Your 12-month-old baby is now officially a little toddler. And as such, they are moving on developmentally at a rapid pace of knots. As soon as they hit their 12 month/1-year-old milestone their nutrition needs to change as well. Whilst milk and dairy are still important food becomes even more so. Their brains are building at such a fast pace and their nerve fibres are undergoing massive myelination. Approximately 90% of their brains are formed by the age of 3 years. The brain is made of at and therefore needs a high good fat diet in order to grow. Their energy needs are higher than an adult male and they need double the carbohydrates of an adult to avoid hangry – aka hungry and angry meltdowns.
Having too much milk affects food intake and especially iron levels.
At 12 months their dairy intake reduces to 1.5-2 servings a day. A serving is 200 MLS Full Cream Milk, 40g or a matchbox size of cheese or 1 small tub of full-fat Greek yoghurt.
Transitioning to Full Cream Cows Milk at 12 months
Hopefully, by now, your baby has sampled some full cream cows milk in cooking or on their cereal. It is important to transition gradually especially if there has been a history of cows milk protein allergy or asthma, eczema or hayfever in the immediate family – parents or siblings.
At 12 months move to all milk feeds in a cup.
Starting a gradual titration – every 2-3 days – 2/3 normal milk and 1/3 full cream milk. Then half and half for 2-3 days followed by 1/3 normal milk and 2/3 full cream milk. Then if there have been no food reactions to the cows’ milk you can switch completely. By food reactions, I’m meaning skin rashes such as eczema, mucousy or bloody poo or severe constipation. These are all typical cows milk protein reactions.
I met mum Kellie through a Skype consultation as she lives up in North Queensland. She’s done amazingly with her little boy Reece who is baby number three. Kellie was going away on a holiday but she was really worried about Reece and just how she’s going to manage travelling with homemade baby food. And I know this is a really common problem so I answered her question during one of my weekly Facebook Live Q&A broadcasts.
She said, “Unfortunately bubba Reece will still require purees when we go away in a month, and he will be too established with his diet to skip proteins etc in meals. I’ve never travelled with a baby this age before and there will be a couple of days he’s out all day long. Veg and fruit aren’t a problem, but how do I safely take along animal proteins like chicken his favourite, and cheese for example when I won’t have microwaves or other appliances around to reheat? Is there a safe substitute I should consider? Maybe chia puddings or red lentil dishes?”
I agree with Kellie because if you don’t give protein in meals, then babies are not going to sleep. And fat is also extremely important. If your brain isn’t getting fat then it’s not going to grow well. The balance of nutrition is so important. I talk more about this in my BLOG: Fixing your baby’s sleep problem with diet
Keeping baby food safe while travelling
When you go abroad there might not be ways to keep sort of meat safe and other foods safe. Heat obviously will grow bacteria so you can’t do things like chicken and rice. You’ve got to be really really careful. You’ll need to consider foods that aren’t going to cause an issue in a hot climate.
So, I would look at taking things like avocado or chia puddings made with coconut cream. We need to think about the importance of good-fats in the baby’s diet.
I would be taking Weetbix out with you as well. Because that’s really high in Tryptophan, in lower-glycemic index carbohydrate, it’s high in iron and is a great filler.
Consider the all the nut butter too – peanut butter, almond butter, macadamia nut butter.
If the place where you’re staying at does scrambled eggs these are ok. They need to fully cooked however and you need to have given eggs to bub to check for allergy at least 3 days before you go. If you’re cooking the eggs yourself you can increase fat by adding butter into it as well.
You can even get little blender things that are portable that you can take with you as well. So there are many ways that you can make that food into a puree and give good nutrition as well.
Lentils, chia puddings or quinoa flakes are a great idea as well. With quinoa flakes, you’ve got protein in there and you’ve got low GI carbs. So I’d be looking at those sort of things. I’ve blogged on the advantages of quinoa bubs before at BLOG: Quinoa and Baby Food Purees
Something that many of us grew up with and I know a lot of people don’t like anymore, but that you could take are tinned sardines that are full of protein. Tinned salmon, also full of protein. And you can just mash these up with a fork into a puree. If you’re looking at things in tins then the best way to go is those that are in either spring water or in olive oil.
Baked beans and cannellini beans. I know some have sugar and salt but we’re talking that you’re going away for only maybe 1 to 2 weeks.
I would take some ready prepared sachets out with you as well. Now as people know I have a love/hate relationship with sachets and call them kitchen cupboard drugs because many of them are full of things like fruit juice and fruit and vegetable puree, but not much substance. So when you look at the actual percentage of protein or carbs it’s actually really low. So a lot of them only have maybe 5 or 7 per cent protein, and same with carbohydrates. Now how is that baby going to sleep off that? They’re not!
Here are some blogs I’ve written on the reasons why you need to take care of food pouches …
Hopefully, you’ll have a fridge in your hotel room. If not, email or call ahead and see if the hotel will store some food for you.
It’s important to test any new foods before you go to make sure there isn’t a food reaction while you’re away, because that’s the last thing you want. Be aware that it takes about 2 or 3 days to for a food reaction to show itself.
A word on allergies. There’s interesting research out there as well as to why you should be giving nut butter before 6 months. If you give peanut butter and other nut butter before 6 months, you can decrease the instance of nut allergy by 80 per cent. Which is massive! The same applies to a cooked egg. So if you give cooked egg before 6 months, you can decrease egg allergy by 80 per cent. Baby’s gut before 6 months is more porous, so we need to think about these things.
Today’s blog is especially for Tyler, who is feeling incredibly anxious that her baby has gone 8 hours and is showing no signs of being hungry or wanting a breastfeed.
This is what she sent me:
Hello Karen Faulkner! Carter is 6.5 months and not interested at all in milk feeds during the day! He will go 8 hours and isn’t “catching up” during the night either. I’m a bit worried because he’s not a great eater (only does finger foods refuses to be spoon-fed so I’m unsure how much he’s actually eating) I can’t see any teeth and he seems unbothered.. not sooky at all. Could he be self-weaning 😱
These are more common than you’d think in the older baby and can cause a lot of worry to a mum.
It can occur for one of many reasons including:
Changed your deodorant, soap, shower gel or perfume
You have been under stress
Your baby or toddler has an illness or injury that makes breastfeeding uncomfortable eg snuffly or blocked nose caused by a cold, an ear infection, thrush.
Your baby has sore gums from teething
You changed your feeding patterns
You reacted strongly when your baby bit your nipple and they got a fright. You are newly pregnant and your supply may have reduced
You are ovulating and your supply may have temporarily reduced
You have been expressing/pumping less when away from your baby
You have been sick or taking medication which can have an impact on the letdown
You have got your menstrual period and it changes the taste of the milk temporarily
What can you do to help this?
In most cases, nursing strikes are temporary and will resolve spontaneously. In the short term, it’s important to keep your supply going till they get back on the breast. Try not to stress about it as your baby will pick up on your stress levels
Developmental leaps in the baby, those pesky wonder weeks can interrupt the norm including feeding
Try a dream feed
Sometimes, a baby does not actually refuse but is very fussy and difficult to feed
Change your feeding positions
Nurse when in motion, using a sling or carrier to do this can be helpful
Give the baby extra attention and skin to skin contact
Lay on the bed with your baby with no bra or top on so if your baby wants a nurse he or she can.
Feeding in a darkened quiet room with no distractions
Stimulate your letdown and get your milk flowing so your baby gets an instant reward
Take a warm bath together with lots of skin to skin and no pressure to nurse/breastfeed
Sleep near baby giving baby easy access to the breast if they feel like nursing/feeding
Spend time around other nursing babies, peer pressure may help
Express as you feel necessary to keep your supply going and empty your breasts
Offer your baby plenty of fluids or expressed milk in a cup or a bottle as they need
it is so important to remain calm and patient, handling your baby gently. If you are both feeling anxious and stressed, try taking deep breathes similar to that which you may have used during labour or when meditating. The deep breathing helps slow your own breathing and make it more regular which can help calm everyone, concentrate on staying relaxed, use soothing music, rock your baby gently or carry him whilst walking. This will help your milk to flow so your baby will get milk once he latches.
And like everything else things will settle back down, its usually just a little blip.
Observe wet nappies and weight gain and if you’re needing a second opinion a trip to the Child & Family Health Nurse or GP doesn’t do any harm. Plot your baby’s measurements on their centile chart and make sure they are gaining at the right rate.
Making your own baby porridge is super easy and it’s a much cheaper way to feed a baby than the packaged variety.
Baby porridge is a favourite food parents are choosing to feed their baby. Soft and creamy with a very mild flavour it’s a great first food. Many baby food companies are manufacturing pre-packaged baby porridge oats. However with just a food processor you can make your own finely milled baby oats for a fraction of the price. Most baby porridge oats you can buy in the shops are iron enriched. Whilst this can be useful past 6 months of age it can lead to constipation in some babies.
Store Cupboard Staple
Porridge is one of those useful cupboard standby items and it can be added to both savoury as well as sweet purees. It’s low glycemic and a healthy breakfast option.
Oats are high in fibre, calcium, protein and even some B vitamins. Steel cut oats are slightly healthier and more nutritious than rolled, quick cook or instant oats. Steel cut oats retain the most nutrients because they are not highly processed. However they take approximately 10-20 minutes longer to cook than instant oats. Steel cut oats are also referred to as pinhead oatmeal in the UK. Read more at https://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/oatmealbabyfoodrecipes.htm#ajGpSoQR6DlUeBsJ.99
Puree some pear or blueberries and you’re onto a winner your little one will love.
Pureed strawberries with vanilla bean
Poached and pureed nectarines or peaches – poach with star anise and or cinnamon for added flavour
Pureed apple – use a red apple such as Pink Lady or Royal Gala as these are sweeter compared to a green Granny Smith
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I’m always on the lookout for supereasy recipes for busy parents and their babies. This great finger food recipe comes courtesy of The Merrymakersisters and it sounds seriously delish.
It only takes 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook so all done and ready to serve in a speedy 30 minutes. Winner winner Chicken dinner as we say here in OZ!
Fritters are the bomb
Give me a fritter any day and this certainly makes a change from the usual sweetcorn fritter. There’s something awesome about fritters. They can be enjoyed just as is or topped with deliciousness like avocado or served as a side for brekky, lunch or dinner! Go the fritter!
It ticks all the boxes for balanced nutrition for those busy growing brains and bodies – low glycaemic carbohydrate – tick, nourishing fats – tick and serve it with a protein and veg, maybe chicken and avocado or steamed broccolini trees and you have a complete meal for bub. It’s easy to pick up and just the right size for their little hands.
Here’s what you need to make them:
3 cups grated sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)
4 eggs whisked
2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
butter/ghee for the pan
And now for the cooking bit:
Squeeze out any excess juice from the grated sweet potato and place in to a bowl.
Add the eggs, paprika, salt and pepper and mix well.
In a fry pan on medium heat melt some butter.
Use a 1/4 cup to scoop out fritter batter, carefully form in to a fritter with your hands and place in to the fry pan.
Cook for 5 minutes, flip, press down with a spatula, then cook for a further 5 minutes.
Continue to do this with all the fritter batter, it will make about 10-12 fritters.
A baby will tell you they want a feed by their body language. It’s important to properly observe your baby to avoid missing early and mid sleep cues. Once you miss those early cues your baby can get beyond hunger and become hysterical very quickly. Newborns are very prone to going from OK and happy to losing it, just because they are hungry or tired.
Reading your baby’s hunger cues accurately and responding appropriately help your baby feel secure. A baby who feels listened to is a much calmer baby.
Here are the feeding cues you need to know:
These are saying I’m hungry and include:
Stirring and moving
Turning his head towards the breast or your arm etc.
Your baby is now saying, “I’m really hungry now”. These include:
Increasing physical movement
Putting their hand to their mouth
By now your baby is likely to be upset and possibly hysterical. He’s now saying “calm me and feed me”. These cues include:
Agitated body movements
Face colour turning red
To calm your baby try the following:
Skin to skin on your chest
Stroking and massage
Lazy lion position over your arm and sway baby gently
Here is a helpful video demonstrating all of these feeding cues.
Nurture Parenting's Karen Faulkner is a baby sleep and toddler expert who brings calm and sleep into families and gives parents their confidence back.
Cerris Pty Ltd trading as Nurture Parenting - ABN 42 623 216 384 - Sydney, Australia