Are stock cubes ok?

Personally I didn't use low salt stock cubes. Where possible I boiled up bones to make my own stock and then used herbs for flavouring. Dried or fresh herbs are perfect - just make sure they are well chopped. Even better have a few pots of herbs on your kitchen window or outside and as your baby grows up they will start to understand where food comes from. 

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Why I started weaning.ie?

A healthy lifestyle and relationship with food begins at home, in infancy. The aim of weaning.ie is to help you achieve this with your baby. As a practicing Paediatric Dietitian and Mum to two young children, I have the passion, training, personal and professional experience to guide you through the important process of feeding babies and children. I am completely independent.

I started weaning.ie two years ago. I booked a room in Bewley's Hotel, Dublin Airport and had 3 Mums and babies for my first class (two of which were friends!). Shortly after my Dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer so I decided to put everything on hold. In September 2016 I started up again. 

As a Paediatric Dietitian in a children's hospital, Weaning.ie came about from meeting countless numbers of stressed and confused parents. Parents were putting more effort than ever into how and what they fed their babies, yet things were not going to plan. Babies were referred with preventable problems like constipation, underweight / overweight, iron deficiency anaemia, fussy babies, windy babies, maybe/maybe not intolerant to something babies the list goes on.... I was also seeing older children with food related problems and I wished I could turn the clock back to prevention.

Parents were always relieved to have an honest, evidenced based conversation with a Qualified and Experienced Paediatric Dietitian. Not only hearing the correct advice but also the rationale behind it, eased parental stress. Then I thought, wouldn't it make far more sense if parents got this advice early on in the weaning process so that these problems could be prevented? 

The baby feeding, baby food industry is booming these days. There is advice everywhere on how and what to feed your baby. How do you decide who is selling you something or who is actually thinking of your baby's growth and development. As a Registered Dietitian with the INDI (www.indi.ie) and CORU (www.CORU.ie), I am obliged to give only the correct and evidenced based advice.

GP's and Public Health Nurses are rushed off their feet. As much as they would love to talk to you about how and what to feed your baby, they simply have too much else to do. 

A healthy diet for a baby is not the same as a healthy diet for an adult. I believe your baby should eat what you eat, once you know how to adapt what you eat. 

Most parents attend an antenatal class to get them through the birth and the first 6 weeks. Weaning.ie is here to help guide you through starting solids and going on to feed a family.

Please see the reviews on my facebook page to see what others have thought of my classes.

Thanks for reading!

Cathy.

Does Irish Milk contain Antibiotics and Hormones?

The information below was supplied by the Department of Agriculture.

Veterinary medicines which are administered to food producing animals in the State must be authorised by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Antibiotics are prescription only medicines (POMs) which means that they may only be used to treat animals, including dairy cattle, upon prescription by a veterinary surgeon for animals under his/her care. Details on a written prescription include the dose rate and withdrawal period to be observed.

It is a legal requirement that raw milk must not contain residues, including antibiotics, for which the farmer has primary control. Each farmer is required to keep a record of all medicines purchased and administered to animals. The farmer is legally required not to supply milk for human consumption that contains animal remedies, including antibiotics. This means that the milk from dairy cows that are on antibiotic treatment must be discarded and kept out of the food chain until the withdrawal period has elapsed.

Dairies collecting milk must have a milk testing programme in place, as directed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The milk testing programme must include regular antibiotic testing of milk collected at farm level. In addition to that, all raw milk tankers are tested for antibiotics by the dairy prior to the processing of the raw milk for human consumption at the dairy. In the event that antibiotics are detected, the raw milk must not be used for human consumption and must be disposed of. As each farmer is sampled at each milk collection the source of the antibiotic contamination is traceable and severe commercial penalties are imposed by the dairies, which provides further incentive to ensure that milk collected at farm level is free from antibiotics.

Official controls at dairies verify that these control systems are in place.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine also operates the National Residue Control Plan, which includes official sampling and testing for antibiotics in raw milk. Over the last 5 years to date, 5130 official raw milk samples have been taken, of which 1 was positive for antibiotics.

Furthermore, the use of growth promoting hormones or milk production hormones are prohibited in farm animals, including dairy cattle.

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Milk sold in Ireland with the National Dairy Council (NDC) symbol, including Lidl milk, complies with these regulations. Always make sure the milk that you use has the NDC symbol.  

When to wean?

The WHO and our National Infant Feeding Policy, both say that babies should not start solids until 6 months of age and not before 17 weeks.

What’s the big deal?
Over 20% of parents in Ireland wean their baby onto solid food prior to 12 weeks of age. Before 17 weeks (ideally 6 months) an infant’s kidneys and digestive system are immature and not ready for anything other than breast/formula milk. Infants weaned onto solids too early are at an increased risk of Coeliac disease, Type 1 Diabetes and wheat allergy.

Did you know that at 1:100, Ireland has the highest incidence of Coeliac disease in the world and the number of children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is on the increase.

Please Like, Share and spread the word!

Cathy (weaning.ie)

P.S There is no evidence that infants weaned onto solid food early sleep any better, sorry!

(Ref: Best Practice for Infant feeding in Ireland, FSAI 2012)

Claire Stapleton

Just finished a class with Cathy and could not recommend it highly enough!! After a few hours I am much more confident about what and how I want to feed my baby as she grows, to ensure she gets the best nutrition and develops the best eating habits. Knowledge and information are the tools this course gives you!

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