Tag Archives: allergies

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.

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!

Gluten Free Foods – Customer Feedback and a New Menu For People with Gluten Intolerance

As existing customers will already know, I try to make sure I personalise the service I offer and always write a little note with every order. Many customers email or write back and tell me more about their babies and families.

When H. placed an order recently I assumed she was buying for her baby, but it seems the gluten free food she was buying was really for herself. This isn’t actually that unusual, because although Ulula is a online shop for organic baby food, we do sell many food items that are suitable for older children as well as adult members of the family with gluten intolerance.

Hi Sabine
Thankyou for your note with my recent order.
the items are i’m ordering are actually for myself (a rather overgrown child!) not my baby.
since finding out i have a severe gluten intolerance i’ve really really missed wheat based crispbreads – ricecakes are for me a rather poor substitute, but having found your products, i now don’t feel i’m missing out at all.they are fantastic and have given me such a boost as i’m now feeliing so healthy without gluten, but am also loving everything i’m eating which is important!
also thankyou for your quick and reliable service. i’ve been very impressed al round.
very best wishes
H.

A New Gluten Free Menu Structure

After receiving H.’s email we had another look at our gluten free menu item and quickly realised that the gluten free category page was rather unwieldly, with currently over 70 items on one page!

We, therefore, had a rethink about how we present the gluten free foods and have restructured the menu item to make it more user friendly. The menu now resembles the following structure:

So, thanks to H. for the kind comments and for the idea to improve how we present our gluten free products. Hopefully we have made it easier for everyone with a gluten intolerance to quickly find the foods they are looking for.

Do you or a baby or child you buy food for have a gluten intolerance? If so, how do you find our new ‘gluten free’ menu structure? Let us know.

When Should I Start to Wean My Baby – Some Advice

A weaning baby eating baby porridge - kindly sent in by a customer

A weaning baby eating baby porridge - kindly sent in by a customer

Mums seeking advice on weaning their babies is a frequent topic in my inbox, so I thought I would post a few articles over the coming weeks looking at the weaning process. Today I give some pointers on how to know your baby is ready for weaning and tomorrow on just how to go about starting to wean your baby.

The Department of Health recommends that parents should not wean babies before the age of 6 months. This is partly because a baby’s digestive system may not be fully developed before this age and also because the risk of a child developing an allergy is said to be greater if solids are introduced before six months.

Many parents tell me that they feel this advice is too rigid and that their babies are ready for weaning earlier than 6 months. While introducing solids is possible from about 4 or 5 months, weaning should never be attempted before 4 months, as a baby’s developing digestive system simply cannot cope with the demands made of it. Similarly, a number of parents tell me that their baby was not ready for weaning until after 6 months, and that is fine too.

Tune Into Your Baby and Trust Yourself

My feeling is that parents should follow their parental intuition when thinking about when to start weaning their baby. Consider the list of possible signs below and observe your baby – you’re the person who knows your baby best, so trust yourself.

If there is a family history of allergies, eczema, asthma or hayfever then obviously exclusive breastfeeding or feeding baby milks or formulas would be sensible for the first six months, if at all possible.

Signs Your Baby May Be Ready For Weaning

The following may be signs that your baby is ready to start his or her first tentative steps in eating solids:

  • Holding his or her head up and controlling head movements
  • Sitting well when supported
  • Is eager to chew and making chewing motions
  • Attempting to put things in his or her mouth
  • Is losing the reflex to push objects out of his or her mouth
  • Picking up food and putting it in his/her mouth
  • Being unsatisfied after a full milk feed
  • Demanding increasing and more frequent milk feeds
  • After a period of sleeping through the night waking in the night with hunger
  • Displaying curiosity about what you are eating

Weaning Before Six Months

If you decide to wean at any time before six months, there are some foods that should be avoided as these may cause allergies or make your baby ill. These include wheat-based foods and other foods containing gluten (e.g. bread, rusks, some breakfast cereals), eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, seeds and soft and unpasteurised cheeses. Ask a trusted professional for advice, especially if your baby was premature.

What is your experience of weaning? When did you start and how did you know that your baby was ready for introducing solids?

Allergy Aware (Baby) Foods

Allergies in our modern western societies seem to be ever on the increase and Ulula sells some fantastic organic food for babies and other family members that suffer from a variety of allergies.

But, we have to ask ourselves why allergies are on the increase. Is it a coincidence that they have increased inline with the growing industrialisation of our food production?

Shouldn’t we ask ourselves whether it is wiser to eat more locally grown food and not food which has been grown continents away in environments so different to our own? Shouldn’t we ask ourselves what impact highly processed and nutritionally empty foods have on our bodies over time? And what about the excessive breeding of grains to make them suitable for higher yields or resistant to certain diseases without thinking about the more holistic approach to living plants.

I believe we need to move to a food philosophy that respects and values nature. We take too much for granted and are ignorant of so much that nature offers us. We need food production methods that work with nature, not those that try to twist and pervert it to our own greedy ends.

I strongly believe that one way people pay for this approach is through allergies. I do not try to blame individuals who suffer from these often disabling conditions, but rather point the finger at these production methods that have developed over time and for which we all have a degree of blame. It is painful and hard for the people who have to live with allergies, our societies need to wake up and reverse this trend. What better place to start than with the food our babies eat?