Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks

Signs your baby is ready for solids

1. What do the experts say about starting solids?

There is a lot of confusion on when you should start your baby on solids. According to recent findings, a majority of infants have commenced solids from between 5-6 months and fewer at around 4 months of age. But is this okay?

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) it is recommended that you should start your baby from around 6 months. This is to meet the increasing nutritional and developmental needs of an infant. It goes further to suggest that known allergen foods should be trialled sooner between 6-12 months which may be associated with reduced allergy risk in the long term. Feeding you infant before 4 months of age is not recommended for a number of reasons.

  • Developmentally, an infant may not be able to swallow and could be at a choking risk
  • The infant gut take arounds 12 months to fully develop and early introduction of solids (outside of what is recommended) may impact on digestion and tolerance of that food

2. Signs your baby is ready for solids?

Most babies are ready to start solids at around 6 months of age. As milk is still the most important source of nutrition in the first year of life, the introduction of solids, also known as complementary feeding, is an exciting learning experience for your little one. It’s all about exploring textures, smells, tastes and learning how to eat. To determine if your baby is ready to start solids check that they:

  • Can sit unsupported with good head and neck control
  • Take interest in food at meal times, opening their mouth
  • Do not spit out or refuse foods

3. Solids to start your baby on

Foods can be introduced in any order and at a rate that suits your baby. Some suggested first foods include:

  • Iron-enriched infant cereals, pureed meat, poultry and fish or cooked tofu and legumes
  • Vegetables, fruits, and dairy products such as full-fat yoghurt, cheese and custard

What are important nutrients to consider?

There are a number of nutrients which are important particularly in the first year of life. Key nutrients  to consider include:

  • Iron to support brain development, immunity and support increased energy needs. Iron requirements increase significantly from 6 months of age where breastmilk can no longer support these increased requirements. Therefore, the recommendation for starting solids is that you commence with iron rich foods as mentioned above
  • Zinc to support rapid growth and immunity – found in meat
  • Calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bone and teeth development – found in milk
  • B Vitamins to support energy metabolism
  • Omega 3 DHA and Choline to support healthy brain and eye development – found in oily fish and eggs respectively
  • Prebiotics – to support healthy digestive function and immunity which can be found in a number of foods including bananas and sweet potato.

What textures should be offered?

Food offered should be an appropriate texture and consistency for the infant’s developmental stage however texture progression is very important.

  • 6-7 months of age, infants should be offered purees and then mashed foods in conjunction with usual milk intake
  • 8 months most infants can manage mashed, chopped and finger foods in conjunction with usual milk intake e.g. shredded chicken, well cooked vegetables, mashed fruits and legumes, soft fruits such as melon and soft cooked pasta
  • 12 months, infants can have nutritious choices from the foods eaten by the rest of the family and should be consuming a wide variety of foods. It is important to avoid foods which may be small and hard and pose as a choking risk such as grapes and nuts.

What foods should be avoided?

  • Juice, cow’s milk or soft drink: Milk (breastmilk or formula) and water (after 6 months) should be the only fluids consumed
  • Added sugars and salt
  • Low fat dairy
  • Cakes, chocolates and refined sweets
  • Honey, Raw egg and cold meats (high bacteria risk)

What happens if my baby is gagging?

  • Always supervise your child when they are eating
  • Gagging is a normal reflex for babies have as they learn to eat solids, whether they are spoon-fed or you’re doing baby-led weaning. Gagging brings food forward into your baby’s mouth so it can be further chewed in order to swallow. It is important to stay calm as this does not indicate that your baby is choking.
  • Ensure you have provided the appropriate textured foods to help prevent choking.
  • Progressing from pureed textures, you can make whole foods safer by:
    • Grating, cooking or mashing hard vegetables such as carrot
    • Chop small round fruit and vegetables in half e.g. cherry tomatoes, grapes
    • Give nut paste rather than whole nuts
  • If you think you baby is choking, call 000 and administer First Aid if trained

How do you know if your baby has an allergy?

Food allergy occurs in around 5-10% of children

The most common triggers of food allergy are egg, cow’s milk (dairy), peanut, tree nuts, sesame, soy, wheat, fish and other seafood. It is recommended that you introduce known allergen foods by 12 months. Start with small amounts rubbed on inside of the lips to assess for a reaction. Symptoms to look out for include but not limited to skin rash and swelling of eyes and mouth. If you suspect an allergic reaction (which mostly occurs within minutes) stop giving that food immediately and seek urgent advice from your doctor.

What are some tips for food preparation?

  • Ensure foods are always prepared using strict hygiene standards. In the first year of life, a baby is developing their immune system and is essential that foods such as meats, poultry and eggs are cooked well.
  • Steaming vegetables is the best way to cook them preserving as many nutrients as possible. Whilst cooking fruits and vegetables will result in some nutrient losses, overcooking foods should be avoided.
  • If you are preparing purees in advance, they can be frozen and thawed, but should be consumed immediately and not re-frozen.
  • When an infant starts complementary feeding, you may use spoons that have a silicone tip ensuring they are BPA free. This will help to protect their gums.
  • Some parents may purchase a food processor, vitamiser or other blender providing there is puree function.
  • Silicone portion trays  are popular options which allow for batch cooking that can be easily frozen and used as required.

4. Feeding schedule for starting solids

You can commence solids at any point during the day. From 6-9 months, it is recommended (LINK  ) that you commence with the baby’s usual milk (Breastmilk or Formula) and then offer solids. From around 10 months, you can offer solids first followed by your baby’s usual milk. Your baby will determine when they have been fed enough.

When you first start solids, you may only offer this 1-2 times per day and this can be increased as you baby grows and as textures start to change. It is not unusual that only 1-2 mouthfuls will be tolerated in the beginning, but this will begin to change as your baby grows and develops.

Recipe ideas

The following recipes provide some easy ways to help increase iron intake from around 6 months of age. You can add liquid such as water or homemade stock to help with consistency and blended vegetables will boost nutrition:

  • Pureed red meat, poultry or fish
  • Pureed baked beans, legumes or tofu
  • Baby rice cereal – usually made with a baby’ usual milk. Fruits may also be blended to this as a baby develops and grows

Beef and Vegetable Puree

This quick and easy meal puree idea is great to help introduce your baby to a rich source of iron and zinc which are needed for growth and development.

Ingredients

  • 80g minced beef (lentils or legumes are an alternative iron source)
  • 2 carrots
  • ¼ cup broccoli florets
  • ½ medium sweet potato peeled
  • 1 cup homemade or low salt stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Cook minced beef in simmering water or stock for around 5-10 minutes
  • Add vegetables and cook until soft
  • Place mixture in a food processor and blend until soft puree is achieved. No lumps or bumps should be visible.
  • If the mixture is too watery, you could add an infant cereal to help with achieving appropriate texture

Notes

  • Serves: 4
  • Age: From 6+ months
  • Beef or Lentils can be used in this recipe to cater for dietary requirements of the child/family
  • This recipe can be frozen into small portions for use at a later stage. Once thawed and reheated, discard remaining contents.

Summary: Whilst starting solids can be a scary time for new parents, allow your baby to explore as many foods, textures and tastes in the first year of life. You can commence solids from around 6 months of age but ensure your baby is ready which may be before or after this time. Ensure first foods are iron rich and appropriate texture. Remember that when a baby starts solids, they are merely learning the art of eating. Milk will provide the primary source of nutrition to around 10 months. This is where you should see that food intake start to increase as they progress to toddler age.

General Tips:

  1. Ensure your baby is ready to start solids, particularly monitoring good head and neck control
  2. From around 6 months is the recommended age to commence solids However if your baby is showing signs of readiness, try not to start solids before 4 months of age and no later than 7 months of age.
  3. Let your baby explore tastes and textures – it’s meant to be messy!

Most importantly, have fun with your baby as they learn the exciting art of eating.

About the author

Marisa Nastasi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian for Bellamy’s Organic. She specialises in children's nutrition and has recently completed further studies in paediatric dietetics. She has worked in the industry for 8 years and has developed a strong working knowledge on how good quality diets can benefit the health of children so that they can develop to their full potential.

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.