How much fruit and veg should baby eat a day?
I often get asked “how much fruit and veg should my baby be having a day?” For adults and older children the message is pretty clear and can be seen everywhere – on supermarket shelves, food labels, TV and magazine adverts, healthy eating literature, websites (see below) – eat 5 portions a day, each portion being 80g.
Visit the NHS website - 5 a day
Although fruits and vegetables are staple foods during weaning and it’s hard to imagine most babies not getting enough, as yet health departments in the UK haven’t quantified the recommended fruit and veg intakes for babies and so parents often don’t know whether their little ones are getting enough.
Fruit and veg are full of lots of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre, and to make sure your baby benefits from the full array of nutrients these foods have to offer it makes good sense to include lots of different types - a mix of green vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, green beans), yellow or orange vegetables (e.g. carrots, squash, swede, sweet potato), and fruits (e.g. apricots, mangoes, bananas, peaches). Include some fruit and veg at every meal if possible, and aim for 5 servings a day, but don’t worry if some days, especially at the start of weaning, this is less.
With regards to portion sizes for babies, official advice only says that the amount is smaller than the adult recommendation of 80g, but how much smaller? The Caroline Walker Trust has recently published advice on portion sizes for toddlers aged 1-4 years and they quote 40g fruit/veg as a portion. They are publishing advice on infant portion sizes later in the year but until this is available, my thinking is that 30-35g makes a sensible portion size. This equates to approximately half a small pear, apple, banana or peach; one small plum; one small carrot or parsnip; 3 cauliflower florets; 1 tablespoon peas. Most HiPP Organic baby foods contain 1-2 fruit or veg portions per jar or pot, so they can really help boost fruit and veg intakes.
Let me know whether you think your baby is getting enough.......
Best wishes - Helen
National Organic Fortnight - 4 reasons why organic is better
As well as having to judge when’s the right
age to start weaning, another issue that parents often ponder over is whether choosing organic is that important or not when deciding which foods to feed their babies. You’re probably thinking ‘this is the HiPP Organic website, they’re bound to say organic is best’, but I really think that it is, and here are four main reasons for this:
- Babies are more vulnerable to the effects of unwanted chemicals found in non-organic foods and will benefit from weaning foods containing no GM ingredients or harmful pesticides
- Organic food is food as nature intended, and I think it often tastes better
- Organic foods are often higher in essential nutrients e.g. vitamin C and antioxidant
- Organic foods are better for wildlife, animal welfare and the environment (see the following link to the Soil Association: http://bit.ly/bGHVnw)
Of course, a lot of mums I speak to don’t exclusively use HiPP organic baby foods for weaning their babies and I always suggest that parents offer a variety of different foods and lots of different tastes and textures when weaning. Home cooking is something I encourage too as it helps to get your baby used to the foods that you eat as a family (and although it may seem difficult to imagine at the start of weaning, this is probably where you want your baby to end up!).
To help you, we have a great selection of home-made recipes to try with your weaning baby, or have a go on our meal planner which gives home-cooked alternatives to try, as well as a HiPP products.
And of course, try and use organic ingredients when you can!
Bye for now! - Helen