Yummy Discoveries Shopping Basket 0 Items | Total: £0.00

Look I can Walk! Now I'm scared of new foods!

Posted by felicity on November 4, 2014

Initially, when you start weaning your baby at around 6 months they will probably be happy to eat and taste most things you serve. However, many parents report a "fussy period" around 10-18 months and it is no coincidence that it happens when your little one starts to learn to cruise / walk.
 

"I don't know what happened - he used to eat everything!"

 
This protective mechanism termed Neophobia kicks-in which turns your once happy eater in to a suspicious child, fearful of new foods and textures. Neophobia is the fear of new things and  this is likely to be a throwback to our ancestors. 
 
If you imagine your baby is a little "cave baby" born at a time when we lived in the soil , hunted for meat and crawled around in caves. Your baby would have been toddling around picking berries and leaves from trees which could be potentially poisonous. So this fear of new foods and the keenness to look to a caregiver (you) to show it is safe to eat before putting it in the mouth is one of the ways the human race has survived. 
 

"Brussels spouts - bleugh"

 
 
Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli are common foods children don't "like". There is a good reason for this - research has shown that neophobia is more commonly directed at this family of plants which contain poisonous compounds that are difficult to digest. So, it isn't your child being difficult, this is an evolutionary element within the human race which you are battling with.
 
It is more important than ever during this time that you sit and eat the same foods with your child to reassure them the food is safe to eat. This will help reassure your child through this "fussy time" that these new foods are nothing to fear.
 
MEME---Neophobia-copy.jpg
 
References: Glander, K, 'The impact of plant secondary compounds on primate feeding behavior', American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1982, pp.1-18
 

Read more about neophobia and techniques to manage eating through this difficult time in the chapter "Weaning worries" in our latest book Worry-free Weaning.

Dr Anna Walton is a chartered counselling psychologist and Felicity Bertin is a registered paediatric osteopath. They work together supporting families with children who have fussy eating habits.


Breastfeeding and Birth Trauma Guilt

Posted by felicity on October 31, 2014

The Telegraph reported that Orlando Bloom’s wife, Miranda Kerr, declared that she didn’t have an epidural because she didn’t want a ‘drugged up baby’ 

 
 
There seems to have been quite a backlash, as her comment can seem judgmental towards those women who choose to have them. As the Telegraph comments:
 
"...there is no evidence that epidurals have a detrimental effect on the baby and they have a valid role in reducing birth trauma and foetal distress"
 
Many mothers experience anxiety around birth, particularly if it’s their first child. There can be so much pressure, from various directions, to give birth naturally without pain relief, and everyone seems to have an opinion. Women can find themselves feeling guilty and like they’re already making ‘selfish’ choices; in other words, they can receive the message that they’re a bad mother before they’ve even had their baby!
 
Uncertainty is difficult. From a psychological point of view, one of the things people find most difficult in life is uncertainty, and with birth there is so much that remains uncertain. As we all know, you can spend hours writing your birth plan but it’s more luck than planning if it goes the way you want. That’s because there are so many variables you can’t control and things can change very quickly while you’re in labour. Not to mention the fact that you have no real idea about how your life will change after your baby is born - if you’re a first time mother, for example - or what you might have to deal with (e.g. autism, behaviour problems, medical problems or other things that every mother dreads).
 
Take a moment to pause and ground yourself. Take a moment to reflect on what really feels right for you and why among all the opinions, pressure and potential judgment flying around. Otherwise you might end up doing something you feel pressured into during birth, rather than doing what you genuinely feel is right for you and your baby. That can lead to birth being traumatic, distressing and more anxiety-provoking than it needs to be, followed by feelings of anger at feeling compromised and guilt about not doing what you thought was best, whether things go the way you intended or not. Beginning your time as a mum feeling like that is not what anyone wants!
 
The wellbeing of mum and baby are linked. Although foetal wellbeing is obviously paramount, YOU are there too, and your wellbeing is inextricably interlinked with that of your baby, both before and after birth. Remember, anxiety manifests physically (e.g. via tension or migraines) as well as emotionally. The truth is that there IS no right or wrong answer and every birth is unique. Therefore, what’s right for you and your baby is also unique. If you can navigate the minefield of opinions on birth and decide whether to have an epidural based on what you feel is right for you, you are more likely to feel safer, calmer and more physically relaxed during birth. 
 
Remain flexible in your expectations, and be aware that things may not go according to your plan. If things do go differently than you expected, don’t give yourself a hard time. You can’t control what happens and nothing can change that fact. Any decisions you and your partner make during birth are often made under incredible stress and time pressure and you will make the best choices you can.
 
So remember - first and foremost, by taking care of yourself, you will also be taking care of your baby.

Read more about introducing solids and other ways to support your child with their eating in our latest evidence-based book Worry-free Weaning.

Dr Anna Walton is a chartered counselling psychologist and Felicity Bertin is a registered paediatric osteopath. They work together supporting families with children who have fussy eating habits.

 


Gagging & Choking

Posted by felicity on October 25, 2014

Many parents are drawn to the idea of serving-up purees and put-off introducing solid food to their children because they are concerned about gagging or choking. If you choose to offer your child purees then we support your decision, but we hear many parents making that decision without accurate information. We are all about empowering you to make an informed decision, so we recommend you arm yourself with the facts and make your own decision based on what's right for your family.
 
Gagging and choking are different.
Gagging is a normal part ofexploring food and
choking requires urgent medical attention.
 
The Gag Reflex
Whilst your baby is working out how to eat he may occasionally gag and vomit. The gag reflex is there to prevent things being swallowed which ought not to be. In younger babies the gag reflex ‘trigger zone’ is a lot further forward in the mouth than in adults as a way of preventing them from swallowing toys and other objects which often go in their mouth as a way of learning. With it being so far forward it is natural that spoons, little fingers and first foods will trigger this reflex and so gagging is likely to occur in early weaning.
 
The gag reflex in adults is often triggered as a way of trying to induce voluntary vomiting (‘sticking your fingers down your throat’). The reflex is quite far back (roughly the length of your index finger) but it took practice for that reflex ‘trigger zone’ to recede all that way and your baby is working on that through weaning.
 
It also takes practice to figure out how to move the food with the tongue to the back of the mouth and co-ordinate tiny muscles to swallow and your child will make mistakes. But that’s how we learn. Eventually they will work out how to get the right-sized food to the correct part of their mouth and it will get easier to co-ordinate all of those muscles. 


Trigger Zones
Avoid offering food to your child when she’s lying back in a car seat or bouncer.  To ensure the gag reflex is triggered, your little one needs to be sitting upright so when food does hit the trigger zone it can be moved forward either to be chewed some more or spat out.
 
Choking is another matter entirely and involves the airway itself being (partially) blocked – so the food is now beyond the gag reflex. There is no reason that your child should be more likely to choke with BLW, so long as you follow the basic guidelines.


References:
Carruth B.R., and Skinner, J.D., 'Feeding behaviors and other motor development in healthy children(2-24 months)'. Journal of the American College of Nurition, 2002, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp.88-96

Cameron, S.L., Heath, A.L., and Taylor, R.W., 'Healthcare professionals' and mothers' knowledge of, attitudes to, and experiences with baby-led weaning: A content analysis study', BMJ Open, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 6, p.E001542.
 

 

Read more about introducing solids and other ways to support your child with their eating in our latest evidence-based book Worry-free Weaning.

Dr Anna Walton is a chartered counselling psychologist and Felicity Bertin is a registered paediatric osteopath. They work together supporting families with children who have fussy eating habits.


Do Purees Promote Obesity?

Posted by felicity on October 25, 2014

“It’s on-the-go snacking and on-the-go nourishment."

"It moves with kids and puts the control in their hands
 
This is the opinion of Neil Grimmer, interviewed by the New York Times.To read the NY Times article in full, click here
 
Neil Grimmer is the chief executive of Plum Organics, a pioneer of food pouches, a product toddlers slurp while roaming around. We’re going to be writing a lot about these puree pouches over the coming months as they can be a perfect recipe for producing a fussy eater, and potentially a fat one! Why?  Here's just one reason:

Puree pouches will often be slurped quickly, which promotes obesity.
 
Many parents think that a pouch of apple puree is equivalent to an apple. This is not the case. Look at the ingredients of any smoothie and you will see that a small bottle contains several pieces of fruit, so you are actually eating much more than you would, were you faced with the whole fruit. 
 
One piece of research concluded that eating an apple stopped the hunger
more quickly than apple-puree or apple juice.
 
The whole apple retains the fibrous parts, meaning the body has to work harder to digest it. It also takes the brain approximately 20 minutes to activate feelings of satiety (hence why eating fast can be linked to obesity). 
 
Puree or juice is unlikely to take 20 minutes to consume, so your child may say they’re still hungry and therefore want to eat more. With an apple, they are likely to spend long enough eating it that their brain has time to activate the feeling of being full-up. 
 
Offering the odd puree pouch now and then as a snack for convenience isn't guaranteeing your toddler will become fussy or obese, but with Plum conservatively estimating sales of pouches for babies, toddlers and children at $53 million in 2012, we can't ignore the impact this growing trend is having on our children's eating habits.
 
 

References:
Flood-Obbagy, J. E. and B. J. Rolls. 2009. “The Effect of Fruit in Different Forms on Energy Intake and Satiety At a Meal.” Appetite 52: 416-22.

Pan, A., and Hu, F.B. 2011. "Effects of carbohydrates on satiety: differences between liquid and aolid food". Current opinion in nutrition and metabolic care, 14(4): 385-90

Read more about introducing solids to your child and other ways to support your child with their eating in our latest book Worry-free Weaning.

Dr Anna Walton is a chartered counselling psychologist and Felicity Bertin is a registered paediatric osteopath. They work together supporting families with children who have fussy eating habits.


Food Throwing

Posted by felicity on August 5, 2014

When your child throws food on the floor, the most natural response from any parent is to say something along the lines of “don’t throw food on the floor”.

 

Young children don't understand 'don't'.

 
At a young age, children are unable to process a negative command and even when they are a little older they are often inconsistent. So what they hear from you are the key words of “throw food on the floor” omitting the key “don’t” from their processing.
 

Tip: Some parents find that using a positive statement such as “food stays on the plate” or something to that nature can help


It is also possible that your little one is showing signs of being in the Trajectory Schema. 

Read more about Schemas and in particular throwing food in the Trajectory Schema.


Read more about schemas, food throwing and other ways to support your child with their eating in the chapter "Feeding the schema" in our latest book Worry-free Weaning.

Dr Anna Walton is a chartered counselling psychologist and Felicity Bertin is a registered paediatric osteopath. They work together supporting families with children who have fussy eating habits.