Category Archives: Baby Porridges

EKOBO – designed for Good. To be used and REUSED, by big and little, day in and day out, indoors or outdoors x

Ulula is really happy and proud to introduce a new home living brand from Ekobo!!


packed lunch made, breakfast waiting x

Ekobo specialise in the design and manufacture of contemporary home accessories made from renewable bamboo and other eco-friendly materials.

Ekobo’s BIOBU range for kids dinnerware is chic, colourful, practical and fun, and we and the kids LOVE IT!



The story behind the range is really inspirational. Here’s what Boo & Bruno have to say:

“We’ve been long-devoted to improving the way we engage with people and our planet, but our creative process is fueled by our own family – our 3 girls, our messy real life needs; each collection expands as our own kids grow.

Our first bamboo fibre product, a kids set, was conceived because we couldn’t find BPA-free (or Disney-free 🙂 baby dishware for our first daughter, who just turned 13! At the time, as parents and consumers, we struggled to trust established brands who offered the only products on the market. Leaning on our bamboo expertise, Skype and considerable sweat, tears, in 2012, we partnered with a factory in China that produced a new bamboo fibre eco-composite. We worked together to fine-tune what is now our BIOBU® FSC-certified  Bamboo Fibre Collection. To push both design and function, we’ve added other responsibly-sourced materials to our range, like cork, wood and organic cotton.

We’ve always believed that being green isn’t a fad, nor an option, so we stand committed to making products that are durable, safe, thoughtful alternatives for today, but most importantly, for tomorrow. All our products are meant to be used and REUSED, by big and little, day in and day out, indoors or outdoors.

Thanks for being a part of our family’s adventure. Boo & Bruno // Founders of EKOBO [EKOBO, since 2003]”

But… why Bamboo?

“EKOBO chose bamboo because it is one of our earth’s most renewable resources. It is a fast-growing, naturally-regenerative woody grass which flourishes organically without pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides. It can be continuously harvested every 3 years without damaging the plant or the surrounding environment. The bamboo used in BIOBU products is collected from the sawdust that is shed from cutting and shaping bamboo chopsticks and bamboo flooring.

We are not only rigorous about maintaining worldwide safety standards (LFGB, FDA, REACH) that our products are 100% non-toxic, but our raw material (bamboo recycled from chopstick factories) is also FSC-certified. In case there’s anyone out there that isn’t sure why it’s so important for timber and bamboo fiber products to carry this certification, we thought we’d explain what it’s all about:

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council; an independent and non-profit organisation set up to address the exploitation of forests, protect indigenous peoples rights to use a forest, support the training and employment of local workers within forests, and much more. ⠀⠀

For a company to be awarded an FSC certification, each business involved in the entire chain of production – from forest owner to manufacturer to seller – must also have FSC certification. So you can purchase our goods, or any good bearing the FSC logo, with a clear conscience that it was responsibly sourced and managed from A-Z. In fact, you can give yourself a pat on the back for shopping thoughtfully and consciously. xoxo”

When your little one is suffering with constipation

Constipation is bad enough when you are a grown up, but for little ones it can be miserable.

Constipation can occur for all sort of reasons; sometimes it is because of diet, some children have a sensitivity to foods and their bodies reaction is to experience a stool firming effect – constipation and for some little ones it is not what they eat but for example too little fluid intake. However it is common and in most cases, easily resolved.

How Holle can Help – when you are what you ‘Holle eat’!

Certain foods can have a stool firming effect, whilst others can have a stool loosening effect. If your little one becomes constipated avoid feeding constipating foods for a while or feed them only in small quantities.

Rice Porridge can have a firm stooling effect, in which case, you can happily swap to Holle Millet Porridge (gluten-free) or Rolled Oats Porridge which are both stool regulating.holle-organic-millet-porridge-with-rice

Carrots, bananas and raw apples can sometimes cause constipation in babies and complicate their digestion. Good alternatives are parsnips, pumpkins and cooked apple and pear.holle-pure-organic-pear-baby-food

As in all aspects of parenting, there is always an element of trusting your instincts – and those of your baby. If your little one refuses to eat a certain porridge, or fruit, or vegetable, they might well be instinctively self-selecting – telling you what they don’t need, and that may well help you find what they do need in order get themselves comfortable once again.

The beauty of Holle is that the company and their nutritionists, understand this completely – both scientifically and instinctively – and have produced a good selection of Demeter quality foods to support your little one’s needs. For a helpful and handy list of all the Holle Jars and their guide to introducing solid food take a look at the Holle Nutrition Guide.holle-demeter-baby-jar-nutrition-guide

How can I tell if my little one is constipated?
If your little one is straining to do a poo, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are constipated. When it comes to a baby’s bowel movements, there is often no normal number or schedule. Similar to adults, babies’ bowel movement patterns vary. Poo can also change in texture from day to day.

If you’re concerned that your baby may be constipated, look out for these signs:

• Crying and discomfort, irritability or pain before doing a poo
• Dry, hard, pellet-like poo that she has trouble passing
• Fewer than three bowel movements a week
• Foul-smelling wind and poo
• Loss of appetite
• A hard belly
• As odd as it sounds, very liquid poo can be also be sign of constipation. Liquid poo can slip past the blockage of hard poo in the lower intestine. If you see this, don’t assume it’s diarrhoea. It may be evidence of constipation.

What causes constipation?
There are several possible reasons why your baby may be constipated:

• Formula milk. A formula-fed baby is more prone to constipation because formula can be harder to digest than breastmilk, causing poo to be firm and bulky. A breastfed baby is unlikely to get constipated. Breastmilk produces poo that is almost always soft, even if a baby hasn’t done a poo for a few days.
• Introducing solids. Babies often become constipated when they start solids, as their bodies learn how to manage new foods. Low-fibre foods and not enough fluids also contribute to constipation.
• Dehydration. Your baby may be refusing milk because she’s teething, or is poorly with a cold; Your older baby may not be drinking enough milk or water with her solid foods. Whatever the reason – if your baby isn’t getting enough fluids, she may become dehydrated. This can cause dry, hard poo that is difficult to pass.
• A medical condition or illness. Occasionally, constipation can be a symptom of a food allergy, food poisoning, or a problem with the way the body absorbs food, known as a metabolic disorder.
• Worry – maybe about a big change such as moving house, starting nursery or the arrival of a new baby.
For more information and advice click here NHS

Babies who haven’t been weaned
If your baby is constipated but hasn’t started to eat solid foods, the first way to treat them is to give them extra hydration between their normal feeds. The Holle Nutritionists recommend for little ones’ the Baby Tea which contains the herbs fennel, aniseed, caraway and camomile, which together act effectively to relieve wind and support and encourage healthy digestion.holle-organic-baby-tea

The Tea can be taken either on its own, or if your little one is still drinking Milk, the Tea can be mixed in with your Holle Infant Formula by using 1/3 Holle Tea and 2/3 water. Do not use more water than recommended on the packet when you make up the bottle.

“Absolutely love this milk started my baby on it at one week old for a top up with my breast milk as I found it too hard to express breast milk! My baby girl took to it instantly and has had no negative side effects, although I found she was constipated (this is normal for breastfeed baby’s as they absorb all milk) although I did email ulula to ask if they had experienced anyone else having constipation, there customer services was incredible and suggested making the formula with 30ml of their kinda tea and they sent me some samples to try! Instantly this relived my baby’s colic and constipation! She LOVES the milk so much that TBH would chose the formula over the breast lol but she is happy with both! I would highly recommend both these products!” Vicki

“Hi, We we’re giving breast milk & bottle but now only give bottle milk & our 4month old was getting constipation. I read somewhere to give him a tsp. of juice which worked but I didn’t want to be giving him so much sugar all the time, I read a review on this website from the goats milk that said they use this tea. I ween him off the juice now & his poo it great. I use little tea pot & get three bottle from one tea bag. It works fine & saves me some money. Thanks Holle x” Charlotte

Constipation in children
Constipation is common in childhood, particularly when children are being potty trained. As well as infrequent or irregular bowel movements, a child with constipation may also have any of the following symptoms:

• loss of appetite
• a lack of energy
• being irritable, angry or unhappy
• foul-smelling wind and stools
• stomach pain and discomfort
• soiling their pants
• generally feeling unwell

If your child is constipated, they may find it painful to poo. This creates a vicious circle: the more it hurts, the more they hold back. The more constipated they get, the more it hurts. Even if pooing isn’t painful, once your child is really constipated, they will stop wanting to go to the toilet altogether. The Weleda Nappy Change Cream is a must for sore bottoms.cal_nappychangecream75mltubeen

Ways to help prevent and relieve constipation in babies and children:

• Make sure your baby/child has plenty to drink – this includes breastfeeding and formula milk feeds.
• You may want to try gently moving your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion or carefully massaging their tummy to help stimulate their bowels.baby_body-oil
• Once weaned successfully, give your child a variety of foods, including plenty of fruit and vegetables which are a good source of fibre.
• Encourage your child to be physically active – it really helps.
• Get your child into a routine of regularly sitting on the potty or toilet, after meals or before bed, and praise them whether or not they poo each time. This is particularly important for boys, who may forget about pooing once they are weeing standing up.
• Make sure your child can rest their feet flat on the floor or a step when they’re using the potty or toilet, to get them in a good position for pooing.
• Ask them to tell you if they feel worried about using the potty or toilet – some children don’t want to poo in certain situations, such as at nursery.
• Stay calm and reassuring, so that your child doesn’t see going to the toilet or mealtimes as a stressful situation. You want your child to see pooing as a normal part of life, not something to be ashamed of, and food and eating as their friend, not something that ultimately hurts them.

If your little one’s constipation is not getting better don’t struggle on alone; do please consult your GP or Health Visitor for support.

A Holle Weaning Harvest Festival

The nights are drawing in; the heating is back on, and what better way to feed our next generation than on a harvest feast of gluten free pumpkin and plums! Holle prides itself of making meals for babies which are easy and convenient for the parents, and nutritious and organic for the little ones.

Holle Organic holle-organic-pumpkin-with-rice-baby-foodPumpkin and Rice is an ideal combination of vegetable and a gluten free grain. The Holle Organic Pumpkin and Rice is ideal if, as can sometimes happen, your baby has developed a tendency to constipation after introducing root vegetables like carrots – switching to pumpkin as a weaning vegetable for your baby is usually recommended.

Holle Organic Pumpkin and Chicken – is a mild tasting chicken meal that appeals to babies during the later weaning stage one. Using chicken holle-organic-pumpkin-with-chicken-baby-foodfrom a new initiative in Germany which raises the male chicken to Demeter certified organic standards, this mild tasting Chicken meal is perfect for weaning.

Holle’s NEW organic baby porridge is a real gluten free treat for babies. Finely puréed pumpkiholle-organic-vegetable-porridge-pumpkin-rightn provides it with a delicious pumpkin aroma that, combined with maize and rice, creates a delicious meal. Easy to prepare using either breast milk, baby formula or just water for a delicious and wholesome porridge for your baby.

Holle Organic Apple and Plum Baby Food is a smooth and fruity pudding for your bholle-organic-apple-and-plum-baby-foodaby, made with 81% biodynamically and organically grown fruit. Ideal for use in your baby’s porridges, on its own in the afternoon or as a snack when your baby feels hungry.


Gluten Free Baby Porridges from Holle – an Update

Gluten free baby porridges are an important choice for many parents starting to wean their baby. Holle baby food has always had a long history of producing an extensive range of porridges for babies, including a number of gluten free baby porridges for little ones of all ages. The Ulula Holle Weaning Starter Kit and Ulula’s Baby Weaning Starter Porridge Pack are lovely examples for babies and parents just starting out on their weaning journey together.

Gluten free baby porridges from Holle

Gluten free baby porridges from Holle

As you’d expect, Holle’s gluten free baby porridges are all certified organic and produced to the very highest standard. Wherever possible, the grains for the gluten free porridges, along with the rest of the Holle range, are grown to biodynamic farming standards and are Demeter certified.

Holle’s Gluten Free Baby Porridges- Some Temporary Changes

Natural, organically grown products are always subject to variations in the weather. In more difficult years, in which there is a lot of rain or it is extremely dry, the result can be that insufficient quantities of grain are available at the very highest quality standard demanded by Holle. As a result of the extremely poor harvest in 2013 Holle cannot presently offer millet gluten free baby porridge in its usual certified Demeter biodynamic quality, in addition to being organically certified. This is because there are ony limited quantities of the raw grain available due to the increased humidity that Holle’s farmers in the growing areas of Austria and Hungary faced during 2013.

In order to maintain a consistently available supply of gluten free baby porridges for your baby, Holle have decided to temporarily switch over to organically certified millet that is not also Demeter certified. They will also mix the former single grain gluten free baby porridges Millet and Millet Apple & Pear with a small proportion of organic wholegrain rice. See further below for more details.

A Comprehensive Range of Gluten Free Baby Porridges

As a result of these temporary changes Holle are still able to offer a comprehensive assortment of gluten free baby porridges in top quality organic standard. Of course, the labelling, packaging and product descriptions on the Ulula website for all the Holle gluten free baby porridges reflect these changes. We will also keep you informed as soon as future harvests allow for a sufficient quantity of biodynamically grown grains and the gluten free porridges are back as being Demeter certified, in addition to organic.

Gluten Free Baby Porridges – Holle’s Current Organic Range

The following provides a summary of the changes made to the current Holle organic gluten free baby porridge range. See individual product descriptions for more details.

Holle Organic Rice Baby Porridge

  • Certified organic. Temporarily no longer Demeter certified.

Holle Organic Millet Baby Porridge

  • Certified organic. Temporarily no longer Demeter certified;
  • Mixed with 25% organic wholegrain rice.

Holle Organic Millet Baby Porridge with Apple & Pear

  • Certified organic. Temporarily no longer Demeter certified;
  • Mixed with 22.5 % organic wholegrain rice.

Holle Organic Three Grain Baby Porridge

  • Certified organic. Temporarily no longer Demeter certified.

Please note that the rest of the Holle organic baby porridge range remains unchanged. The alternative milk cereal range also remains unchanged.

Holle Baby Porridge Voluntary Withdrawal and Recall

Please note: The withdrawal mentioned in this article is no longer current. This article has been left on the site as a matter of historical record.

Update: October 2017

After a question about this issue was asked of us, we contacted Holle for an update . Here is their Quality Manager’s statement:

“Thank you very much for your question and for asking us directly about this issue. Please, first I will explain what happened: In late 2013 and early 2014 production we and plenty of other producers of organic millet and buckwheat products, had founds traces of Tropane alkaloids. These Tropane alkaloids are naturally produced by some plants to fight feeding predators. In some harvest events it was possible that sap of these plants had ended up in the millet and buckwheat seed harvest.

In opposite of conventional farmers, organic farmers does not have the possibility to kill these plants by usage of broad band pesticides. But this is not the problem. In 20.000 years history of plant growing, these plant metabolites has been often and fully eaten by humans. The traces that has been found in our products for example are 200 times lower than a pharmaceutical active dose for infants.

So what happened? In these months in 2013/14, due to new techniques, the laboratories where able to find Tropane alkaloids in very low concentrations. This was new and German authorities just didn’t know how to handle it. We had only found two Tropane alkaloids, and there was absolutely no indication for any harm to the babies.

After explanations and arrangements with the German authorities regarding how to react, some other eastern European authorities misunderstood the situation such that they published an alert, and that was spread virally all over the world.  In this case we had no other option; we must recall all products containing millet and buckwheat. Seven or eight other organic producers followed. In this example you can see how powerful media can be.  

Since then, we have set EU maximum values for these traces, and every batch is monitored, plenty of times, to avoid Tropane alkaloids in our products! From that point in 2014 on, we never found any of these metabolites again.   Hopefully your fears are allayed a bit. If you have further questions do not hesitate to ask us.”


Original Blog Published: 16th December 2014.

Apologies in advance for the length of this article. I write at length so as to give concerned parents full information about a voluntary limited withdrawal of some baby porridges by Holle baby food. It is worth reading in total as the most useful background and current information for parents is sadly missing from official UK statements.

Due to new testing methods a minute amount of chemicals in the tropane alkaloids family have been found in three past batches of millet based Holle baby porridges.  However, Holle are very aware of their responsibilities to parents to produce consistently safe food for young babies. As a result they immediately issued a voluntary withdrawal of subsequent batches while they work to further improve their already stringent production processes and to work with their independent testing facilities to incorporate any new testing methodologies that may be necessary.

Testing for Tropane Alkaloids in Foods

Tropane alkaloids have been present in human food ever since agriculture has been practiced. They come from the seeds of wild plants that may grow in cultivated fields as undesirable competition to a crop. In October 2013, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) conducted a study on tropane alkaloids with the aim of coming to a conclusion as to whether to set a limit when it comes to atropine and scopolamine (the two relevant chemicals) contained in food or not. As a result of this study, the EFSA recommended an acute reference dose (ARfD). At the beginning of 2014, however, the European Union decided not to set an official permitted maximum limit for tropane alkaloids due to unclear and unstandardised and non-validated analysis methods. In other words, according to the present state of accepted knowledge, so far a maximum permitted level for tropane alkaloids set by the European Union does not exist. It is also worth mentioning that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not published any comment on the subject.

It is only very recently that a laboratory of the government of one of the German federal states has developed an in-house method to detect and quantify tropane alkaloids. It is accepted within the scientific community that it is not known how valid this method currently is, since it has not been validated and there have not been interlaboratory comparison tests (ring trials). It was this agency that detected the presence of the tropane alkaloids and subsequently issued an alert notification. In a statement from November 2013, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) noted that they were not aware of any cases of health impairments in babies, toddlers, or consumers of other age groups, caused by the consumption of food containing traces of tropane alkaloids.

I should emphasise that the German authorities who came up with this alert notification neither demanded Holle to do an official recall directly to the end-consumer nor to recall all Holle porridges containing millet from the shelves at any time. Further, an official worldwide withdrawal was not requested. This remains the case.

The Food Standard Agency Response

However, despite this history and the voluntary withdrawal of current porridges of the same varieties as those affected in the one past batch, the UK Food Standards Agency decided to institute an official recall of four Holle porridges. I shall reproduce their recall below. A similar mistaken recall was issued by a number of other similar agencies in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Authorities in Ireland, for example, have subsequently admitted their mistake and have corrected it with immediate effect. Despite promptings to do so the UK FSA have refused to correct their initial statement. As a major importer of Holle baby foods I am sure officials from the FSA will be reading this article and I invite them, in the spirit of openness, to submit their response in the comment section below.

I emphasise again. Holle has voluntarily withdrawn four baby porridges despite them not being shown to have been affected by this issue. They know how important it is to make the safest possible baby food and this voluntary withdrawal allows them to make sure everything possible is being done to keep up with all possible latest findings, even though they have not been validated within the wider scientific community. To me that says a great deal about their values-based ethical approach and I feel they have acted honourably throughout.

The Food Standard Agency Statement in Full

The following is taken from the FSA website.

Holle branded and Lebenswert branded baby foods recalled

Last updated: 12 December 2014

Holle Baby Food GmbH Serviceburo is recalling all batches of specific Holle branded and Lebenswert branded baby foods due to the presence of atropine and scopolamine.
All batches of the following products are being recalled:

  • Holle Organic Millet Porridge Apple-Pear (pack size: 250g)
  • Holle Organic Millet Porridge with Rice (pack size: 250g)
  • Holle Organic Millet Porridge (pack size: 250g)
  • Holle Organic Holle Organic 3-Grain Porridge (pack size: 250g)
  • Millet and Rice Whole Wheat Porridge (Lebenswert bio Hirse & Reis Vollkornbrei)

The FSA is investigating how these products have been distributed in the UK and is requesting any food businesses who stock this product to recall it from sale.

If you have bought this product, do not feed it to your infant. Consumption of the affected products may cause short-term adverse effects, for example, dilated pupils, change of heart rate, dryness of the mouth, constipation, urinary retention, and flushed skin. The chemicals present will be excreted from the body and therefore there are no long term health effects.

This limited statement gives little background information and doesn’t tell parents anything about any potential likelihood that their baby may have been affected. I thought I would leave that to the FSA of Ireland with this official statement taken from their website:

Baby Food Recall December 2014

Holle Baby Food Gmbh Serviceburo is recalling the Holle branded and Lebenswert branded baby foods listed below due to the presence of the chemicals atropine and scopolamine.

What products are recalled?
Holle Organic Millet Porridge Apple-Pear (250g)
Holle Organic Millet Porridge with Rice (250g)
Holle Organic Milk Porridge Millet (250g)
Holle Organic Holle Organic 3-Grain Porridge (250g)
Millet and Rice Whole Wheat Porridge (Lebenswert bio Hirse & Reis Vollkornbrei);
All batch codes, all best before dates 
Country of Origin: Switzerland

Are all of the products affected?
No, just some batches are implicated, but all are being recalled as a precautionary measure.

Are these products sold in all shops?
No, they are primarily sold in health food stores. In-store recall notices will be displayed in outlets that sold the affected products.

What chemicals are present?
Atropine and scopolamine. These chemicals are tropane alkaloids that can occur naturally in certain plants and can have pharmacological properties (effects on the nervous system).

How did they get into the product?
There is no confirmation yet as to how these chemicals got into the product. However, as the country of origin is Switzerland, it is being investigated by the Authorities there.

What are the effects of consuming these chemicals?
Consuming these chemicals may cause short term adverse effects, for example, dilated pupils, change of heart rate, dryness of the mouth, constipation, urinary retention, and flushed skin. Symptoms usually occur 30-60 minutes after consumption. The chemicals present will be excreted from the body and therefore there are no long term health effects. This usually occurs in 12 to 48 hours. Consumption of implicated products is unlikely to cause these effects but it cannot entirely be excluded.

My baby has consumed this product. Has he/she been poisoned?
It your baby has consumed any of the implicated products, and did not display any of the symptoms listed above within 30 minutes – up to 24hrs of eating the product, it is unlikely he/she has been affected. The levels found in these products have been quite low, and are below levels associated with causing effects. Consumption of implicated products is unlikely to cause any effects.

What should I do if my baby displays these symptoms?
The chemicals present will be excreted from the body within 12 to 48 hours. There are no long term health effects. However, if you are concerned, it is advisable to seek medical advice.

My baby has been eating these products for a number of weeks/months.
It is unlikely that all, if any, of the products that your baby consumed were affected. Even if your baby consumed these products over a period of time, the chemicals don’t build up in the body but are excreted within 12 to 48 hours. There are no long term health effects.

What should I do if I have this product?
You should not feed the product to your baby. You should either dispose of the product or return it to the store where you bought it.

Holle Baby Food Response

I thought it only fair that I also present the Holle baby food response to these events. Again, I quote in full from their webpage:

Product withdrawal: Holle baby food millet porridges

A German state laboratory detected traces of natural tropane alkaloids in samples of Holle Organic Millet Porridge, Holle Organic Millet with Rice Porridge and Holle Organic Millet Porridge Apple-Pear.

We want to be on the safe side, we want to avoid any risk for very small children and we also want to avoid any damage to our own good reputation over different laboratories’ disputes about their results and evaluations. This is why we are voluntarily withdrawing three batches from the market.

This voluntary withdrawal affects the following lots and products:

  • Holle Organic Millet Porridge, lot number L13219 with best-before date 30.04.2015
  • Holle Organic Millet with Rice Porridge , lot number L14103 with best-before date 30.11.2015
  • Holle Organic Millet Apple-Pear Porridge, lot number L13239 with best-before date 30.04.2015

The goods we have on stock are blocked and will not be delivered. Our retail partners are instructed to take the products from the shelves immediately. Customers who already bought Holle millet porridges and have them at home can of course return them for a refund in the shop.

Background information:

Currently, there are no officially verified standard measuring methods to detect tropane alkaloids.

Based on its own new in-house measuring method, a German state laboratory detected traces of tropane alkaloids in Holle millet porridges.

Tropane alkaloids are natural substances of weed seeds in millet crops. Careful cultivation helps eliminating them. One year ago, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and its German equivalent, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), raised the issue of traces of such seeds, such as the seeds of henbanes, that have always been present in food. They categorized them as undesirable and evaluated their risks. As a consequence, official laboratories targeted these alkaloids to develop their own in-house reference methods. The traces they are reporting with these methods are now the subject of warnings and withdrawals. A valid standard method does not yet exist.

In a statement from November 2013, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) noted that they were not aware of any cases of health impairments in babies, toddlers, or consumers of other age groups, caused by the consumption of food containing traces of tropane alkaloids.

We regret the current situation very much and would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Should you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the Holle baby food service team:

Holle’s Frequently Asked Questions on Tropane Alkaloids in Baby Food

In the interests of completeness and openness I provide the latest list of frequently asked questions from Holle’s website. These provide even more of the background and useful information missing from the FSA.

Frequently asked questions and their answers:

 What is this about?

An official analysis detected traces of plant substances called tropane alkaloids. Unfortunately, both the risk assessment and the analytical methods to detect tropane alkaloids are not very clear. As a precaution and to avoid any risk for very small children, Holle baby food GmbH has therefore decided to voluntarily withdraw three batches of Holle Organic Millet Porridge products from the market.

Which method was applied for the analysis?

Currently, there are no valid standard methods to detect tropane alkaloids, and no certified reference materials. The test results of our independent, accredited laboratory all show no or only very small contaminations. Also, the test results for all other Holle products show no traces of tropane alkaloids.

What are tropane alkaloids?

The main tropane alkaloids are atropine and scopolamine. They are natural substances of the solanaceous herb or nightshade plant family, including thornapple, deadly nightshade, and angel’s trumpet. The plants produce them in order to deter potential herbivores.

Have cases of impairments been reported?

Unfortunately, the assessment of the risk connected to tropane alkaloids is not very clear. In November 2013, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published a statement about tropane alkaloids. They note that they were not aware of any cases of acute or chronic health impairments in consumers of all age groups caused by tropane alkaloids in food products.

Which amounts were detected?

The detected amounts of tropane alkaloids are very minimal. They are within nanogram or microgram range (one microgram is equal to one millionth of a gram). Tropane alkaloids such as atropine are also employed for medicinal purposes. According to relevant literature, up to 40 micrograms of atropine are used therapeutically in children. The traces detected in Holle products are at least 40 times less.

How do tropane alkaloids get into food products?

Seeds containing tropane alkaloids are included in the harvest directly on the field; they are later sorted out by modern filtering techniques. Unfortunately, the family of tropane alkaloid producing plants is very large, and similarities between their seeds and the actual crop are always possible, so they might not be sorted out. Tropane alkaloid producing plants have been harvested along the actual crops ever since agriculture developed. The filtering techniques of today have of course improved a lot, but so have the laboratory methods to analyze crops. Nowadays, even the most minimal amounts of tropane alkaloids are detectable.

Which efforts is Holle baby food GmbH making to keep tropane alkaloid concentrations even lower in the future?

We at Holle baby food GmbH and our production partners have already established a broad monitoring program for tropane alkaloids, which has been in use for several months. We have also promoted the improvement of technical and physical methods to eliminate the seeds of plants containing tropane alkaloids.


Once again, I apologise for the length of this article. I felt it important though that parents be given the opportunity to fully aware of the background and current information. Even given the unofficial nature of the test that has identified these naturally occuring chemicals in foods and the lack of any official European or worldwide standards on maximum levels of such chemicals Holle has voluntarily acted to ensure that they continue to provide parents with consistently safe food for their babies. The past batch that was identifed was voluntarily withdrawn, despite the relevant official bodies not requesting such a withdrawal or being aware of any cases of acute or chronic health impairments in consumers of all age groups caused by tropane alkaloids in food products.

As a supplier of Holle baby foods and as a mother who has fed my children Holle baby foods I personally am glad that Holle has taken such an precautionary approach. It merely underlines for me the seriousness in which they hold our children’s safety and general health. I am also saddened though that UK authorities have failed to give a comprehensive account of the situation to concerned parents and invite them again to leave their response below.

I will continue to monitor this situation carefully and if any thing new comes to light will let you know via the website.

Preparing Holle Baby Porridges – Avoiding Lumps

Sometimes parents tell me that they find it difficult to prepare the Holle organic baby porridges without lumps. I instantly know the problem and a simple piece of advice is all that is needed to quickly and simply prepare baby porridges with a fine, smooth consistency that is perfect for weaning babies.

Baby Porridges Without Lumps

So, how can the baby porridges be prepared in such a way as to completely avoid a lumpy texture? Simply add the liquid to the bowl first and then stir in the powdered baby porridge.

I think, as adults, we become so accustomed to mixing liquids into powders that we sometimes find this counter-intuitive and we automatically prepare the baby porridges the same way. But by closely following the instructions on the packaging lumps really should not occur, allowing you to feed your baby the perfect porridge.

Just a few other general pointers when feeding your baby with the Holle baby porridge range:

  • Please follow the ingredients measurements on the baby porridge packaging carefully. The correct amount of ingredients will ensure your baby receives the correct nutrients for his or her age and developmental stage.
  • Always prepare baby porridges freshly for each feed. Do not use leftovers.
  • Due to the risk of overheating, please do not heat baby porridges in a microwave.

Do let me know your questions about our organic baby foods and weaning babies – your questions can help others too.

Holle Organic Three Grain Baby Porridge – Now Gluten Free

Holle have recently announced a change in their recipe for the Organic Three Grain Baby Porridge – the cereal is now the first gluten free multi-grain baby porridge on the market.

The Swiss organic baby food manufacturer has just launched the new 3 grain baby porridge recipe on the continent and we are pleased to already have an ample supply of cases of the gluten free version available to purchase.

Holle Organic Three Grain Baby Porridge – Ingredients

The Holle Organic Three Grain Baby Porridge is made from three popular gluten free organic/biodynamic grains – rice, corn and millet – and is suitable for all babies including those with a gluten intolerance and those who wish to avoid feeding their babies with foods containing gluten before the age of 6 months.

When and How to Use?

The 3 grain is an ideal porridge during the second and third stages of weaning your baby.

As with all Holle baby porridges you can prepare the Organic Three Grain Porridge for your baby’s breakfast with breast milk, baby milk formula or even water.

By adding freshly prepared fruit puree (quickly and simply prepared using the Ulula glass grater) or adding some teaspoons of one of the Holle fruit jars your baby will enjoy a delicious and nutritious afternoon snack.

To make a lunch for your baby just add the Holle gluten free Three Grain Baby Porridge to your home made vegetable puree or mix with Holle carrots, carrots with apple or parsnips.

Let us know how your baby likes the new gluten free recipe for the Holle Three Grain Baby Porridge, whether he or she has a gluten intolerance or not.

Holle Organic Baby Porridges – Suitable for Babies with Cows Milk Protein Intolerance

We received the following lovely email last weekend from a new customer looking for baby porridges and cereals for her young baby boy who has an intolerance to milk protein.

I would really like to thank you for the fast shipping of my order and for the friendly note from Sabine.
My son has got a cows milk protein intolerance and most of the commercial baby cereals contain cows milk. He loves the millet baby porridge and also the Holle Rice porridge.
Thanks a lot !

Organic Baby Porridges – Milk Protein Free Options

The Holle range of organic baby porridges does indeed have a huge number of baby cereals that are suitable for Kim’s son and other young babies with an intolerance to milk protein:

Single Grain Baby Porridges

Baby eating Holle organic baby porridge - photo sent in by customer

Baby eating Holle organic baby porridge - photo sent in by customer

Multi-Grain Baby Porridges

Baby Porridges with Milk Protein

Of course, those babies without a milk protein intolerance can enjoy the above baby porridges just as much while also being able to eat the Holle milk cereals:

Holle Baby Porridge – Unlocking the Goodness

Holle prides itself not only on using the purest organic and biodynamic ingredients in its baby porridges but also on the gentle approach the company takes to producing its cereals. The Holle organic baby porridge range is made using the whole grain. Not only is the main body of the grain seed used but the entire kernel including the important outer bran layer. Therefore, the entire natural nutritional contents of the grain such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins are retained. Similarly, the important digestive qualities of the grain are retained because of the high, natural fibre content.

Through a unique manufacturing process, involving the carefully controlled application of heat and moisture, Holle is able to unlock the full goodness of the organic and biodynamic grain for your developing baby. This special process produces flakes that are readily soluble. This ensures that your baby can more easily digest and absorb the energy and vitality contained in every one of their organic porridges.

Whether your baby has an intolerance to milk protein or not, let us know which is your baby’s favourite Holle organic baby porridge.

What to Feed Babies When Starting Weaning onto Solids

I am often emailed with questions about how to start weaning babies. Weaning a baby can be a stressful time for a new mum as she often doesn’t know what to give  or when and mums can frequently have concerns as to whether her baby is getting the right nutrition.

Firstly, I should say that every baby is different and what follows is general advice that should be fine for most babies. Relax, take your time and, as always, trust yourself to ‘listen’ to your baby, and if in doubt seek advice from a professional you trust.

Start with half a teaspoon of fresh apple puree (using a glass grater produces one of the best purees I know in small quantities). Your baby will not take a lot in the beginning – babies have to get used to the feel of solids and learn how to move to the back of his or her mouth in order to swallow it.

If your baby spits the food out or cries, ty again later or even tomorrow. The important thing is to get used to sucking or licking food from a spoon. While mentioning spoons, I really would recommend using plastic ones – Holle have weaning spoons made from 100% renewable resources  – as metal spoons can be quite cold and quite a shock to a baby’s sensitive mouth.

A few days later you can add 1 tablespoon Holle Organic Rice Porridge to the puree. Once your baby is used to the puree you could either start making rice or millet porridge with breast milk or baby formula.

Again after a week or two you can start giving him one or two teaspoons of carrot puree. Gradually increase the amount of solids according to your baby’s appetite.

I do not recommend a huge variety of fruit or vegetables at first as this can confuse babies and there is even a discussion about developing a risk of allergy when too many different foods are given. You baby needs security and can be happy with little.

If your baby is a good eater you can change/add vegetables over the coming weeks. Take your baby’s pace. There aren’t any “must gives”.

Soon your baby will be eating his baby porridge for breakfast (with fruit puree), he or she can have a sugar free rusk and/or a breast feed in the later morning, a vegetable/grain based lunch, a milk free porridge in the afternoon and a milk based porridge in the evening.
I usually send out a Holle Baby Food Advisor with any first order. The advisor contains lots of useful tips as well as full information about the Holle organic baby food ranges. You can also download the advisor from the Ulula weaning advice pages.

Let me know your experiences of weaning. What advice and tips would you give mums about to start weaning their babies?

Organic Babymuesli Porridge – New Recipe

In this final news item from the Organic and Natural Products exhibition in Olympia we can announce that the ever popular Holle Babymuesli baby cereal now has a new recipe. The base cereal for the porridge has changed to wholegrain semolina, while the raisins have been taken out altogether and replaced by banana, apple and raspberry.

Altogether these substantial recipe changes have made this a highly attractive baby porridge. Early taste tests were extremely favourable – the naturally sweet cereal was complemented by a tasty fruitiness that was very popular. Holle are definitely onto a winner.

Holle Organic Babymuesli porridge is quick to prepare, easy to digest and dairy free. As with all Holle’s baby porridges it can be prepared with breast milk, baby milk or formula, water or any other liquid.

We are sometimes asked if this baby porridge really is suitable for babies – it seems the name ‘muesli’ conjures up images of rather lumpy, chewy cereals, not the kind of food to be feeding babies in  the early stages of weaning. But yes, the Babymuesli is perfect for your little one – it is in powdered form and makes a very smooth, lump free baby porridge.

For older babies, toddler and even adults Holle Organic Baby Muesli Porridge can though make a nutritious snack when mixed with fresh fruit, yoghurt, raisins and nuts (after 12 months of age). Enjoy.

Given this recipe change has just been announced, we are very pleased to be in a position to offer it for sale immediately – try the Holle Organic Babymuesli now.