Welcome to Me and My Child

Welcome to Me and My Child where you’ll find lots of information on the wonderful journey of parenthood, from pregnancy, to birth and your child’s early development. Every child’s development is different, so be sure to consult with your health care professional if you have any concerns.

You’ll also find plenty of information about what you can feed your child.

When it comes to babies, Breastfeeding is best, and provides the ideal balanced diet and protection against illness. During pregnancy and after delivery, a mother’s diet should contain sufficient key nutrients. Professional guidance can be sought on diet and the preparation for and maintenance of breastfeeding. Infant formula is intended to replace breast-milk when mothers do not breastfeed. A decision not to breast-feed, or to introduce partial bottle-feeding, could reduce the supply of breast-milk. Once reduced, it is difficult to re-establish. Infant formula should be prepared and used as directed. Unnecessary or improper use, such as the use of unboiled water, unboiled bottles or incorrect dilution may present a health hazard. Social and financial implications, such as the preparation requirements and the cost of providing formula until 12 months of age, should be considered when choosing how to feed infants.

This website mentions food, toddler milks and sometimes infant formula.

By clicking on the "I understand" link below, you confirm your understanding that Nestlé is supplying this information about formulas for informational or educational purposes.

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Easy 3 step guide to introduction of solids

Breastfeeding will continue to provide your baby with important nutrients up until 12 months and beyond. However, as they grow bigger, they will need solid foods in addition to breast milk in order to meet additional energy and some specific nutrient needs such as iron which your milk will not provide. Refer to the Introducing Solids section to see the developmental cues to know when you baby is ready to start eating “solid” foods. When your baby is ready to start taste testing foods, offer your baby their first solids after a breast feed when they are happy, alert and interested. Traditionally, there are three progressive stages to introduce solids:

Stage 1: Introduce Purees

This step usually begins with iron-fortified smooth baby cereals (mixed with cooled-boiled water or breast milk), or cooked and puréed vegetables, fruits and meats made into a smooth consistency using a baby food processor, hand held food processor or blender. Start with a few mouthfuls once or twice a day after breastfeeds. Slowly increase the portion to about a quarter to a half of a cup as your baby tolerates and shows signs they want more.

Follow the right process

There is much debate on what to feed your child and in what order. New Zealand recommendations suggest starting with iron containing foods, including iron-fortified infant cereals, cooked & puréed meats, poultry and fish (all sources of haem iron), or cooked & puréed vegetarian alternatives (e.g. legumes). Keep in mind that the order in which you introduce different fruit and vegetable purees doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you give only single ingredient healthy foods first and wait between each new food to make sure your baby doesn’t have a bad reaction to the food.

Monitor for signs of intolerance and allergy

Overseas evidence shows that food allergies occur in about 4 in 10 infants and young children under the age of 3 years, and there is much debate as to why this is happening. The current recommendation is not to delay the introduction of any highly allergenic solids, however to introduce foods one at a time to help monitor for reactions to foods. If your baby develops a rash, swelling, diarrhoea or vomiting after an introduction of a food, they may be intolerant or allergic to that food. Reactions can be mild or severe and may happen within minutes or take hours after a food has been eaten. If you suspect your baby has reacted to a food, seek medical advice as it must be investigated properly.

Stage 2: Introduce lumps;

A month or so after the introduction of purees, you can start experimenting with soft lumpy foods. Add well cooked barley or beans to their meals; use a potato masher to mash fruit and vegetables instead of a blender or food processor. As most babies don’t have teeth yet it is important to keep the lumps soft. The lumps help your baby to develop chewing skills and develop tongue strength which adds to the development of speech. Soft fruit like avocado and banana are instant baby foods that only require a little mashing.

Stage 3: Finger foods.

By ages 8 to 10 months, most babies can handle small portions of finely chopped finger foods, such as soft fruits, pieces of steamed vegetables, egg, cheese, soft meats and fish. As your baby approaches their first birthday, mashed or chopped versions of whatever the rest of the family is eating will become your baby’s main fare. Continue to offer breast milk or infant formula with and between meals.