Introducing toddlers to cows’ milk
At 1 year of age, although they need less of it, milk is still an important part of a toddler’s diet and provides them with valuable protein, energy, vitamins and minerals such as calcium. They should be getting about ½-¾ pint (about 300-400 ml) each day. You shouldn’t let them drink much more than this as it reduces the appetite for other valuable foods.
Toddlers are often switched from formula milk feeds to whole cows’ milk at the age of one. But is this the best thing to do or are there any benefits in sticking with formula milk instead? Cows’ milk can give your toddler lots of the nutrients that he or she needs, but one thing it lacks that is found in much higher amounts in formula milks is iron.
Toddlers are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency. It is estimated that 1 in 8 toddlers in the UK may be anaemic, with the problem being even greater than this in some groups. Babies are born with enough iron stores to last until about 6 months of age and after this they rely on food sources, but some toddlers may not eat enough of these iron-containing foods to meet their needs. Fussy eating during toddlerhood can certainly make the situation worse.
If your toddler is a fussy eater or their intake of iron-containing foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, lentils and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals is limited, then they could very well benefit from the continued use of a formula milk such as a Growing up Milk after 1 year. These Growing up Milks usually contain 40 times more iron than whole cows’ milk. But this doesn’t mean that you can stop encouraging them to eat these other foods; variety is key to a healthier diet for your growing child.
Remember, if you are giving your toddler cows’ milk, don’t switch to semi-skimmed milk until they are at least two years old and only do this if they are a good eater and have a varied diet. Skimmed milk should not be given to children under five years old as it is too low in fat and energy.
Have a look at the HiPP Baby Club for more advice on milk and other drinks at this age.
Bye for now,
Tags: babies, baby, Babyclub, bottle feeding, dairy, drinks, healthy, Helen, Hipp Organic, milk, toddlers
Categories: About Hipp Organic, Baby development, Milk feeding
Night-time milk feeds
I've just come off a call from the mother of a 11 month old baby who keeps waking up at night wanting milk. She wanted to know what she should do.
The first thing I did was to reassure her that this is quite a common problem and she's not alone. Babies often wake up a number of times throughout the night. Their crying might make you think they are hungry and needing a feed, but most babies don't need night time feeds after the age of about 6-8 months from a nutritional point of view. They should be getting enough energy and nutrition from their milk and foods during their day to meet their requirements.
The aim is to get them to fall back to sleep again without needing the cue of being fed first. Although it may seem much easier to feed them than trying to work out another way of settling them (especially if they are breastfed), feeding your baby during the night won't help them sleep better; in fact, it may prolong the problem and make it worse.
When they wake during the night, you should make sure they are comfortable and then try to settle them in a way that suits you and your baby. There are various things you might want to try –
- Make sure you have a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it whenever possible. If your baby wakes at night, try to be consistent at these times too
- If your baby wakes up at night, give them a few minutes to settle themselves before going to them. If they keep crying, talk to and comfort them, but don't pick them up, take them to your bed, or feed them. If absolutely necessary, offer a drink of water, not milk.
- Let them find their own way back to sleep using self-comforting techniques such as thumb sucking, cuddling a soft toy or comfort blanket.
I know it probably sounds easier said than done, but it usually works if you stick with it. You can find more advice and tips on helping your baby get a good night's sleep on the HiPP Baby Club.
Until next time...
Tags: night time, sleep, babies, baby, Babyclub, breast feeding, drinks, Helen, Hipp Organic, milk
Categories: Baby development, Milk feeding
It's Christmas time!
What an exciting time of year this is. I have to confess I’m a little bit sad that my 3 kids are getting older and some of the magic surrounding Christmas has diminished. But for those of you celebrating your baby’s first Christmas, what a fun time you have ahead!
For some babies, it might only be the Christmas tree lights and the wrapping paper that capture their imagination, but for others that are already enjoying a mixed diet now can be the time to introduce them to the new taste of Christmas-time favourites, such as cranberries, Brussels sprouts (you either love ‘em or hate ‘em!), bread sauce, and of course turkey.
To make life a bit easier, your baby can have lots of the same food that the rest of the family will be eating for Christmas lunch, so take some cooked veg, e.g. potatoes, parsnips, carrots, Brussels, peas, with some turkey breast, and then puree, mash or chop these to the correct consistency for your baby, adding some of baby’s usual milk if necessary. It is best to avoid gravies as these tend to be a bit too high in salt for young babies, and likewise it might be best to cook your dinner without salt and then add this if necessary once you’ve takenyour baby’s portion away. You might also find it easier if you (or a willing relative) feed your baby before everyone else sits down for their Christmas meal, so that they aren’t hungry and hopefully you can have a more relaxing mealtime.
Another thing to bear in mind on Christmas day is that although you might well find that one massive meal in the middle of the day is enough for you, your baby will still need feeding at normal mealtimes and it’s at times like this that HiPP Organic baby foods can be really convenient. Have a look at the HiPP Organic range.
Have a great time over the festive season and wishing you all the best for 2011.
When to introduce finger foods
I’m often asked when it is safe for babies to have ‘finger foods’. As soon as a baby is able to handle these foods properly and shows an interest in doing so is probably the best answer, and for most babies the fine finger control needed develops at around 7 months of age. Introducing some independent feeding using foods that baby can safely eat and which involve some chewing is fun and will help with speech development and the overall progress of babies towards family-type meals. Don’t worry if your baby hasn’t got any teeth yet, their gums are hard enough for them to manage many finger foods quite easily now.
You can choose a variety of nutritious finger foods of different shapes and colours for your baby to enjoy, offering some at each mealtime alongside their normal meal. Start off with softer foods such as pieces of ripe fruit e.g. banana, melon, mango, pear, or lightly cooked vegetables e.g. carrot sticks, broccoli florets, baby sweetcorn, and gradually as they become more competent you can try other foods like those listed below:-
- fingers of pitta bread, toast or bread, rice cakes
- cooked pasta shapes
- cooked pieces of chicken or turkey, or fish
- quarters of hard-boiled egg, or scrambled egg
- grated cheese or cubes of cheese
- dried fruits e.g. apricots, raisins, sultanas
- raw vegetables e.g. tomatoes, cucumber, peppers
- roasted vegetable pieces, e.g. parsnip, carrot, sweet potato
For a selection of dip recipes to try with some finger foods, have a look at the weaning recipes on the HiPP Baby Club.
HiPP Organic offers a variety of finger foods for different stages, including Little Nibbles Rice Cakes for your baby to enjoy.
But remember, always stay with your baby and make sure they are sitting up straight while they’re eating, and avoid giving hard foods such as raw carrot, apple or whole grapes until you are confident that they can handle them without the risk of choking.
Hope it goes well.
Tags: babies, baby, Babyclub, eating, food, healthy, Helen, Hipp Organic, nutrition, organic, recipe, snacks, weaning, finger foods
Categories: About Hipp Organic, Baby development, Weaning
Breastfeeding when returning to work
Someone asked me on Twitter if you can continue to breastfeed when returning to work and the answer is definitely yes.
Obviously it will depend on how many hours that you work and the times of the day that you will not be around to feed your baby that will determine how you will work around this. It will also depend on the age of your baby as to how workable this will be, with babies over 6 months being easier to leave with bottles generally as they are getting used to foods other than milk at this time too.
If possible you may well choose to breastfeed your baby before you go to work and then leave either expressed breastmilk or formula to be given to your baby at other feeds until you return from work. You will then be able to continue to breastfeed for the rest of the day.
It is important to remember that the volume of breastmilk your body produces is determined by the level of demand, so if you're giving your baby less of your milk the amount you produce will also reduce. Expressing milk will help to maintain this supply but if you are giving formula feeds then this supply will diminish. However, combination feeding can be very successful as long as the demand for breastfeeds continues.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.
Have a nice weekend,