Archive for Dietitian

Weaning Top Tips from Dietitians

Apple on books small


Last night dietitians from all four corners of the world, came together on twitter to chat about weaning. There were more than 500 tweets in 1 hour and lots of tips and experiences were shared so I thought I would capture a few for your benefit.

  • A variety of tastes and textures is key to successful weaning and a lower risk of fussy eating later in life
  • Mum is an important role model. Its important for mum to not influence her little one with her likes and dislikes
  • Having family meals together may help your baby accept new flavours (a spoon for baby and a spoon for mum) and gets them ready for fmaily meals later
  • Never give up, after many attempts they may eventually accept that new flavour
  • Babyled weaning may encourage self feeding but may not be suitable for slow developers. Its ok to combine spoon feeding with self feeding.
  • Spoon feeding has its place if done properly. Let your baby come to the spoon and not the other way round.
  • Weaning is great time for the whole family to start some new eating habits
  • Don’t feel you have to cook new recipes when weaning. Amend family favourites to make sure they are low in salt and sugar
  • Cook in bulk and freeze for days when you are not cooking.
  • Keep commercial weaning foods for when you need the convenience, they are not for everyday.
  • If you are worried about the choking risk, do a first aid course so you know what to do if it ever happens.
  • Expect lots of mess but have fun!

Catch up on the full twitter chat here: Weaning

Cow’s milk protein allergy

Caution milk

Do you think your baby might have an allergy to milk? Not sure what to look for and how it is managed?

Last week a few dietitians came together with the Anaphylaxis Campaign and some parent support groups to tweet about cow’s milk allergy. 2-4% of children in the UK are affected by it and many of them are misdiagnosed or mismanaged for many months. Some good information was shared in the hour long twitter chat including tips for weaning and where to go for support. The twitter chat is well worth a read if you want to know more.

To read the full twitter chat: Cow’s Milk Allergy

Weaning on twitter

Apple on books small

Social media really can be a great thing for sharing information. We had a really exciting twitter chat last month on weaning. Lots of dietitians, mums and bloggers came together and shared their tips on all things related to weaning.

To read what we discussed, click here: Weaning Twitter Chat

We run these #rduk nutrition chats monthly so join us live for a future one!

Weaning with a cleft palate

Oscar smiling at me

Unfortunately Oscar was born with a cleft palate. It’s quite common in the UK and 1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft palate. Feeding has been slightly more difficult as he is unable to suck (he can’t get a vacuum to suck) and so we have use a special squeezy bottle to give him milk. We effectively ‘squeeze’ the milk into his mouth and he drinks it. Sometimes the milk goes up his nose and he does get a lot of wind but he is doing very well and thriving.

Weaning presents it’s own challenges but being a dietitian has given me confidence to overcome these.  Here are a few things I have learnt along the way;

  1. Weaning is really messy. Food does go up his nose and he sneezes alot. Never wear a white t-shirt when serving carrots!
  2. Give drink breaks. Between mouthfuls of food give some sips of milk (formula or breastmilk) or water to help your baby clear out his mouth/nose.
  3. Play with the texture. Stage 1 purees were too runny for Oscar. They kept going up his nose. I found that by adding baby cereal, rice or porridge to fruit/vegetable purees to make them thicker helped a lot. Every baby is different so you may need to play with the texture to get it just right for your little one.
  4. Be careful with citrus fruits. Oscar has not had any of these yet but I have heard these can be harder to tolerate due to the acidity
  5. Get advice from your cleft team. We were advised to start weaning at 4 months so Oscar would be used to solids by the time of his operation. Please follow guidance from your cleft team.
  6. Alot of the normal weaning advice still applies. Like all babies, your baby still needs to experience a range of textures and flavours by the age of 1 year. this is to ensure that good eating habits develop for life. Don’t be put off by the cleft palate!

TOP TIP: Weaning is pretty much the same with a cleft palate baby. You may need to make a few minor tweaks but it is still a fun adventure and Oscar is really enjoying his food. 

Trust a dietitian to know about weaning

Everyone is an expert when it comes to food! Especially anyone that has had a child. Often their views are conflicting and it can be confusing. Some opinions can be harmful to your baby. I found some weaning advice given online by a ‘leading’ UK nutritional therapist. Very scary stuff… a lot of it is bogus and some of it could really make your baby ill. Why take the risk?

When it comes to nutrition, trust a dietitian to know. Dietitians have to undergo rigorous academic and practical training before they are allowed to practice and are a regulated profession. FACT: anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, even if they haven’t studied nutrition! And just because a book has been published, it doesn’t mean the subject matter is correct. Choose carefully whose advice you follow.

Where possible, everything in this blog is supported by scientific evidence, national guidelines or by general consensus.

TOP TIP: Be wary of incorrect weaning advice. It can be harmful to your baby. Look out for the British Dietetic Association or Health Professions Council