HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

Zena's suitcase

Posted on 16 March 2015 by Zena

 

I don’t mind admitting that convenience plays a big part in my life, especially as a parent. That’s why when Hipp Organic offered to send Little Pudding a range of their weaning products I jumped at the chance to review them.

I like to cook for her, but I would struggle to give her the range and variety of foods without meals from brands like Hipp Organic.

To be honest, weaning hasn’t got of to the best start with Little Pudding as she has been quite poorly.  Just as we started she came down with a really sore throat which put her of the idea of swallowing altogether.  It has been great exploring the Hipp Organic range to expose her to a range of taste to get her slowly interested again.

If I’d have been cooking all her food, I would have found this whole process very disheartening as she really is only happy to try very small amounts at a time at the moment.

Her favourite is the apple and cranberry breakfast, and I like it too as it last for 3 days in the fridge which suits the amount she is eating perfectly.  The labelling is really clear, telling you if it’s gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, if it contains naturally occurring sugars and how many portions of fruit and veg each jar contains.

I’m really impressed with the range of healthy meals Hipp Organic offer at all stages of weaning, and that the range includes pouches that are really handy for feeding from while out and about.

Zena's suitcase


 

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Managing your stress during your pregnancy

Posted on 16 March 2015 by Amber

 

 

Managing stress during pregnancy

For most mums-to-be, pregnancy is a happy and exciting time.  However, for some, pregnancy can be a source of stress and anxiety.  We all know about the importance of physical health during pregnancy, but we can be less likely to consider the effects of emotional health.

Experiencing occasional stress and anxiety during pregnancy is very normal, and for many women, these feelings will come and go.  However, for around 15% or pregnant women, it can be more serious, and potentially harmful.

Rest assured that most women will go onto have a healthy pregnancy and baby even if they’re stressed. 

But if you’re feeling stressed and anxious all the time, don’t struggle on alone, ask your doctor or midwife for help.  There’s some evidence that continuous high levels of stress may have adverse effects on your baby.  It’s thought that the stress hormone, cortisol, can cross the placenta and impact the baby’s brain development.  High levels of chronic stress can also increase your chance of premature labour or a low birth weight baby.

Whist you mustn’t feel guilty or be hard on yourself, trying to overcome your stress or seeking help if you need to, will be beneficial for both you and your baby.

Here are some positive steps you can take to reduce your stress during pregnancy:

Talk about it
Sharing your concerns and feelings with your partner, friends, or family will help relieve some of your anxiety.  Don’t bottle things up.  Turning to others for support and sharing your concerns can really help you feel better. 

If you have worries about your baby’s wellbeing, or a personal matter, you can always turn to your caregiver.  There are many resources out there, so if you are honest about how you feel, you are more likely to get the support you need.

Talking to other mums-to-be can be another excellent source of support, as they’re probably experiencing the same anxieties as you are.  There are plenty of antenatal, exercises or mum-to-be classes available, where you can meet others in the same position as you.

Rest and relaxation
Make slowing down a priority.  You need to be kind to yourself and allow time to rest without feeling guilty.  Treat yourself to some ‘you’ time and put your feet up, have a long bath, or read a good book.  If you feel exhausted, go to bed early or take a nap if you can.  Growing a baby is tiring work and it’s important to listen to your body and get all the rest you need.

Complementary therapies are another great way to unwind.  Reflexology or massage in particular can be a wonderful way to de-stress.  Many spa and beauty salons provide pregnancy treatments, but if you don’t want to put money aside, you can always ask your partner or a close friend or family member to give you a back, neck or foot massage.

Deep-breathing exercises, yoga, or stretching are wonderful to relieve built up stress and tension.  You can teach yourself meditation, breathing exercises and visualisation techniques, they’re free, and you can do them anywhere.  These are ways of relaxing by concentrating your mind on one thing and they’re often used in yoga.

Try to find a pregnancy yoga class near you.  However, if you can’t join a class for whatever reason, there are many pregnancy yoga DVDs available, allowing you to practice in the comfort of your own home.

Look after yourself
If you’re used to caring for others, give your all at work, or find it hard to say “no”, making yourself a priority may seem unnatural, or even selfish.  But looking after yourself is an essential part of looking after your baby.  Now’s as good a time as any to get rid of the notion that you can do it all.  Practice saying “no” and get used to the idea of asking your friends and family for help. 

Take good care of your body and your mental health will improve too.  Do your best to eat healthy food, drink plenty of water and take regular gentle exercise such as walking or swimming. 

Laughter is one of the body’s best ways of relaxing, so meet up with friends, go out for a meal or watch a film at the cinema.

Pregnancy is also a great time to treat yourself to all the treatments you don’t normally splash out on or have time for.  If your bump gets too big to paint your toe nails, have a pedicure, or create your own pampering session at home if you’re saving money.

Prepare for the birth
If the prospect of giving birth is worrying you, learning more about what happens during labour can make you feel more in control and less anxious.  Understanding the process, stages of labour and most importantly, your choices, can put your mind at rest.

Being prepared can really help relieve stress.  Antenatal classes are a great way of being well informed, and if you’re having your baby at a hospital or birth centre, you may be able to have a tour of the delivery suite, or an online tour should be available.  Having a birth plan written up is also one less thing to worry about. 

Speak to your midwife about your worries.  Most likely they are completely normal and you won’t be the only woman having had the same anxieties.  If your fear of birth is so overwhelming, the right support may help you overcome your doubts.  Hypnobirthing is also a great way of feeling positive about the birth.

Money worries
Times are financially difficult for many people at the moment, and with a baby on the way, it can cause considerable stress for some.  But try not to worry; a baby doesn’t actually need that much in the early stages.  Try and write a list of the essential things you really need and stick to it.  You’ll also probably be pleasantly surprised by how much you can borrow, or get things in great condition second hand.

Make sure you know about your entitlements regarding maternity pay, and you may also be entitled to other supplementary benefits too.  Speak to your midwife as they may be able to help you with equipment grants or pointing you in the direction of Charities that will give you good quality cots and prams for example.

What if your stress continues?
If you’re extremely anxious, feel unable to cope or manage your stress, or have a specific reason to be concerned about your baby’s health, consult with your care giver.  They may be able to recommend some professional counselling.  Some women can also experience depression during pregnancy, and this can be treated, so talking to your doctor or midwife can really help.

 

 

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Holiday tastes for the littlest ones

Posted on 19 December 2014 by Lindsay

Christmas is a time of joy, of course, but if you're in the middle of weaning your baby right now, you might be forgiven for also feeling a tiny bit unlucky – after all, it's not the easiest thing to be pureeing organic pumpkin whilst simultaneously preparing turkey and trimmings for twelve.

But fear not, wise parent:  Christmas is actually the perfect time to add some amazing flavours to your baby's repertoire. (And if you're way too busy for the food processor right now, that's okay – we're here to help!)

Taste matters – now and for the future!

Flavour is definitely important – in fact, it's one of the key parts of weaning, and it's something to keep in mind from the very beginning.

Here's why. Your baby is born with a taste for sweet, high-fat foods – not coincidentally, like breast milk – because they provide lots of energy for that growing little body. Young babies also tend to be wary of bitter tastes initially, which is probably a protective instinct to keep them from putting mouldy or poisonous things in their mouths. (Clever little sprouts!)

When weaning time comes around, though, it’s a golden opportunity to expand your baby’s taste horizons. At around 6 months, babies tend to be more open to new tastes and textures than they may be later on – and several studies have found that introducing stronger flavours early on has a direct effect on babies’ food preferences later in life, as well as their tendency toward fussy eating habits.

In short, if you want a toddler who noshes happily on broccoli or loves a mild curry, it’s best to introduce them to plenty of exciting flavours from the start. Of course, these new tastes are a bit of a shock at first – keep the camera handy, as the faces they make are often priceless! But if your baby refuses a new food that’s nutritious, keep trying.  Babies are more likely to accept a new taste the more they are exposed to it – and a bit of enthusiasm and praise from Mum and Dad will often help the spinach (or swede, or parsnip) go down.

Don't skip the lumps

Texture is important, too: one study of nearly 8,000 children showed that if babies were introduced to lumpy foods before nine months of age, they ate significantly more food groups at age 7 (including a whopping 10 kinds of fruits and veggies). And those lumps and bumps also help your baby develop the mouth and tongue muscles that will soon come in handy for talking!

Of course, nothing you do can guarantee your baby will skip the dreaded picky-eating stage, and most toddlers do end up with a few ‘difficult’ foods during this time. But offering plenty of variety early on is your best bet – and it will help set your baby up for a lifetime of healthy, happy eating to come.

Holiday tastes for your baby to try – and a few to avoid

At this time of year, most of us have foods in the house that don't get a look in the rest of the year – and that's a shame! Many of them are perfect for your baby to taste as well. Here are a few:

Brussels sprouts: If you're roasting or steaming some sprouts for the adults, try pureeing or fork-mashing a few for your baby, too. Brussels sprouts and other brassica vegetables are ultra-healthy, so giving your little one a taste for them now is a move that will definitely pay off down the road!

Turkey: Mild and full of protein, turkey makes great baby food. Older babies can hold and gnaw on larger bits, and even the littlest ones can taste some breast meat, maybe pureed with a bit of breast or formula milk (and some roast pumpkin, if you have any!)

Cranberry relish: A tiny bit of this zingy condiment will be sure to get your baby's taste-buds tingling! Offer a bit on a clean spoon or finger and watch the reaction...

Mash: Set a bit aside before adding any salt, and let it cool – your baby will probably be quite happy to dig in even without a spoon (if you can handle the mess factor!)

Cheese: A holiday cheeseboard is a great chance to let your baby try bits of stronger flavours like hard or pasteurised goat's cheese and aged Cheddar – just cut off tiny slivers and let the fun begin!

However, not everything on your festive table is baby-friendly: you'll want to avoid anything that's got alcohol in it, obviously (so no plum pudding or egg nog!), and steer clear of choking hazards like whole nuts, grapes and chipolatas until your baby is older and very comfortable with finger foods.

And of course, if you have a dozen for dinner and it all gets a bit too hectic to puree, we've got your back: My First Sunday Dinner is a moreish blend of healthy veg and roast turkey, perfect for an easy and nutritious holiday meal!

What's on your baby's festive menu this year?

 

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Wean supreme

Posted on 2 August 2012 by Helen

Hi Everyone,

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to an event at Bill’s, a lovely rustic cafe/restaurant in the middle of London’s Covent Garden. I've added a photo of me with some of teh HiPP team!

In amongst all the tempting produce and tantalising recipes ordinarily available in this friendly eating-house, HiPP Organic had displayed a wide selection of their organic baby foods, drinks and snacks together with some lovely fresh fruits and vegetables (another photo below for you to see).  It looked great!  Also invited were a number of journalists and bloggers working in parenting media who had come along to find out more about the HiPP range and the nutritional benefits they can offer babies and young children. 

Amongst the displayed foods were some of the company’s new products that have just come onto the market.  The four new Savoury Pouches each contain 1-2 child-sized portions of vegetables and are also a natural source of omega 3 (organic rapeseed oil), providing at least 25% of a baby’s daily omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) requirement.  Omega 3 fats play a vital role in brain and nerve development and it’s really important to make sure babies get enough in their diets, but with so few good natural sources this can be quite a challenge so these new products should be popular.  Two of these pouches (Creamy tomato & leek pasta and Scrummy Spaghetti Bolognese) are for Stage 2 and what sets them apart from the competition is that they contain small lumps rather than just being mashed.  Encouraging babies to chew from around 7 months is really important and these products should help parents at this key stage in development.

Other new products on display were the ‘My first yogurts’ in raspberry and banana flavours.  The little pots are perfect for parents when they’re out and about with their little ones as they do not need to be chilled – a perfect snack for slipping into a handbag or changing bag.  Providing 23% RDA for calcium in 100g (2 pots) these baby yogurts could be a valuable addition to the diet as well.  They taste great too, as was discovered by a little girl accompanying her journalist mum!

This was a really enjoyable morning and I don’t think I was alone in finding it extremely valuable and informative.  It was a great opportunity for me to meet and chat to some lovely people who are just as interested in child nutrition as I am.  A rare occasion!

Until next time....
Helen

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Are organic foods better for your baby?

Posted on 7 September 2011 by Helen

Hi,

It’s Organic September - time to celebrate everything about organic!  I’ve worked with HiPP for over 12 years now and during this time I have read a lot about organic farming and organic food production and in my opinion there are four main reasons why it is better to choose organic:

1.    Babies are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of unwanted chemicals found in non-organic foods and will benefit from foods containing no GM ingredients or harmful pesticides. 
2.    Organic food is food as nature intended, and often tastes better
3.    Organic foods are often higher in essential nutrients e.g. vitamin C and antioxidants
4.    Organic foods are better for wildlife, animal welfare and the environment.

Some official UK bodies are yet to be convinced on the benefits of organic foods, but there is growing  evidence in Europe and internationally that there are nutritional benefits in choosing organic versus non-organic foods.

The following websites give more information on organic foods and I hope once you’ve had a look at these you will agree that organic foods may well be better for all of us, our wildlife and our environment -

What do you think - do you believe organic foods are better for you and/or your baby? Have you changed your mind on this recently?  Or do you think organic foods are an unaffordable or unnecessary luxury?  We’d love to hear your views.

All the best,
Helen

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