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Archive for Nutrition

Introducing Egg

By Jan Murray

egg-gry

The introduction of egg has recently changed.

Babies used to be given cooked egg yolk at around 8 months and cooked egg white around 11 months. From research (references through link) it is now suggested that cooked egg be given (in small amounts) to babies before 6 months of age.

Egg is best give to babies initially in very small amounts (little fingernail size) then increase as tolerated. Eggs are potentially allergic but a reaction doesn’t necessarily mean allergy, it could mean a sensitivity or intolerance to the amount given at the time. Often there are other factors (environmental or social) that add stress to the body making food intolerance levels lower.

egg-allergy

This 6 month old baby was enjoying fruit and vegetables and lentils and had no known family history of allergy to egg. His parents ate eggs with no allergic reactions and he was breast fed.  This rash occurred within a few hours after he was given two teaspoons of scrabbled egg mid-morning. It resolved next day and didn’t worry him in any other way. He’ll have another try in a week or two in a smaller quantity.

Research has shown there is possibly a ‘window of opportunity’ between 4 – 7 months for foods to be introduced with further suggestion that withholding foods could increase allergic response.

It is recommended that babies be introduced to solid foods while they have the immune protection of breast milk.

More advice on infant feeding in ‘taste it’

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. Jan publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.

Don’t Force Your Baby or Toddler to Eat or Drink

aversion.jpg

by Jan

There can be any number of reasons why babies and toddlers refuse to eat or drink. But continually forcing them to take something into their mouth can create a negative emotion towards the experience of eating. Overtime, this recurring negative event becomes a conditioned response to the act of eating, even if the food is normally enjoyed. This is known as feeding aversion.

Babies and toddlers learn skills and perform tasks best when they are relaxed and enjoying themselves. If drinking or eating causes babies and toddlers to become frightened or stressed it sets up a negative feeling. This can become an ongoing feeding aversion. Some of the situations that could create an aversion include:

  • Force feeding—making babies and toddlers take in food or drink against their will
  • Choking episodes—where babies and toddlers have swallowed something that occluded the airway requiring help to be dislodged
  • A stressful environment while feeding such as loud angry talking or fighting
  • Discomfort or pain is often the first reason explored by professionals when babies and toddlers are presented with a feeding aversion. However, in most cases, pain doesn’t usually just happen when feeding begins there is usually other signs of pain between feeds
  • Unpleasant but necessary medical interventions such as tube feeds
  • Hypersensitivity to texture, taste, smell or temperature—often linked to allergy or intolerance associated with particular foods and fluids.

A feeding aversion is constant and continues overtime. Some things that may suggest a feeding aversion are:

  • Appearing hungry but refuse to eat
  • Fussing and crying when bib is placed around the neck
  • Fussing and crying when placed into a feeding position or when the bottle is presented
  • Clamping their mouth shut and turning their head away from the breast, bottle, spoon or food
  • Skipping feeds or meals without distress
  • Only taking a few sips of liquid or a small portion of food offered before pulling away or arching their back and crying. (Back arching can also be a tired sign)
  • Only feeding while drowsy or asleep
  • Consuming less milk or food than expected for their age
  • Displaying poor growth and possibly diagnosed as ‘failure to thrive’.

Unresolved feeding aversion can lead to a break down in relationships between babies and toddlers and their parents. It may also make mothers feel inadequate or embarrassed to take their child out during a time that involves feeding.

Constant food refusal can lead to poor weight gain and a lack of important nutrients, which can lead to reduced energy and motivation to explore and discover their world. Rectify feeding problems by seeking professional advice early.

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.

Be Healthy From the Very First Mouthful

by Jan

Today, merely looking at a piece of cheesecake adds centimetres to my hips. Could this be linked to my poor childhood eating habits? Research reveals, yes.

Unfortunately, obesity is not just a physical problem restricting movement but it leads to the body breaking down with conditions such as liver disease, heart disease and diabetes. Add to this low self esteem and social awkwardness leading to relationship challenges and behaviour disorders and the future looks pretty bleak.

One in four children suffers obesity in Australia today. As quoted by Jamie Oliver at TED awards “these children are looking at a future with a life expectancy 10 years less than their parents”. Statistically, diet related disease is fast approaching as the number one killer and is a generational and global problem.

Obesity is a preventable disease largely due to the following four areas:

One: The increase consumption of processed and takeaway foods. Everything needs to be quick or better still instant and readily available with minimal preparation. I am not just talking about teenagers; it is starting with babies. 

Two: A poor understanding of natural foods and why they are important for good health. Children start their life with canned and packaged foods with no involvement in the preparation or culture around healthy eating.

Three: Minimal outside play. We live in a community with larger houses and smaller backyards and the fear of paedophiles and kidnappers in our streets. Parks can have hidden needles on the ground leaving inside activities a safer more appealing option.

Four: Tired parents who are working and stressed keeping up with the demands of life and financial pressure, take the easy option for pre prepared foods. Children are often tired and cranky after being in care and getting home late. Giving them what they demand isn’t always the healthiest option but it prevents arguments.

Here are four easy steps to start a healthy future for your baby or child

One: Limit or better still avoid highly processed and packaged foods containing preservatives.

Two: Decrease their likelihood of developing obesity and related diseases by limiting or avoiding simple carbohydrates and refined sugars which are stored as fat if not used.

Three: Encourage plenty of supervised playtime in the fresh air. Create bigger backyards.

Four: Take control. Shopping shelves are stacked with nutritionally lacking foods but it is you who chooses what stays out and what goes in your trolley.

When you familiarize babies and children with whole foods eaten at regular intervals with daily physical activity, you are demonstrating healthy habits for life.

Weight gain and associated lifestyle changes creep up slowly and insidiously, robbing us of abundant life. Don’t do this to your babies and children. Be healthy from the very first mouthful. ‘taste it – easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’ will give you practical guidelines for a healthy start to your baby’s eating habits.

If you would like to include this article in your newsletter or website; you can, providing you include the following blurb with it:

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. 

Signs Baby is Ready for Solid Food

By Jan Murray

Studies show babies are not developmentally ready to tolerate solid foods before 17 weeks of age.

If your baby is hungry and not gaining weight before 17 weeks, you can increase their weight by providing extra breast feeds or introduce an additional bottle of Infant Formula. Seek professional guidance for the appropriate Infant Formula to use for your baby.

 

When to consider starting your baby on solid foods:

  • The ‘tongue thrust’ is gone.
  • Baby can sit in a semi-controlled, upright position. Not being able to sit or hold his back reasonably straight will prevent him focusing on eating
  • Baby’s weight gain has slowed down
  • Baby is waking at erratic times overnight when previously had been sleeping through
  • Baby is constantly dissatisfied when being breastfed. They are constantly pulling off and on the nipple and feeding is becoming less enjoyable
  • Baby is wanting to breastfeed more regularly during the day instead of spacing it out to every four hours
  • Baby is watching you eat with greater interest and could even be trying to take the spoon or food from your hand.

If you see any or some of these signs start your baby on some soft and sloppy foods.

Start your baby on soft solids once a day during their awake-time after a milk feed. This is best offered after the mid morning feed when your baby is alert and less tired. Add another solid feed mid-afternoon when your baby looks ready and willing for more.

Milk is still important for your baby’s nutrition so avoid introducing too much food too quickly. Introduce a third meal when ready.

More information on solids with recipes here

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Quantity

This can vary depending on:

  • Individual metabolism
  • Energy requirements, especially if they are sick or very active
  • Interest in food
  • Whether they are eating in a stressed or rushed atmosphere.

Bon Appetit!!

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.

Baby Feeding and Recipes

by Jan

As a parent raising children, it is important to understand that solids are not only commenced to fill a hungry tummy and to aid growth but are also to:

  • Develop and enhance their five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
  • Develop their immune system for optimum health and illness recovery.
  • Develop their digestive system to allow for successful absorption of nourishing foods and the control of constipation, diarrhoea and bowel spasms.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles allowing for fluid movement and the protection of internal organs.
  • Develop and stabilise their nervous system.
  • Develop a strong pumping heart.
  • Stabilize hormones for metabolism and emotional and physical balance.
  • Effective functioning of the urinary tract to eliminate toxins.
  • Developing facial muscles to facilitate language production.
  • Introduce the culture and pattern around eating.
  • Provide certain nutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin C that are not ingested in adequate amounts through breast milk or infant formula from 6 months old.

Read more about developing babies in ‘Mum, Baby & Toddler – together we learn’

Yummy and easy recipes:

Fish cakes

1 large tin of pink salmon (squash bones for added calcium) also use tuna
2 large mashed potatoes (use white sweet potato if baby does not like potato texture yet
1 cup frozen peas and corn
Sprinkle of dill
1 egg

Method

1. Combine all together in a bowl.
2. Roll into patties and coat in breadcrumbs or oat bran.
3. Fry in a pan with a little oil

“I serve the kids with mayo and ours with sweet chilli sauce. My kids love fish and they always enjoy this recipe.” – Provided by Belinda Dowling

Yummy porridge

½ cup Rolled oats
1 cup water
Fruit puree
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

1. Put oats and water in a bowl and cook for 2 minutes on high in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove until soft
2. Scoop out 1 – 2 tbsp and porridge (you eat the rest)
3. Mix in 2 tsp of pureed apple, pear or pawpaw – Provided by Jan Murray

More easy to follow recipes in ‘taste it – easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’   plus loads of practical information to get you and your baby started on good eating habits as well as yummy recipes to try.

If you would like to include this article in your newsletter or website; you can, providing you include the following blurb with it:

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.