Infant Nutrition Program – FAQ
Questions are inevitable when you are doing something for the first time. Introducing solid foods to your sweet baby is an important stage in their growth and we are here to help clarify some of the common questions that parents ask us.
How important is it to buy organic produce?
We always recommend buying organic to remove the possibility of pesticides being introduced into your baby’s intestinal tract. The long term effects of pesticides are still largely unknown and it is best to avoid them altogether. If the additional cost is an issue, understand that the quantities you are buying are very small. Two organic mangos will yield more than 15 baby food cubes which translates to more than 15 days of nutritious food for your little one.
How long can I store the baby food cubes in the freezer?
The baby food cubes will keep for up to 3 months but in all of our educational correspondence, we recommend 1 month to be safe. If you are following the quantities listed in the ingredients, you will not make more than 15 to 25 cubes per item so it is unlikely that you will exceed 1 month if you are incorporating these foods into multiple baby food meals per day.
My baby has refused this food three days in a row. Does this mean they don’t like it?
Infants and toddlers can reject new foods up to 18 times before accepting them. That means 17 rejections – more than most parents can handle! We often hear parents saying their kids are “fussy” eaters but we believe part of it comes down to your persistence as parents. If you want to take this seriously, grab a post-it note and draw 18 boxes. Put this up on your refrigerator and tick one box every time you try and introduce that same food. It also helps for you to eat the food and talk about how yummy or delicious it is in front of your infant. They may not have words yet, but they do understand. Our last recommendation would be to combine small amounts of that food with something you know your baby loves. While you might not enjoy banana and kale, your baby doesn’t know that combination yet and might gobble it up. If you’re still struggling, leave a detailed post on our Facebook page or join our NP Village and we, along with our great community of parents, will help!
Do I need to wait a full week before introducing the next food?
It is really important to introduce the same new food for a minimum of 3-4 days. The first reason is that you are conducting a controlled experiment by doing this. If there was any type of reaction, you would know immediately what was causing it. If you introduce too many new foods at once and your baby had a reaction or was rejecting the food (pursing their lips together and turning their head away) then you would not know the cause. The knee-jerk reaction would be to just assume all of the foods were not good and put them aside when there is really only one food causing the issue. This could easily result in you discarding nutritious foods in the long term that are vital to your baby thriving. The second reason for waiting a few days before introducing the next new food is that we want your baby to have a chance to explore the texture, taste, smell and feel of the food. They might enjoy the squishy, buttery nature of avocado on day 4 or 5 but if you see rejection two days in a row, you might throw in the towel on that food. Be patient with your baby and give them time to adjust. Lastly, we know that you might be bored if we gave you the same food to eat every day for a week but understand that your baby is not bored – they have been consuming only breastmilk or formula for 6 months now. Adding new foods every 7 days will provide plenty of variety for them.
I want to start feeding my baby at 4 months. Can I start your program early?
We recommend starting your baby on solid foods between 5.5 – 6 months old due to their intestinal development. Our program is designed to fit this timeline and if you start our program at 4 months, it is likely you will introduce some foods too early and they will not be properly digested. As with all things, this is your decision and if you have the support of your GP or paediatrician, then the program will still ensure you are systematically introducing nourishing foods to your little one. We would recommend you stretch out the first 4 weeks of introductions to span 2 week periods, i.e.: stay on soft boiled egg yolks for 2 weeks before introducing the next food and so on for the first 4-8 introductions.
What is the best way to defrost the frozen baby food cubes?
We have found the Baby Bullet brand to fit the cubes well but any sealed container will work. If we are prepared, then we set out the cubes, one per container, in the morning on the counter and let them naturally defrost. If you are in a pinch or need the food to be warmed, then boil a kettle and place the cube inside a small sealed feeding container, like the picture to the right. Place in the warm water until thawed and warmed. Always test a small portion yourself before feeding it to your baby to ensure it’s the right temperature.
What is the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen?
These lists were created by the Environmental Working Group and a google search on either will yield more information on these lists. Over the years, the lists have grown in size but the basic concept was to identify fruits and vegetables that were most affected by pesticides (Dirty Dozen) and conversely, those fruits and vegetables that were safer to consume despite the use of pesticides during their growth.
Sadly, this list has grown and grown so our rule of thumb is to recommend organic where possible. In the case of your baby, you are not purchasing large quantities so while the cost might be higher for organic, you don’t need a lot and your baby is worth it! Click below to go directly to the EWG’s website to find the most up-to-date lists for the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.
How many cubes should I be feeding my baby each day?
This will increase over time. In your first week, you will only be adding one soft boiled egg yolk per day. In the second week, you can now alternate days, giving your baby a soft boiled egg yolk on one day and beef in beef bone broth on the next. During week three, we would like to see you combining a cube of beef and a cube of squash but let your baby guide you. Do not force feed them and expect a lot to end up on their face and on the feeding tray. Just because they stick their tongue out doesn’t mean they don’t like it. This is brand new and they will be testing texture as much as taste.
During the first few weeks, you will be adding the egg yolk in about an hour before a normal feed. As the weeks progress, you might want to test a new food directly after a feed. This is fine but always do the milk / formula feed first as that is still the main source of nutrients for your baby. By month 8, the meals you introduce will be more complex and involve a variety and combination of cubes that have already been introduced.
As the weeks progress, you will naturally reduce the number of times you breastfeed or bottle feed, opting for solid foods. It is highly likely that by month 12, you are only having a morning and evening milk feed. Speak with your GP or paediatrician to develop a plan that works for you.
Does my baby need water?
The answer to this question is highly individual and you should speak to your GP or paediatrician regarding your specific circumstances. From our experience, breastfed babies do not need water until after 12 months, even on hot days, as breastmilk and the solid foods we are recommending contain ample water.
When reconstituting formal, follow the directions on the label and add the exact amount of water on the instructions. This should be enough water for your baby and you do not need to add any extra unless doing so under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Should I give peanut butter to my baby earlier than 12 months?
The answer to this question is constantly changing. The latest research has prompted changes in the recommendations from the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The new recommendations for introduction are as early as six months old. The studies are showing that earlier introduction is could lead to reduced instances of long term allergic reactions. Peanuts do not feature in our Infant Nutrition Program but if you are interested in testing out a smooth peanut butter, start with a very small amount on your baby’s lip. After a few minutes, if there is no reaction, you may ad 1/4 tsp to whatever you are feeding that day. Be sure to choose a time of day when you can watch your baby for the next few hours. A morning or lunch meal would be best. You are looking for any signs of swelling, rash or even hives around the mouth, eyes or neck area. If you notice your baby is generally unsettled, it could be an internal reaction in the digestive system. We would recommend waiting 4 weeks before testing again.