Good Nutrition is Important from Life's Start
Breast milk is the perfect food for babies when possible. It provides all the nutrition a baby needs for around the first six months and remains an important source of nutrients beyond six months as well.1
At around six months of age a baby needs additional iron from good, healthy food sources beyond breast milk.1
At around this age a baby is physically ready to take on the additional challenges of learning to eat.2
By around 12 months of age they should be eating a diet similar to the rest of the family.2
Depending on the type of allergy your child has, this includes breads and cereals, fruit, vegetable, legumes, dairy foods, meat, fish and eggs.2Before starting your child on solids, if they have a food allergy, any dietary restrictions should be discussed with your doctor or healthcare professional.
It can take up to 15 times for a baby to be offered a new food before they get used to it.3
The same applies to formulas. If your child has been prescribed a hypoallergenic formula like EleCare®, it’s not unusual for them to refuse it when it’s first offered. This is simply because it’s a new taste and smell they are not familiar with.
A few tips to help your child adjust to EleCare®.
1. Mix it up
Try mixing the formula with expressed breast milk. Over a few days increase the volume of EleCare® and decrease the amount of expressed breast milk until your child is taking the full amount of formula.
2. Change the flavour
Make the transition to EleCare® slowly. If your child has been refusing the formula try adding 1% golden syrup* OR 2 drops (0.1ml) using a dropper or a measuring syringe of vanilla essence.2* Gradually stop adding after your child has accepted the formula.**
3. Involve your child in sip feeds
Help your child understand why they need to take a sip feed, involve them in recipe ideas that incorporate their sip feed and encourage them with plenty of praise.
*Always read any food labels before adding to EleCare® to ensure your child is not allergic to any ingredient in the food you are adding, including vanilla essence.
It is important that you discuss this with your doctor or paediatric dietitian and follow their recommendations.
• Food should be introduced one at a time so that if your child does have a reaction to that food it can easily be identified.4
• Only small amounts should be given when first introducing solid foods. About half to one teaspoon is a good starting point.
• Introduce new foods only when your child is well.
• As a guide, introduce new food every few days while continuing the food(s) previously tolerated.4
• Prepare food at home so that you know exactly what has gone into it and that it is free from anything you know your child is allergic to.Link to Tips & Advice
It is normal for any formula to alter the colour, consistency and frequency of your child’s stools.5If your child is otherwise well, is not displaying any other symptoms of a food allergy, and is gaining weight, you can be reassured that your child is just adjusting to their new diet.
- Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Food and your life stages. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-and-your-life-stages (Accessed Jun 2018).
- Nutrition Australia. Infant nutrition. 2014. Available from: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/The%20Guidelines/170131_n56_infant_feeding_guidelines.pdf (Accessed Jun 2018).
- Ventura AK and Worobey J. Curr Biol. 2013;23(9):R401-8.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Information on how to introduce solid foods to infants. 2016. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/images/pcc/ASCIA_PCC_How_to_introduce_solid_foods_FINAL.pdf (Accessed Jun 2018).
- Marks K. Aust Fam Phys. 2015;44(12):886-889.