Getting enough iron in baby's diet
Did you know that the iron stores
babies are born with are often depleted by around 6 months of age? Unless the diet contains enough iron to replenish these stores babies and young children will be at risk of becoming iron deficient? Anaemia (iron deficiency) is particularly a problem when weaning onto a mixed diet is delayed and large volumes of milk continue to be given at 8 months of age and beyond. Formula fed babies are likely to have their iron stores better preserved than breastfed babies, with the problem arising with babies receiving 6 or more breastfeeds per day or cow’s milk instead of formula as their main milk drink.
Too much milk and iron deficiency levels in babies
For all babies, a variety of iron-containing weaning foods should be introduced from the age of 6 months to safeguard against iron deficiency. Meat and poultry-containing weaning foods can in fact be given from the start of weaning (before 6 months if babies are starting between 4-6 months), although often parents will choose to give cereal and fruit/vegetable based foods first. The iron found in meat, poultry and fish (known as ‘haem iron’) is better absorbed than the iron found in fortified cereals, vegetables, beans and pulses, so it makes sense to introduce these haem iron-rich foods as soon as possible. To help with the absorption of the ‘non haem iron’ found in these other foods it is important to serve foods containing vitamin C at the s
ame meal. Alternatively, there are a selection of manufactured baby foods like HiPP Organic foods containing meat or poultry that can be used at different stages of weaning to boost iron intakes. Have you got any good weaning recipes containing meat or poultry that you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you!
Bye for now! - Helen
Tags: HiPP Organic, baby, born, iron, eating, recipe, weaning, food, nutrition, Helen
Categories: About Hipp Organic, Baby development, Milk feeding, Weaning
When is best to start weaning?
I’ve just come off a call from a really confused mum. Her son has been showing lots of signs that he is probably ready to start solids, but he’s only 19 weeks old and she had read that she should wait till he was 6 months before giving him any foods. She wanted to know if she could start with some foods now as he really doesn’t seem content with just his milk feeds anymore.
I get asked this sort of question on a very regular basis and of course there isn’t a standard answer that applies to every baby. Although the Department of Health recommendation is that weaning should start at around 6 months, some babies might be ready earlier than this. One purpose of weaning onto solids is to provide extra energy and nutrients when milk doesn’t supply enough to sustain normal growth and optimal health and development any more. If there are signs that a baby is hungry between milk feeds or is demanding milk feeds more often, they may well be ready for solids, and in fact to delay the introduction of solids might actually compromise their optimal growth and development. In this particular case, I suggested to mum that she could start offering some baby rice mixed with some of his usual milk at one mealtime a day for a few days and then take it from there. There’s lots of advice on weaning on the links below -
Or download our handy guide to the first four weeks of weaning
Of course, it’s important to remember that weaning shouldn’t start too early (not before 17 weeks/4 months), and equally, delaying weaning beyond 6 months of age isn’t recommended either as it can increase the risk of nutrient and energy deficiencies, such as iron deficiency anaemia and rickets.
Are you unsure if your baby’s ready for weaning, when did you start weaning, what do you think about current weaning recommendations?.......We’d love to know.
Best wishes - Helen
New Mums - how do you restart your eating habits?
For all you new mums out there, you’ve probably realised by now what a tiring business being a new mum is!
A good, varied and balanced diet will help to make sure you have the energy and nutrients needed to fuel the hard work being a new mum entails!
You don’t need to eat anything special, nor do you need to eat a lot more food than normal, just a healthy range of foods, including plenty of fruit and veg, starchy carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals), protein foods (e.g. lean meat, fish, eggs, beans and pulses), and dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurts, etc.). You should also make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids – at least 1.2litres per day is recommended (6-8 glasses) - and the advice to always have a drink beside you when you sit down to breastfeed is a really good idea.
Make sure you avoid eating too many foods which are high in sugar, such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks. Although they will give your body an instant energy rush when you eat them, after a short while your blood sugar levels will drop, and with them your energy levels too. This can make you feel irritable, more tired and lethargic. Although these sugary foods might be very tempting, keep them as a special treat and when you need something sweet, eat some fruit instead.
Next time, I’ll be talking about the foods that you’ve enjoyed as an energy boost and what foods you should avoid whilst breastfeeding.
Best wishes! - Helen
After Baby is born...
For those of you that have recently had your baby – Congratulations! Of course you’ve got plenty of things to be thinking about now that your baby’s arrived, but it’s really important that you give some thought to what foods you are eating.
29% of respondents from our HiPP Baby Club Survey said they felt more hungry as a new mum, so I would try and keep a selection of healthy snacks to hand to keep yourself ticking over between meals.
Recently, we have been working on a range of recipe booklets for mums-to-be, new mums, babies and toddlers. When
I was looking for recipes for the new mums’ recipe book I really tried to concentrate on keeping the recipes quick and easy to prepare and full of nutritious organic ingredients so that I could be confident that they would supply lots of wholesome nourishment.
If you would like a copy of this recipe book or any of the others in the series join the HiPP Baby Club and we’ll be sure to send one out to you.
Best wishes! - Helen
Tags: HiPP Organic, baby, born, eating, recipe, prepare, food, nutrition, Helen
Categories: About Hipp Organic, Pregnancy, Weaning