Category Archives: Weaning

Feeding Baby Organic Food Reduces Pesticide Risks Later

It seems that hardly a month goes by without more evidence that the chemical nasties sprayed on our food in so-called ‘conventional farming’  are bad for the health of our babies and growing children. The importance of feeding babies a largely organic diet cannot be overstated. For more about the latest study and how to protect your baby, read on…

Last month’s edition of the internationally respected journal ‘Pediatrics’ carried an article suggesting that even low levels of  chemical pesticides are associated with an increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

Researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard University looked for organophosphate pesticide metabolites, an indicator of pesticide exposure, in the urine of 1,139 kids ages 8 to 15 and found that close to 95 percent had at least one of these chemical byproducts in their system. Those with the highest levels were 93 percent more likely to have received an ADHD diagnosis than children with none in their system. Those with above-average levels of the most common organophosphate byproduct – they made up a third of the whole group – were more than twice as likely as the rest to have ADHD.

Even Low Levels of Pesticides are Harmful

“This is not a small effect,” says study co-author Maryse Bouchard, a researcher in the University of Montreal’s environmental and occupational health department, “and it is certainly cause for concern.” She adds that while prior research has proved that high levels of organophosphate exposure can have negative impacts on children’s behavior and cognitive function, in this study “we are talking about very low levels of exposure . . . levels that were believed previously to be safe and harmless but which are now associated with a serious health risk.” She points out that most pesticide exposure today comes through food, particularly conventional fruits and vegetables.

Reducing Pesticide Intake in Babies

So what can concerned mums do to protect their precious babies? You’d be hard-pressed to find an expert who doesn’t advise that people, especially pregnant women and small children, reduce their pesticide intake as much as possible.

The top recommendation is to eat an entirely fresh organic diet, which has been shown to significantly lower children’s pesticide exposure levels. For many that is not reasonable or possible as there just isn’t the variety of foods always available that you would like to feed to your baby.

It also helps to carefully wash and scrub all your fruits and vegetables thoroughly in cold water. But be aware that you can’t scrub away all the risks because most pesticides don’t wash off, and seep into the produce itself.

A more practical answer for many parents is to avoid fresh non-organic foods that have the highest risks because of the large amount of pesticides used on them and the porous nature of their skins in retaining pesticides. See an earlier article on Weaning Your Baby With Organic Food – Pesticides in Fruit and Vegetables for more information. The list provided there gives us useful guide if we are serious about feeding our babies a safe and wholesome diet.

Of course, you want your baby to grow up enjoying a varied diet and so, whilst avoiding the non-organic fruits and vegetables that pose the highest pesticide risk, why not top up mealtimes with some guaranteed pesticide free baby foods?

Pesticide Free Baby Food

Many parents tell me that the large variety of Holle baby jars perfectly complemented by their huge range of organic baby porridges, alongside the homemade food that mum makes from locally bought fruit and vegetables makes the ideal combination. This mix and match approach will help you avoid pesticides while giving your baby the nutritional variety he or she needs.

Share your experiences with other parents. How do you make sure you avoid feeding your baby a cocktail of chemical nasties?

Inspiring Wholefood Choices – What Else Should Ulula Stock?

Regular customers will know that I have recently been away in Germany visiting family and old friends. It was great to catch up on news and gossip, as always.

Even in my small hometown in the former East Germany I was able to visit several wholefood shops. So I stocked up on  many of my organic favourites that it just isn’t possible to buy here in the UK. When  I stood in the shops looking at the fantastic choice on the shelves around me my mind turned to Ulula. What could I introduce to the select Ulula ranges? What other products would Ulula customers like to see me stock?

Well, here is your chance to let me know. What other organic foods would you like to buy either for your baby or the rest of the family?

When I’ve chatted with a few mums this week I have already had a few suggestions. How about organic pasta sauces to accompany our pasta range. How about a healthy chocolate spread for sandwiches and lunch boxes? Let me know what you think of those suggestion and please do suggest lots of your own.

Gluten Free Snacks – Some Sugar Free Sweet Alternatives

Organic four grain biscuits with carrots - young children love them

Organic four grain biscuits with carrots - young children love them

The popularity of the Werz Rice Bran Nibbles never ceases to amaze me. They really are one of the few organic gluten free snacks that are ideal for young babies. I think one of the reasons the Rice Bran Nibbles are so popular is that there are not many savoury snacks that are gluten free and suitable for very young babies on the UK market.

Unfortunately it is very hard to keep up with demand and we have today sold the last packet of our current batch. Be assured we are awaiting our next delivery and will keep you informed.

If you are uncertain of offering sweet products to young children you may wish to consider our range of gluten free and sugar free sweet snacks. This small and exclusive range is free from added processed sugar and is sweetened using only natural organic ingredients such as rice syrup or honey. My particular favourites are the rabbit shaped Organic Four Grain Biscuits with Carrots. They come in packets of mixed boy and girl rabbits and are great fun – young  children love them!

Weaning Babies, Strawberries and Allergies – Plus a Quick Summer Recipe For Older Babies

Strawberries - exercise caution when weaning babies

Strawberries - exercise caution when weaning babies

Ever since the ancient Romans introduced strawberries to Britain two thousand years ago they have been a firm summer favourite – and rightly so in my opinion. Not only are they delicious, they contain more vitamin C than oranges and are rich in fibre.

Weaning Babies and Strawberries

Please remember though at this time year that strawberries are reported to cause allergies or an intolerance in babies and young children from time to time. If your baby is still under one year old and is weaning, perhaps consider waiting to introduce strawberries until next season. I would suggest this should particularly be the case if there is a family history of allergic reactions and/or asthma or eczema.

Because strawberries are such a soft fruit that readily absorb pesticidal sprays it is also important to try and buy organic strawberries for your baby or child.

A Quick Strawberry Ice Lolly Recipe

Try blending five strawberries with one banana, four ice cubes, a strawberry yoghurt, half a cup each of milk and fruit juice. Pour the liquid into paper cups, cover with plastic wrap and insert a lolly stick. Freeze for at least five hours – healthy homemade strawberry lollies for older babies and children!

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.

Make Weaning Babies Part of the Family Mealtime – Start Good Habits Early

Here are two statistics that scare me. One in four British households no longer has a table that everyone can eat around. One out of every two meals eaten in Britain is now eaten alone. I am not singling out Britain here, I think this is  trend that is repeated throughout much of Europe and North America, and it is one that I find very sad.

I am a strong believer in eating family meals together – mealtimes for me aren’t just about refueling the body. When  families sit down and eat meals together they have the chance to chat and socialise and to develop and strengthen their relationships. Parents have the opportunity to model the kind of behaviour they would like to see at the meal table as well as encourage a healthy attitude to food.

When families include their baby in their family mealtime routines from the very beginning of weaning, it becomes second nature for the growing baby and child to accept all this, to naturally develop the good habits you want to see and for them to learn some essential lifeskills. So, include your weaning baby in family meals and give him or her a first class education!

I know that eating together at every meal is often difficult – share your experiences on including your weaning baby in family meals and let’s all learn from each other.

Holle Organic Sugar Free Baby Rusks – New Packaging & Weaning Recipe Ideas

The Holle Organic Spelt Baby Rusks are now available in this country in their new packaging. These popular first finger foods for weaning babies are suitable from 6 months onwards and are great when your baby is teething. The packaging may have changed but the recipe remains unaltered – when a thing is this good it doesn’t need tinkering with.

Holle Organic Baby Spelt Rusks are sugar free, as well as egg, dairy and wheat free. The rusks are mild tasting and easily digested by babies.

When I first came to England I was surprised by what I found in the shops when I looked for ‘baby rusks’. What are traditionally called rusks here seem to me to be more like biscuits and are usually sweetened in some way. On the continent there are, of course, also baby biscuits (see the great Holle Organic Baby Spelt Biscuits), but a rusk is unsweetened and is more like a toast. However, unlike toast these rusks are harder and when moist breakdown into a smooth cereal – ideal for teething babies and for a quick snack when weaning your baby.

Weaning Recipes from 8 Months

Milk Cereal with Baby Rusk

Break three slices of Holle Organic Spelt Baby Rusk into small pieces on a plate. Boil 120 ml of milk and 60 ml of water and pour over the rusks. Allow to soften for a minute and then crush or mash with a fork. Stir and allow to cool. Ready to serve.

Fruit Cereal with Baby Rusk

Break two slices of Holle Organic Spelt Baby Rusk into small pieces on a plate. Boil140 ml water and pour over the rusks. Allow to soften for a minute and then cush or mash with a fork. Stir in 100 g freshly grated fruit (use a glass grater for the perfect puree) or 100 g of a Holle organic fruit baby jar. Allow to cool and serve.

Tip: Add 1 teaspoon of rape seed oil to the rusk mix to enrich it with fatty acids valuable to infants of this age.

Let us know how your baby likes the Holle organic baby rusks and how you find the recipes.