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
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
Breastfeeding and nutrition - what's best to eat?
In our recent survey, we asked HiPP Babyclub new mums what foods were their favourite snacks to give them energy; nearly a quarter of them said ‘CHOCOLATE’!!
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! Other foods that rated in the Top Ten were bananas, other fruits, cereal and cereal bars and nuts, so all this looks much better from a nutritionist’s point of view and goes to show that healthier foods can be popular too!
In the past I’ve been asked if there are any foods that can cause upsets for breastfed babies and should not be eaten. There are no definite foods/drinks that breastfeeding mums should avoid (apart from those mentioned below) as every mum and baby is different and will react differently to different foods, but if you suspect that a particular food you are eating is upsetting your baby, it’s a good idea if you talk to your health visitor or doctor about this before cutting this food out of your diet. You don’t want to restrict your diet unnecessarily and you don’t want to compromise your intake of any nutrients by doing so.
Of course, there are certain foods that you are advised to avoid if you are breastfeeding your baby. Small amounts
of whatever you eat or drink can pass into your breastmilk and then onto your baby. It’s a good idea to avoid too much caffeine, in drinks and chocolate, as it can stimulate your baby and keep them awake. An alcoholic drink now and again whilst you’re breastfeeding is not likely to do them or you any harm, but as small amounts of alcohol are transferred to the baby through breastmilk it is best not to drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week. And if you can delay breastfeeding until an hour or more after you’ve had a drink, this is better for them too as the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk gradually declines with time.
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