!)

Once they do accept a wide variety of new flavours, they are more likely to eat these foods throughout childhood – so if you’re keen on the idea of a toddler who will happily nosh on broccoli, it’s well worth being persistent.

 

Have you started the weaning adventure yet? Let us know how you’re going on our Facebook page, we’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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The “weaning window” and why it’s so important

Posted on 12 August 2016 by Admin

 

 

Among the many, many bits of advice you’ll likely get when weaning your baby - “Try purees first!” “Don’t touch purees! Let them feed themselves!” “No, spoon-feeding is best!” - there’s one you really will want to pay a bit of attention to.

It has to do with choosing the right time to start the weaning process, and it’s important for a good reason. You see, it turns out your baby’s sensory development gives you what some have called a “window of opportunity” for introducing them to a wide variety of food flavours.

That sounds rather technical, but it’s really just a period of time when your baby is particularly open to trying new flavours – which also makes it a great chance to add lots of tasty new favourites to your baby’s menu. Babies in this stage of development are often happy to try tastes they may resist later on, particularly some of the more savoury/bitter flavours found in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables.

This “prime time” for new tastes is different for each baby, but it usually falls somewhere between six and nine months of age. It’s not truly a “window” in the sense of a one-time opportunity that can be “missed” - so please try not to agonise about whether you’ve timed it right – but it’s an opportunity that’s worth keeping an eye out for.

The trick lies in spotting the signs that your baby is interested in and developmentally ready for trying solids. Again, every baby is different, and you know your baby better than anyone - but once your baby is around 6 months (definitely not before 4 months), and you notice the tell-tale signs of readiness, it’s worth offering a first taste of real food to see how your baby reacts.

Of course, introducing a wide variety of tastes to your little one can’t guarantee that you’ll sail right through the dreaded picky-eating phase later on – but it’s less likely!

 

Have you offered your baby any solid food yet? How did it go? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page, or in the comments section below!

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Organic is the name of the game these days – especially for babies!

Posted on 28 July 2016 by Admin

We modern parents are pretty savvy customers. Thanks to our friend Google – and plentiful advice from friends and knowledgeable strangers on Twitter and Facebook – we pretty much know what’s what in the world of babies.

What to do about a fever? Check. Best place to snag bargain baby clothes in the sales? Check. You name it, and if it relates to our kids, we probably know about it.

Which goes some way to explaining the phenomenal popularity of organic baby food here in the UK. According to Brandwatch, British parents spend more than £600 million on baby food and milk annually – and nearly 60% of the baby food market is spent on organic baby foods. Only 3% of the milks market is organic, and that’s just us!

Parents tell us that it’s because they trust organic to be the safest, purest choice for their babies, and we couldn’t agree more! In fact, we’ve been saying exactly the same thing for 60 years – ever since Georg Hipp took what was then the very unusual step of converting his family farm in Bavaria to organic farming practices.

Just like any other family, we want our children and grandchildren to grow up happy and healthy in a world that’s worth living in. That’s why we’ve always been dedicated to sustainability – protecting nature, truly caring more about the environment and keeping our farmland rich and nutritious for the future. 

Our partner farms grow only the best varieties of organic produce for babies – hand-selected for their optimum nutrition and low acid content - and we regularly inspect each farm to make sure they meet our own strict organic standards (which are often even tougher than the EU standard required by law!)

Yes, other baby food brands might think we’re a bit mad to take such painstaking care with our ingredients – but we don’t mind. (Lots of people doubted Georg Hipp at the time, too, but that didn’t stop him! And 2 generations later our philosophy is unchanged.)

After all, we’ve been pioneers in the organic movement since 1956 for one simple reason: we truly believe that organic is the best possible option for our children, and our planet.

 

Why do you choose organic for your baby? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page or Twitter feed! Use the hashtag #hipporganicbabies so we can find your post.

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Five things you probably didn’t know about HiPP

Posted on 18 July 2016 by Lindsay


 

Here at HiPP, we create some pretty amazing organic products for babies. But did you know how much more we do? Here are five things you probably didn’t know:

1.  We have a pet falcon. Well, not so much a pet, really – the beautiful peregrine falcon who resides at our German head office & factory is more of an employee, in charge of pigeon control. We think he does a wonderful job! 

2. We’re landlords to lots of wildlife. We go to great lengths to create welcoming homes for a huge variety of creatures, from bird and bat nesting boxes to insect hotels to lizard houses. Many of these tiny tenants return the favour by ridding our crops of lots of insect pests – and they help keep the local ecosystem nicely balanced, too.

Strategies that work particularly well on our model farm get shared with our 8,000 partner farms, so they can take advantage of our research to improve their methods.

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3. We plant non-food crops, too. Of course, it takes lots of land to grow enough fruit and veg to make all our delicius HiPP foods – but we make sure to set aside areas on each farm for growing other types of plants as well. Native wildflowers and grasses provide the perfect habitat for local wildlife, and our farmers often sow “green manure” crops which are then plowed back into the soil to increase its fertility. We even select an annual “Tree of the Year” to plant in our growing woodland at HiPP HQ, and a German campaign we led several years ago led to the planting of around 5,000 more trees in deforested areas.

 

4. We have our own Alpine spring. After going to such great lengths to avoid chemical pesticides and pollutants in our farming, we wanted to make sure the water we use to cook those delicious fruits and veggies was just as clean – so we dug a well. And this is not your average well –  the Georg HippSpring draws pure, natural Alpine water from more than 150 metres below our production facility in Germany. The water from our well is incredibly clean – which makes it perfect to use in cooking our baby food. 


5. We teach fish to climb. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds! A lot of the electricity we use comes from renewable sources, one of which is hydropower. Because hydropower plants work by changing the flow of rivers, migrating fish may find it difficult or impossible to pass. The solution is to install “fish ladders” - a series of linked pools that the fish can use to climb past the power plant.

Did any of these surprise you? Let us know in the comments section below! Or visit www.hipp.co.uk to learn more.

 

 

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