HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

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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You’re pregnant – congratulations! (Now what?)

Posted on 4 March 2016 by Admin

 

All you veteran mums out there - do you remember the moment you first realised you were pregnant? Chances are, it’s permanently emblazoned on your memory – because whether your pregnancy is a much-anticipated, longed-for event or a total surprise, seeing that little blue line or hearing those words from your GP is a moment that changes your life forever.

First, there’s the adrenaline rush – the unmistakable sensation of a major milestone being reached. Many women simply sit and stare at the test for a few long moments, as if it might change if they take their eyes off of it. And the monologue in your head might sound something like this:

Right, so I’m pregnant. We’re going to be parents. Oh my, I’m going to be a MUM. Like, with a REAL BABY. But I’ve never even changed a nappy! This is real - WE’RE GOING TO BE PARENTS. OMG, what on earth do I do now??

As soon as the shock has worn off a bit, and you’ve told your partner the happy news, however, you’ll probably find yourself with questions. Lots and lots of questions. And one of them will probably be, “Who should I call first?”

Of course you’ll likely want to tell your best friend and your parents…and your partner’s parents, but don’t put the phone down just yet: if you’ve taken a home pregnancy test, you’ll also want to ring your GP surgery to make an appointment. They will set you up for antenatal care with a midwife (including those exciting ultrasound scans, when you’ll get your first glimpse of your little one!) You’ll have up to 10 appointments over the course of your pregnancy, to make sure your baby is growing well and answer any questions you have.

After those three exciting calls, though, you may want to pause for thought. Yes, you now have the biggest, most delicious secret of your life... but many experienced mums would advise you to keep the news fairly close to your chest, at least at first.

Why? For one thing, if you’re working, you’ll want to make a well-thought-out decision about when to inform your boss (see our article on Your Rights at Work for more information on this). The other reason is more sobering, but still worth considering: while they are still rare, 80% of all miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. So while you’ll almost certainly want to tell your family and close friends, you may decide you’d rather not post the announcement on Facebook or Instagram just yet.

 

A few other things you may want to do in the early weeks of your pregnancy:

  • Think ahead. Yes, it’s still nearly 10 months until your little bundle of joy will actually make an entrance, but regardless, one of the first things you’ll be asked is where you want to have your baby. Would you rather have a hospital birth, or do you prefer the more homely environment of a birth centre? Or perhaps you’d like to aim for a homebirth? You’ll probably have lots of questions while you’re considering, but that’s okay – your midwife is a great resource to help fill in any gaps in your knowledge.
  • Write things down. It’s a great idea to keep a notebook handy, whether you use it to jot down questions for your midwife or muse about what you’re feeling, or your hopes and dreams for your baby-to-be... any and all of it will be precious later on, particularly when your child asks you what it was like when he or she was in your tummy!
  • Get out the camera. Documenting your changing body is a fun way to mark the weeks of your pregnancy; many women take a weekly or monthly shot in the same position to show that gorgeous bump getting bigger. Photo printing websites like Snapfish offer pregnancy photo book formats that will turn your pics into a lovely keepsake (and if you join our HiPP Baby Club, you can order one for half price!)
  • Give some thought to how you’re going to ‘eat for two.’ Granted, in the first couple of months of pregnancy food may be the last thing you want to think about, but it’s worth having a quick look at the best foods to eat during pregnancy, and those that are best avoided. (After all, your appetite’s bound to come back sometime!) And if you’re not already taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, now’s definitely the time to start.
  • Follow along from the outside. Keeping track of what’s going on in your burgeoning belly is fascinating – for example, did you know that your baby’s tiny heart begins to beat as early as the sixth week of pregnancy? Our pregnancy week by week calendar gives you a glimpse into the amazing things happening inside!

 Most of all, though, any mother would tell you to try to relax and really enjoy this heady time – it’s unlike any other, and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life!

 Experienced mums, help the newbies out: what did you do – or wish you’d done – early in your pregnancy? If we’ve missed out on any great ideas, let us know in the comments section!

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Introducing lumps to your baby's diet

Posted on 16 March 2015 by Helen

Hi

During my monthly Facebook feeding clinics, parents often ask when’s the right time to introduce lumps to their baby’s diet, and ask for advice on what to do if baby won’t take them or appears to gag or choke on lumpier foods.   Some babies seem to find the move from pureed foods to foods with different textures relatively easy, whereas others can find this quite challenging and take a little longer mastering the new skill of controlling their mouth muscles and tongue in order to successfully chew foods. 

The important thing is to persevere with this stage of weaning as trying a whole range of tastes and textures during the second 6 months of life is necessary if we want children to eat a range of different foods as toddlers.  There appears to be a critical period in the second half of infancy, usually around 7-9 months, during which babies more readily accept new tastes and textures and babies not given lumps until after 9 months of age are more likely to be difficult, picky eaters later on.

To get babies moving onto different textured foods, you should start to mash rather than puree their foods from about 7 months.  Foods should contain some small soft lumps; adjust the consistency according to what your baby can cope with, aiming for more and more lumps and a coarser texture as you go.  Start by introducing soft lumps at first by mashing soft fruits, cooked vegetables or cooked pasta, perhaps with some mashed fish or pureed meat.  If on the other hand you are using bought baby foods, there are foods specifically designed for this stage of feeding and plenty of choice to choose from.  And don’t worry if your baby hasn’t got any teeth yet - they can still manage lumps using their hard gums!

Don’t be surprised if your baby spits out lumps to begin with, or if lumps get coughed back for more chewing – this is normal.  Babies are born with a ‘gag’ reflex, which prevents bits of food from being swallowed whole, and this reflex brings the food back up into baby’s mouth for more chewing.  Stay calm and be full of praise and encouragement as your baby learns their new skill.   To minimise the risk of choking, always supervise your baby when they’re around any food and make sure they’re sitting upright and able to support themselves whilst they’re eating.   Just in case, also have a look at the following link so you know what to do if your baby may actually be choking,

 http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/2300.aspx?categoryid=72

If you are worried about introducing your baby to lumpy foods, have a chat with your health visitor, or feel free to contact us as we are happy to help whenever we can.

All the best.

Helen

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