Breast is best for baby, so try to breastfeed for as long as possible. When your baby starts eating complementary foods at around 6 months, he or she should start with 1 meal per day for the first week or two. Gradually increase the number of meals offered per day in the following weeks. By the time your baby is around 7 months old, he or she will be comfortable with eating 1-2 meals per day.
Introducing your baby to solid food is an important milestone during which you hope to lay the basics of healthy eating habits for the years ahead. That’s why it is critical to make sure that you meet your child’s nutritional needs; do all that you can to make the transition from milk to solids such as Purity cereals and jarred food fun and as fuss-free as possible.
Feeding a baby solids is not only important for ensuring adequate growth and good nutrition, but also encourages speech development (by developing oral muscle control) and, through mealtime interaction, stimulates social development. The most important thing to remember is that each baby is an individual, with his/her own likes and dislikes.
Good nutrition is the cornerstone of physical and mental development. While you might find introducing solids a little daunting, the main thing to remember is that this is a fun fascinating journey for both of you.
The daily feeding plan is just a guideline. Every baby is an individual. Let your baby be your guide. It is not necessary for your baby or toddler to finish a full jar of Purity baby food. Serve in a bowl and the remainder in the jar can be saved for his or her next snack.
NOTE: Where ‘milk feed’ or milk is recommended, give your baby the milk you are currently using i.e. breast milk or a breast milk substitute, where breast milk is not an option. Remember to introduce one new food at a time every few days to help check for any possible allergic reaction.
All Purity products are free of preservatives, colours and artificial flavours, as with other manufactured foods. Contact us on our Consumer Care number 0860 004755
The guides below are set out in four age groups reflecting the developmental needs of your baby at each age:
INTRODUCING SOLIDS FROM 6 MONTHS
FROM 6 MONTHS
The aim of this stage is to get your baby used to eating from a spoon, to accept new textures such as Purity Butternut, and to increase the intake of vital nutrients. Milk feeds must be maintained at the same frequency and quantity as before. Food should be offered after milk feeds to avoid replacing milk.
WHEN IS YOUR BABY READY?
Your baby is ready to start on Purity First Food Cereals when:
– He has doubled his birth weight
– Can hold head steady when sitting fully supported and
– Responds to outside stimuli (mother’s voice, sudden sounds)
INTRODUCING VARIETY FROM 7 MONTHS
FROM 7 MONTHS Once your baby is comfortable with eating starter foods, he needs to start learning about new flavours. It is important to introduce variety into your baby’s diet which can be done by introducing new Purity cereal and jar flavours and combinations.
WHEN IS YOUR BABY READY Your baby is ready to try new flavours and combinations of Purity cereals and jars when he amongst other things:
– Can sit with cushion support and move head from side to side
– Grasps at objects and moves to mouth
– Shows food-social interaction and starts responding to the sight of food
INTRODUCING TEXTURE FROM 8 MONTHS
FROM 8 MONTHS
At this stage your baby is ready for more complex tastes and textures and is now ready to learn to chew, regardless of whether teeth have appeared or not. Coarsely textured food such as Purity baby food jars from 8 months helps teach your baby to chew and is also important for the development skills which is important for baby’s speech. Your baby may struggle to accept new textures at first, but keep trying as Purity has a wide selection of jars suitable for this stage. Babies are also now able to cope with finger foods and with holding a spoon and using it with more accuracy.
WHEN IS YOUR BABY READY
Your baby is ready to try some of Purity’s more textured meal and dessert jars when he:
– Can get onto his hands and knees as if to being to crawl
– Sits alone (using hands for extra support)
– Shows likes and dislikes
– Makes a vowel sound e.g. ma-ma
PREPARING FOR TABLE FOOD FROM 10 MONTHS
FROM 10 MONTHS
This is the time for your toddler to move onto much more textured food such as Purity’s Toddler meals and desserts so that he can soon make the move from baby food to the family’s table food. Your toddler will gradually eat larger quantities of food – though you should be guided by your baby’s appetite when deciding how much. Also introduce as much variety as possible – Purity has a wide selection of jarred meals and desserts available for toddlers
WHEN IS YOUR BABY READY?
Your baby is ready for Purity’s toddler meals when:
– He stands and walks with support
– Can grasp and release small items
– Uses words and sounds to communicate a desire for a specific food or toy.
Food Allergy Guide
Lowering the Risk of Allergies
What is an allergy / intolerance?
Food reactions are common, but most are caused by food intolerance rather than a food allergy. Food intolerance can cause some of the same signs and symptoms as a food allergy, and so the two are often confused.
A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body, usually the skin or abdomen. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and are limited to digestive problems.
The risk factors
– Babies with family histories of allergies are more likely to develop them. Medical advice is needed during pregnancy & baby’s diet later in life.
– Parents who smoke increase the risk of their babies’ developing allergies.
– Other environmental factors that may increase the risk are pollen, dust, mould, household pets and certain soaps and creams in susceptible people.
The common signs of a baby with allergies
– Runny or stuffy nose
– Specific rashes (eczema)
– Excessive restlessness
– Apparent cramping
– Recurring infections
– Poor weight gain
Note: Other health and feeding issues could also cause the above, so please consult your health care provider. The above is not meant to diagnose, and merely a guide, so please consult your healthcare provider.
A mother’s diet during pregnancy and birth
There are trace amounts of milk, wheat, eggs and peanuts in the breast milk of a mother who eats these foods. There is no evidence to support the practice of avoiding allergenic foods either during pregnancy or while breastfeeding as a means to prevent allergies in your baby. Even if an elimination diet is followed, your baby may still develop allergic problems. The only foods that should be eliminated are those that you are allergic to. It is likely that you would need to supplement your diet with important nutrients like calcium and iron, or as recommended by your health care provider. All moms would benefit from a diet than includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid caffeine present in tea, coffee, chocolate and some fizzy drinks.
The newborn’s diet
Adverse reactions to food are not common occurrences, exclusive breast-feeding is the only option that offers your baby protection against developing allergies Adri to check & revert. Ideally, exclusive breastfeeding should be maintained for six months. The younger the baby when anything other than breast milk is introduced, the more likely the adverse reaction. Should a baby show signs of allergies or sensitivities in spite of exclusive breast feeding, then professional help from a doctor or dietician should be sought for further investigation.
WHY BABIES BECOME FUSSY EATERS: MISCONCEPTIONS
Babies must eat the exact amount the clinic sister/doctor/book says.
Every baby/toddler is an individual, even babies of the same age and weight will eat different amounts at different times.
Babies must eat directly after finishing their milk feed.
Some babies may quite happily eat soon after finishing their milk feed and many would be better off with a half-hour or longer break between the two.
Babies must eat more than the day/week before.
The amount your baby eats may stay the same for a few weeks before he has the next growth spurt.
Babies must eat when they are ill or teething.
Many babies eat far less when they are un-well. Keeping up their fluid intake is far more important than eating solids.
Babies must eat at scheduled times.
There may be times when the schedule does not work, for instance when your baby is tired, has just woken up or has been snacking.
REASONS FOR A POOR APPETITE
The most common reason for babies having a poor appetite when it comes to eating solids is that their fluid intake may be excessive.
Milk versus solids:
Until the age of six months, milk is more important in your baby’s diet than solid food. It would be expected that once your baby is having solids, he or she would drop one or two milk feeds by six months. However, should your baby drop more milk feeds, one needs to offer less solids. On the other hand your baby may be six months or older and still only having a few spoons full per meal. One could then start decreasing her milk intake accordingly:
– Breast-fed babies could still have four to six feeds in 24 hours.
– Breast milk substitute babies could still have 600 – 800ml in 24 hours. More milk than just mentioned may inhibit your baby’s appetite.
Juice versus milk or solids:
Another common reason for babies having a poor appetite is an excessive juice intake: it may be that your baby prefers drinking to eating and therefore satisfies his or her appetite by continually sipping juice.
– A 6-month-old baby should be having breast milk or a breast milk substitute and not juice.
– If your baby is starting to drink juice, it is preferable for your baby to drink the juice from a cup and not a bottle. This limits the juice lover’s intake and helps prevent tooth decay.
– Fruit juice should always be diluted with water
The sweet tooth:
When starting solids, it is best to start with vegetables such as Purity butternut or sweet potato rather than fruit, as some babies may refuse vegetables once they have got used to the sweeter fruits. The same could be said for other sweeter foods like yoghurt or sweet biscuits in the case of older babies. Few babies would refuse sweeter foods after starting on vegetables.
Snacks between meals should be small, not too close to meal times and healthy.
COPING WITH YOUR FUSSY EATER
At this stage solid foods start to play a more important role in providing your baby’s nutritional needs. Depending on when your baby started solids he could be eating about a half to one cup of food per meal. Should Purity cereal be a favourite, offer it for supper rather than breakfast. Do no force-feed and offer small frequent meals.
– Offer finger foods, even if very little is in fact eaten.
– Nothing sweeter than Purity teething biscuits or rice cakes.
– Try pieces of fresh fruit like banana, sweet melon or watermelon.
– Allow your baby to eat with you, should he or she want to eat your food let them.
– Whenever giving a new food type, be aware of any possible allergic reaction.
– Never leave your baby unattended while he or she is eating.
– Should your baby eat little or nothing for a meal, offer the next healthy snack sooner.
– Babies will eat nothing at some meal times but do not be tempted to make up for it by offering pudding or biscuits.
– Offer foods again and again if refused, it can take a few times before new food is accepted.
Eight months to one year
Offer food first followed by milk. Continue with the guidelines mentioned above. Some added ideas:
– When offering soft food that needs to be given on a spoon, allow your baby to play with a toy to distract him.
– Give him his own plate and spoon.
– Put a small quantity of food on the plate, always ensuring you feed the odd spoon in between the practice/play ones.
– From 9 months babies can start drinking from a cup and may stick his tongue out to add stability
– Offer a greater variety of finger foods for example:
– Any fruit in season, which may need to be washed, seedless and peeled e.g. grapes. Be careful of choking.
– Pieces of avocado pear.
– Sandwiches cut into bite size pieces.
One year and older
Follow the same guidelines already mentioned.
– Encourage self-feeding with a spoon and fingers, it might be messy but it is a lot less trying.
– Offer small helpings only.
– Many babies will now eat less than before.
– Frequently, eating problems at this stage are of a behavioural nature.
– Avoid showing emotion about his or her eating, negative or positive.
– Ensure that meal times are a low-key event not an emotional one.
– Make eating fun and not confrontational.
Introduction to Solids
HOW TO GO ABOUT INTRODUCING BABY’S FIRST SOLID FOOD:
The best solid food to introduce first is rice cereal. Baby rice cereals are unlikely to cause allergic reactions for the first few feedings, mix a couple of spoons of Purity Baby’s First Cereal with breast milk or a breast milk substitute, making it the consistency of thin gravy. As time goes on, you can increase the thickness and quantity.
Once your baby can handle Purity Baby’s First Cereal, the next step is usually strained or pureed fruits and vegetables, either from a jar such as Purity or prepared at home. Babies pick up on everything – if you don’t eat something they won’t either.
Start with one or two spoonful’s of Purity jarred baby foods from 6 months and gradually work up to half-a-cup per day, depending on baby’s appetite. Introduce solid foods one at a time. Do not feed baby directly from the jar – the saliva mixes with the food and causes it to go watery. Rather spoon into a clean bowl so that you can save the remainder of the jar for a later meal. Babies use their upper lips to clean food off the spoon.
This will give the baby’s system time to adjust and also give you an opportunity to watch for any allergic reactions such as a rash, diarrhoea, vomiting or stuffy nose. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop feeding the suspected food and tell your baby’s doctor or health care provider about it.
Don’t be surprised if your baby balks at the first few feedings of solid food – it’s a brand new experience. With time, your baby will become a pro.
Make feeding times a pleasant experience: go slowly and never force a baby to eat more than he or she wants. For your baby, this is the start of a lifetime relationship with food. You want it to be a healthy, happy beginning.
Constipation and your baby
Constipation refers to the passing of very hard stools or pellets and not the frequency. Not all babies need to have a stool every day, they can skip days in between. Depending on your baby’s diet, the stools may be formed as long as they do not become visibly hard and difficult to pass.
Babies who are exclusively breastfed may at times appear to be constipated when in fact, this is not the case.
From a very early age breast-fed babies tend to have a stool with or after every feed. The frequency of the stools diminish in time until many reach the stage where they skip a day then two and may not have a stool for a week or even longer. Many moms worry unnecessarily when this happens. This is a normal pattern for many breast-fed babies. Remember that constipation is measured by the consistency of a stool and not the frequency. Should your baby however appear to be uncomfortable after a few days of not passing a stool:
– Increase your own fluid intake: start by drinking more water
– Drink fruit juice
– Only if this makes no difference, offer your baby cooled boiled water.
– If you are concerned, speak to your health care provider.
If baby is on breast milk substitutes, he should pass a stool at least every day or 2nd day. And once a mixed diet has been started, baby should pass stools regularly
Babies on solids
Some babies may become constipated when solids are introduced. Here are some reasons why:
– Weaning from breast to breast milk substitutes or from one to another
– Feeding too much cereal
– Not enough fruit and vegetables in the diet
– Certain medications and medicines
Prevention and treatment
– Add Purity fruit puree or Purity juice to the cereal; ensure enough is used, according to the mixing instructions.
– Pre-biotics can be helpful
– Offer Purity jarred vegetables and fruit for the other meals
– Offer clear fruit juices, concentrates, Purity rooibos or honey bush tea blends and Purity fruit juice blends between meals
– Prune juice can be used on a regular basis.
– In some rare instances toddlers may become constipated due to discomfort in passing a stool which results in an attempt to withhold the stools. It would be necessary to seek medical advice in such instances.
Purity products that might be of assistance
– Purity jarred pears, apples, sweet potato and prunes
– Prune juice and other fruit juices
– Purity Goodnights cereal
– Purity’s Maize Cereal (available for babies from 6 months), Purity Mixed Grain Cereal (available for babies from 7 months) and Purity Nutraflake (available for babies from 8 months)