Fish & Your Baby
Posted by felicity on February 19, 2013
Parents are often surprised to learn that babies can be offered fish from the moment they start weaning but it is a common allergen so many parents delay introducing fish until their little ones are more experienced eaters. We felt it was time to dispel some myths and give you some of the facts and some guidance on introducing fish safely to your little one:
- Small fish is best for small children
- No more than 2 servings of fresh, oily fish per week
- No fish or shellfish to be offered to babies younger than 6 months
- Avoid serving tinned fish in brine
- Avoid serving high-mercury fish such as shark, swordfish or marlin
- How your baby can benefit from fish
"Examples of low mercury fish that are commonly available include bream, rainbow trout, ocean trout, flathead, kingfish and whiting - canned tuna and salmon are also good low mercury options but be careful of the high salt content in brine.
The Food Standard Authority recommend no more than 2 servings per week of fish for young children, but as always, we have to ask, what is a serving? 1 serving = 75g or ½ an average fillet
Avoid Tinned Fish In Brine
Brine has a high salt content so instead opt for tinned fish in oil.
|Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net|
Tasty Trout Recipe
Posted by felicity on February 19, 2013
- Blitz the pine nuts in a food mixer then pop in a dry frying pan on a low heat to toast for a couple of minutes – be careful not to burn them
- Once the pine nuts are done, take the pan off the heat and turn the hob off – you won’t be needing it again
- Blitz the toast and basil and sage in to breadcrumbs and tip in to the pan with the pine nuts
- Melt the butter in the microwave then add it to the pan along with the lemon juice and mix it altogether
- Grease a baking tray and lay the trout fillets skin-down.
- Spoon the mixture on top, patting it down and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Cover with cling-film and pop in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Pre-heat the grill to low and pop the baking tray on a low shelf to prevent the pine nuts from burning.
- Cook the trout for around 10-15 minutes. The exact time will depend on how thick your trout fillets are. Serve with a spinach salad or Tricolour Salad (page 209 of Yummy Discoveries - The baby-led weaning recipe book) and steamed baby potatoes.
|Copyright to Yummy Discoveries Ltd.|
How do I get my child to LOVE new foods?
Posted by admin on February 5, 2013
It’s February – the month of love!
How do I get my child to LOVE new foods?
- Likes and dislikes are not stable under the age of 5. This is backed up by scientific research. A study was conducted where children under and over 5 chose their favourite ice cream flavours, and the under fives didn’t choose the same flavour from one day to the next. That means that your little one might choose something one day and say they don’t like it the next day. Just keep offering foods.
- Does I don’t like it mean I don’t like it? The short answer is no. Anyone who has a toddler knows that there’s nothing more suspicious and untrusting of new food than a 2 year old. Believe it or not, that’s normal, as once a fear of new food (neophobia) was originally designed to stop little mouths from eating poisonous berries once they became mobile.
- Does no mean no? Research also showed that toddlers often say ‘no’ as it’s an easy word to say, rather than because they actually mean no.
- Isn’t a roasted carrot the same as a raw carrot? No, not to your child. Every time even one dimension of a food changes, it’s a new food to your child. So grated carrot is different to carrot soup, pureed carrot, roasted carrot…you get the picture. So you need to treat each new form of a food as a new food. Even using a different word can be enough to make a child reject a new food (e.g. if you usually use the word ‘meat’ and one day say ‘beef’, your child may well say “I don’t like it” because they don’t associate the word with the food they know.
- Are you inadvertently making your child’s dislikes stronger? Putting pressure on your child to try a food or finish it means that you are creating a dynamic where they are likely to resist that pressure, resist you and therefore the food.
- Should I bribe them to try a new food? No. If you try this, you’re setting up ‘good and bad’ foods (e.g. eat this and you can have a chocolate). You’re also starting to ‘beg’ your child to do something, and this opens up the opportunity for an ever intensifying battle for control. It might work once, but when they learn that you really really want them to eat that food and if that’s your way of addressing things as a rule, you’ll end up in battles you don’t need.
- Should I force my child to have a food they say they don’t like? No. Your aim with all food issues is to enable your child to make choices about food. Forcing them is more likely to create a negative association with that food and maybe with the eating experience. They will undoubtedly get stressed and that inhibits digestion and desire to eat, so that’s the last thing you want to do. Try not to worry and just remember that your job is to help them make their own choices.
- Do children ‘like’ what their body needs? We’ve heard this being bandied around as advice recently and love the idea and we have only one thing to say to that: If our children ‘knew’ what their bodies needed, we wouldn’t have any fussy eating problems, because children would always eat what they needed. So eating only chips and toast would mean thatwas what their body needed.
- Never spring a new food on your child. You play with that food with your child a few times (not at mealtimes, so that you’re not bothered whether they eat it). For example, show them the food and ask them to play a game with you, to help you see what it’s like. For example, is it red like a strawberry? Is it cold like ice cream? Give right and wrong answers and make it fun. Get your child to help you cook with the food, just to get them familiar with it.
- Give them a small portion of the new food initially (e.g. one spoonful). A big portion of a new food can feel overwhelming for a child. Remember, you only want them to try it, or to engage with it in some way (even if this is squidging it in their fingers and that’s it, initially). So give them a small bit of the new food and let them discover it, while you model enjoying it, if possible (they need to see that new food is safe and you’re the one to show them this). But don’t put any pressure on them.
- Allow them to make an A and B choice when this food is being introduced. Depending on your child, you could either ask them to choose between two new foods (that you’ve spent some time familiarising them with) or you could ask them to choose between two foods they like and make the ‘high hierarchy’ choice for them. For example: We are having peas (new food) tonight - would you like pasta or shepherds pie with them?
- Try to use a safety net food, to add some familiarity so that they feel safe. If your child likes yoghurt and you want them to try cucumber, you could make cucumber dip. Then the yoghurt is reassuring and it will make the cucumber seem slightly less strange and scary.
- Familiarity takes time. Research shows that you need to offer your child a new food between 15-20 times before you think you’ve got a problem with it. Don’t offer the same thing every day, every other day is fine. If you’re getting nowhere, give up on that one for now and try something else. Go back to it later. No foods are permanently in the ‘dislike’ camp, until your child is old enough to have stable likes and dislikes. Sometimes, it’s obvious that your child really doesn’t like a certain food. If they’ve tried it many times and they don’t usually say this (so you don’t think it’s a pattern for them), then that’s fine. You’ll need to use your intuition on that one.
- If they say “I don’t like it”… don’t take it away. Just say: “Oh that’s ok, you just haven’t tried it enough times yet!” If they ask you to remove it, don’t. Use positive statements so that your child knows how you expect them to behave around food: “If you don’t want it, just leave it.” Small children can’t really understand instructions involving “Don’t”, as it’s too much of an abstract concept.
- Don’t make a big fuss when your child tries the new food. Of course, the odd ‘well done for trying it’ doesn’t go amiss, if this can be said in a way that feels like it’s a normal part of eating/living and you’re praising them in the way that you would if they did something else normal. However, don’t congratulate them or focus loads of attention on them if they try a new food – you want to act like it’s normal for them to try things, as it should be! A child’s instinctive reaction is to reject new foods, remember, so if you suddenly put the spotlight on them, they’ll be likely to retreat. This is particularly so if you see your child try a new food that they have rejected until now. Sometimes children will also try a food if everyone else is eating it and they feel left out (e.g. at a party). Let them do this, as there’s no such thing as good and bad foods. If they are trying a new cake, that’s fine, as long as their entire diet isn’t made up of cake, and you are in control of that!
- Model eating the new food yourself. This counteracts neophobia and helps your child to get curious about what everyone else is enjoying and they might be missing. Children want to be included, so use this to your advantage, as well as showing them that the new food is safe to eat by eating it yourself.
|image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net|
Jewelled Pancakes Recipe
Posted by felicity on February 5, 2013
With Shrove Tuesday just around the corner here is a fruity take on the classic pancake. By having the fruit mixed in with the batter it becomes an integral part of the dish so is ideal for weaning littles ones. Plus the soft, warm fruit makes the pancakes naturally sweet – so no need for the typical “lemon n sugar”.
Makes about 8-10 pancakes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes per pancake
100g plain flour
300ml full fat milk
½ tsp cinnamon
5 large strawberries
butter or oil for frying
1. Sift the flour into a bowl 2. Crack the egg into the flour, add a splash of milk and whisk
3. Gradually add more milk and continue to whisk until you have a smooth batter.
4. If you have time leave the batter to stand for half an hour or so
5. Meanwhile blitz the fruit quickly in a food processor (you want a small chunky consistency, not that of a smoothie) or cut the fruit into very small chunks
6. Add the fruit into the batter mix along with the cinnamon and stir well
7. Heat some oil or butter in a frying pan over a medium heat
8. When the oil is hot pour some of the batter (about 2/3 of a ladle) into the pan whilst tilting it so the batter covers the base of the pan evenly
9. Cook for a few minutes until the pancake becomes loose
10. Flip (or use a spatula to turn the pancake) over and cook for a few more minutes, or until golden
11. Once cooked slide onto a plate, roll and serve
Adult add on: Pour some golden syrup over the pancakes
Variations: Try blueberries or raspberries (soft fruit works better as it doesn’t sink in to the batter mix)
Remember that strawberries and pineapple are common allergens, so if your little one isn't used to high-citrus foods just yet, consider using alternative soft fruits.
|Image Copyright Yummy Discoveries Ltd.
Ban The Baby Rice
Posted by felicity on January 24, 2013
Ban the Baby Rice!
This (plastic) baby skull shows how the orbits are initially much bigger in relation to the rest of the head, so she can absorb as much about the world around her as she can in those early days. As she grows, her nervous system develops and her mouth becomes important, enabling her to experience more dimensions (she may like putting your car keys in her mouth!) and finally, the hand control develops giving her even more opportunity to understand and interpret the vast array of objects which come her way.
Have you ever wondered why there aren’t many beige baby toys on the market? Beige things don't grab a child’s attention nor trigger their curiosity to reach and explore, so why are so many of us encouraged to serve-up baby rice as a first meal? Boring! Food exploration is no different to toy exploration so apply the same principles when serving up eye, mouth and hand-pleasing and food to your little one.