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
When a baby is around six months of age, solid foods can be introduced.2
If possible, breast-feeding should be continued.2
A baby is ready to start eating solid foods when they:2
- Have good head and neck control, and can sit upright when supported.
- Show an interest in food
- Reach out for their parents' food.
- Open their mouth when offered food on a spoon.
Before starting your child on solids, if they have a food allergy, any dietary restrictions should be discussed with your doctor or healthcare professional.
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.2
• 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.2
• 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 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 normal for any formula to alter the colour, consistency and frequency of your child’s stools.4If 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 June 2020).
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Information on how to introduce solid foods to babies for allergy prevention . 2019 Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention/ascia-how-to-introduce-solid-foods-to-babies (Accessed June 2020)
- Ventura AK and Worobey J. Curr Biol. 2013;23(9):R401-8.
- Marks K. Aust Fam Phys. 2015;44(12):886-889.