Podcast Episode #57

Starting Solids with Confidence

Today I’m joined by paediatric dietician Kyla Smith to discuss the process of introducing babies to solid foods. She’s the owner and founder of Baby Meal Times and Toddler Meal Times, two online memberships designed to help parents help their children to love food from the first bite. She’s been a dietitian for 15 years, working with children who have extreme difficulties with food, and strongly believe that the stage of introducing and starting solids with confidence is key to building a foundation and good relationship with food. 

Kyla shares her tips on how to feel more confident in this time and even how to enjoy the process of exploring food with your bub. We go through the difficulties parents might face during this time and the common mistakes they can fall victim to. There’s something for everyone to take away from this conversation no matter what stage of your motherhood journey. Enjoy! 

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Website: https://babymealtimes.com.au

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Starting Solids with Confidence

Transcription

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that this transcription was completed with computer voice recognition software. Quite often unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the computer software. Please disregard these errors. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, this podcast is for you. I am your host Kath Baquie. A physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three. Join me each week as we dive into all things pregnancy care, childbirth, and postnatal recovery, helping you have a wonderful pregnancy and afterbirth experience. And don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes.

KATH BAQUIE

Well hello there. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast. In this episode, I chat to the lovely Dr. Kyla Smith, who is a pediatric dietitian, and we talk about starting solids. If we haven’t met before, my name is Katherine Baquie. I am a mum of three young girls, a physiotherapist for women and I have an online community, FitNest Mama, which helps to provide pregnant and new mothers with the exercises, support and resources they need to feel good from the inside out as they prepare for and recover from childbirth.

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FitNest Mama has workouts that are tired-mum friendly, achy-mum friendly and toddler friendly that you can do in the convenience of your home at the end of a long day, whilst your bubba sleeps, or whilst your toddler is running around causing havoc.

So Dr. Kyla Smith, who’s joining me today is a pediatric dietitian specializing in managing and preventing fussy eating, and she has a PhD in childhood weight management. Kyla’s online programs support families around the world with introducing solid foods to their babies with confidence, and helps family with toddlers navigate the fussy eating phases. Kyla is passionate about helping families to feed their children well with confidence and without stress. In this episode we discuss when to start solids, how to start solids, reach out about baby led weaning versus spoon fed weaning. We talk about fussy eaters, and we also discuss introducing allergens. So it’s a brilliant episode.

But before we do dive in, I do just want to invite you to join FitNest Mama. If you have found you’re not exercising as much as you’d like during pregnancy and post pregnancy or you’ve lost the motivation to exercise or you’re not sure how to best look after your body or you’ve got pelvic girdle pain and abdominal muscle separation and you’re not sure about the best exercises for you. Or perhaps you want to get back into running after birth and you want the best kick starter possible, then FitNest Mama is for you. Join us for these convenient short and easy workouts that you can do from home. Head to www.fitnest.mama.com.

Alright. Let’s get into this episode.

Thank you so much for joining me today, Kyla. It’s so lovely to be chatting today about starting solids for babies because it’s massive. It’s a big area and until you’re in the thick of it. You don’t really think about that stage of motherhood. I don’t think until suddenly you’re thrown into starting a whole new ballgame. So thanks for coming. Can you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know who you are? And let us know what you do and why.

KYLA SMITH

So I’m Kyla. I am a pediatric dietitian. I’m the owner and founder of Baby Mealtimes and Toddler Mealtimes, which are two online memberships designed to really help parents help their kids learn to love food from the very first bite. And I think what you’ve just said then around you know, solids being this thing you didn’t know you needed to be ready for it creeps up on you like crazy, you know those first few months of parenthood fly by and then you know you’ve got a baby and you’re establishing breastfeeding or you’re sorting out your kind of bottle feeding regime and then all of a sudden, we’re adding food to the mix. And that can be super overwhelming for some families. So I have been a dietitian for 15 years. And I work primarily with kids with really fussy eating. So really restrictive eating. They find mealtimes really challenging. They have a very limited range of safe foods that they can eat. It’s traumatic for everybody in the family. And I’ve worked in multiple settings, but in my own clinic thing with families. And what I realized when I had my first baby four years ago was that this intro to solid spice is where all of that begins, for better or for worse. And what I know from me, my friends, my mother’s groups is that the information is so overwhelming, like it just throws people a real curveball. They’re not sure. You know, my baby led weaning? Are we finger fooding? Are we not? Are we what about I don’t know and everyone’s telling me. No, you can’t give that to later and you have to give this now. And it just is exhausting, I think at that point when you’re probably still very sleep deprived and it It’s really hard to sort the information out. And so basically what I have done in the last few years is thought about a better way to do that a better way to share that information so that it’s reassuring and confidence building rather than overwhelming. And that essentially is where my memberships have come from is a way to prevent Emily’s having to come see me when their child is four or five and only eating, you know, chicken nuggets and chips. And this is how we kind of prevent that by helping babies to learn to enjoy food and helping parents to share mealtimes and enjoy food with their family. And so yeah, that’s what I do now is primarily this online space, and showing people with photos and videos how we do it.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. And what you said is absolutely right, maybe you’ve just must have breastfeeding or you feel like you’re just getting a handle of all that and then bang it in this new stage of foods. And I remember between my first and second, they went from saying, start at six months and then start at four months and one baby, they’re recommending one thing like baby led weaning and the next baby, they’re recommending something else. So I did I totally resonate with what you’re saying about the overwhelm. There’s so much information coming from all these different areas. So if you could say two main topics that you mostly talk about, what would they be?

KYLA SMITH

There are big theme is around fear and overwhelm. So how do I even start? And when do I start? And what do I do? Like what is safe at this point? And then the next one is like, how do I know that they’re getting enough? Or the right things? And then the next one, and I’ll give you three, even though you only said two. Is the now not eating anything? So what do I do at this point when we’ve hit this kind of fasting stage? So it’s really that kind of continuum over those first few years of life.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, well, let’s start at the start, then. What are the signs that your baby is ready to start? And what age do you recommend? Like, let’s answer the when question. When do I start?

KYLA SMITH

The official answer for when you start is when your baby shows you that you’re ready. And maybe that’s not the official answer. That’s my answer. Our official guidelines in Australia are around six months, but not before four months. So we never want to start a baby before four months. But we’re really looking for signs of readiness for solids. So we want our babies to be able to sit out with some support that it needs to be independently sitting at this stage. But if we’re propping them in a highchair with some cushioning, we don’t want them to be kind of slumping to the side or flopping forward over the trail, having trouble holding their body up. The other thing we’re really looking for is head control. So they’re not kind of having that wobbly, wobbly head that’s common in those first four months of life. They’ve got really strong head and neck control, they can turn their heads, lean forward, move around, and that they’re kind of really in charge of that upper part of their body. So physically, that’s what we want. And that’s from a safety point of view, that’s to prevent or reduce the risk of choking in those early stages. We also want our baby to be showing us that they want to have a go at this, that they’re reaching out for food, they’re trying to mouth things and putting everything in their mouth. Chewing kind of while you’re chewing, they’re really watching you and you’re eating. And essentially, that’s about starting this lifelong journey with food. It’s like how can we teach them that this is a fun thing that they want to be part of. We never need to force babies or push them to do things that they’re not quite ready for. So it’s really looking for those signs of interest as well.

KATH BAQUIE

What happens if your baby isn’t showing those signs and interests in approaching that six-month stage or perhaps beyond?

KYLA SMITH

Yeah, so most babies are showing some part of that by six months. If they physically not strong enough, at six months, that’s when I consider chatting to a pediatric physio around some kind of core strength topics. Because if your baby can’t hold themselves up by six months in some kind of position, then we just want to check there wasn’t an issue going on that we weren’t aware of. If they were totally strong enough that they weren’t super interested at about six months, I’d start to do a little bit of exposure in the high chair, it might just be once a day. A little bit of puree on the tray, maybe something of foods to hold, but not kind of really feeling like you need to get food into your baby. So it’d be just learning about the sensations of solids, really.

KATH BAQUIE

And I remember for my third baby, like you just need anything to entertain them while you’re busy with the other kids. And I do remember they were playing with food long before they’re eating it. They were just you know, enjoying the texture and like slamming it on the table.

KYLA SMITH

Some people think that that’s a bit of a waste. But actually what that is, is your baby learning to be friends with food. It’s making friends feeling confident around food, and babies learn about what it’s going to feel like in their mouth with their hands. They learn about the smell; they learn about the sensation. So it’s really, really helpful to do that at the beginning.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, interesting. Okay, so let’s say the baby is showing signs that it’s interested. It’s reaching for food got mouth open all the rest. How often would you start off with solids? And yeah, what would you be your top few tips for starting solids?

KYLA SMITH

Sure. So I would really start once a day, there’s no rush to get to three meals at any point. What we’re really trying to do is set up an enjoyable space for parents and for babies. So it’s feeling really overwhelming to you, and there’s lots going on, and you’re trying to fit everything in. And then once a day is absolutely fine until you find your groove and the same for your baby. If they’re kind of having a go, but they’re not really sure what they’re doing, and they’re telling you okay, I’ll have a little taste, but I’m not really sure, then it’s not like we need to be kind of forcing them into that high chair multiple times in a day. The aim really for me is that we get to solids three times a day by that eight months of age. So you’ve got plenty of wiggle room in those early stages to find your groove to work out how things are kind of going for you and your family. And yeah, like building up your stash of foods, working out what you’re going. To offer them to really making that an enjoyable space is absolutely no rush in that early phase.

In terms of top tips, number one is that you want your baby to get messy, if they’re open to that, those things are absolutely learning opportunities. We want to start thinking about foods that are high in iron from the very beginning. So the main nutritional reason that we introduce solids at around this point is it from six months, babies have increasing iron requirements in their body. So irons are really important nutrient for things like immunity, for growth, for brain development. So we want to be making sure that we’re including iron from a food source. So breast milk and formula still contain some but it’s important that we’re offering these iron sources in food as well. High iron foods are things like protein foods apart from dairy foods, so things like meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, lentils, legumes, soy products, things like tofu, and tempe are all great examples of high iron foods that we can start to include at all meal times.

KATH BAQUIE

Initially you recommended once a day is fine, and then by the eight-month stage, you can work your way up to three times a day, is there a time of day that is you find is best?

KYLA SMITH

If anything, not just before night-time is probably the best at the start. And just keeping in mind that solid is never about filling your baby up at this point, like a couple of teaspoons of pumpkin or something is not going to impact their sleep overnight. So if you’ve got a baby who’s waking a million times, it is literally not about food. Yeah, so sometimes doing it at night can be a bit tricky, particularly when you get into the stage of introducing the allergen foods. Because ideally we don’t want to introduce things that we don’t know if they’re going to tolerate and then pop them to bed for the night and not necessarily be able to check on them. So earlier in the day can be better. Having said that, if it’s your first baby, you might have a bit more flexibility around the time of day and what works for you. So you know, the middle of the morning might be great. Others of us you know if everybody’s sitting down to eat at breakfast time, that’s when the baby’s probably going to get fed because everybody else you know is doing that at the same time. So it’s really up to you as to what works and it doesn’t have to be the same time every day. It really is just about having that opportunity to explore foods once a day also.

KATH BAQUIE

So you’re saying high iron foods and a lot of that you’re recommending the meats and the legumes. A lot of those foods you’re suggesting of a food you’re going to cook up and create a meal at home so spoon feeding, is that right? So you think spoon feeding is the way to go initially to help with the iron?

KYLA SMITH

No. I’m a big advocate for mixed feeding from the very beginning. So there are definite strong opinions out there around puree and spoon feeding or finger feeding and baby led weaning. I think it’s totally okay to take the best of both of those worlds from the very start. So the high iron foods, the things like you know, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, lentils, legumes, they’re not safe textures for babies to be able to bite, chew and swallow at the beginning when they’re only used to swallowing milk. So they are foods that we would need to make into some kind of smoother texture so babies can actually safely ingest them. So that’s one of the reasons that I love puree as an option or offering food on a spoon is because it is able to be a high iron food and something babies can swallow. Having said that, though, there are some real benefits from self-feeding. I mean you can definitely sell food with a spoon. There are a lot of great starting spoons out there that babies can put in their mouth themselves. But using things like finger foods from the start are super helpful too. So before six months finger foods are really more about damning things like you know harder foods that they actually just sucking on rather than biting and chewing. And then after six months, we’re moving to these kind of softer, more sociable foods that babies can learn to bite, chew and swallow. And it takes some babies a while with that other babies are gung-ho from the beginning. They tend to be more kind of steamed or roasted fruits and vegetables because they’re the textures that babies can manage at the start. And great finger foods but they’re just not particularly high in iron. So that’s why ideally I would serve them alongside a food on a spoon that is a high iron source.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, makes sense. What’s an example of harder texture that they can suck on but not necessarily bite?

KYLA SMITH

So I like things like lamb chops on the bone that a trim kind of right back to the bone so babies can kind of sack and nor on that without anything pulling off. If you’ve got a baby who doesn’t have any teeth, you can definitely leave more meat on, it’s harder for them to get off things like the texture of kind of rusks can be helpful. But it can be things like, you know, big pieces of capsicum, for example, that they can kind of nor on but not actually bite any pieces off. Those are a time when you can use things like the mesh or silicon net for food, they’re getting a little taste of the flavour, but pieces aren’t breaking off in their mouth, or they can just chew on a spoon they can have, you know, there’s heaps of silicon options out there, that babies can kind of learn to get to their mouth have a bit of flavour on them, they have a chew, but they’re not necessarily swallowing big pieces of food point.

KATH BAQUIE

And it’s amazing how strong their gums can be. Even if they don’t have teeth. I was always surprised at what they could bite off.

KYLA SMITH

Yeah, and that’s what serves them. Well, you know, people worry about babies not having teeth, but actually that excellent choice. They chew with the back part of their gum. So when they do get to the point of eating the soft finger foods, they’re actually biting off pieces and grinding them down with those back downs and they are super strong. If you put your finger in your baby’s mouth and trigger that bite down reflex it’s firm. So they can definitely manage heaps and textures as they get older.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so I remember going to maternal child health nurse when my first baby was for I think it’s four months old, and we had a session on baby led weaning, and there was this really young as a crawling baby. So maybe he’s about eight, nine months old, he had a whole apple and was gnawing on a whole apple. I became bit gung-ho. Then I was like, Yeah, I can give them a baby. Everything’s baby as an apple, I had some not great experiences with gagging and stuff. So I’d love to know what are your thoughts on those apples like whole apples where they can just sort of nor it?

KYLA SMITH

Terrifies me. We know that apple is the most commonly choked on food in Australia for kids. So the reason that Apple is such a tricky texture is because when you bite off a chunk, it holds shape, it might something kind of firm or sharp pieces, and that they’re perfect size to large in the airway. And they’re really hard to get out. So giving babies pieces of raw Apple is really dangerous. And I would be really careful about doing that. There are some things you can do, like babies who don’t have teeth can gum on an apple core really confidently, you know, without kind of chipping off those hard bits. But a baby taking small bites out of an apple really does freak me out as well. We know that Apple is a tough texture for young children. Even It surprises me how often in daycare centers, I see big chunks of Apple served to young kids, you know, in that kind of snack time. So what I’d be thinking about is steaming Apple using things like tined apple or grating Apple, and then you’d progress as your baby was older and more skilled to being able to take bites out of a whole Apple because it’s not as big a piece as a chunk of Apple that they can break off. But even then I’d be pushing well above 12 months before I was moving to that and probably at least closer to 18 months.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. You know how some things stick with you when you start motherhood and that’s always stuck with me and this baby was crawling around. So on the move, mobile, not sitting still with Apple chunks in its mouth and it’s stuck with me nine years later.

KYLA SMITH

I can see an image of any very similar image to what you’re describing. But it was a toddler at the farmer’s market walking around with an apple and it’s just one of my big fears. Like we really don’t want kids to be moving when they’re eating 100% like it is just a nonnegotiable because the increase in risk of choking is so much higher when they’re not paying attention or they’re likely to bump on something or stumble and trip. Add that to something like a really hard none’s washable food like apple. Yeah, it’s concerning to me to. This is one of the reasons that I set up baby mealtimes. And part of it is this finger food gallery by age and stage and texture. Because what concerns me is in some of these baby led weaning Facebook groups, the amount of misinformation that spread is really high. And although it might be willing tension, it’s often by people who have just done something with their child, and it’s been fine. And perhaps their child, you know, did spit out all those bits of apple. But there’s another child who’s going to inhale that Apple. And that’s the real risk is that we’re not necessarily getting information from credible sources. And I’m really surprised that long ago your child health nurse was talking about baby led weaning. I mean over here, we still have nurses refusing to even mention baby led waiting in our sessions because we don’t have great evidence around it and they don’t feel confident talking about it. So it’s still a very grey area for lots of health professionals.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. Interesting. Okay, so let’s move on to fussy eaters. I’d love to chat about fussy eaters. What are your tips for fussy eaters? And how can we really fit things on the right path as soon as possible?

KYLA SMITH

So what I would expect is there a period in babyhood where they eat lots and there are periods where they eat very little, and they seem to be really fussy, they might be throwing more of their tray there might refusing. All of those are very normal. I want people to know that. Eating and intake ebbs and flows. It’s never a linear line where everything gets better or it’s never case of a baby eating a certain amount that’s normal babies are very, very in tune with their bodies. And on some days, they need more, some days, they need less, some days, they might have a sore throat, or some days, they might be a bit constipated. And so their intake will reflect what’s going on in their body.

Parents never, ever have to control. And by that I mean force or encourage more or restrict their baby with how much they need to eat. Babies are 100%, the boss of their bodies, and they decide how much goes in. So when we’re thinking about these fasting phases, there are typical stages at around eight months where lots of babies get really funny with a spoon, they don’t want to be fed by somebody else anymore, they really want to start doing it themselves, but they don’t necessarily have the skills to do it themselves. So they get a bit frustrated. And there’s a phase in about 10 months where most babies go through some kind of natural eating regression, where there’s a couple of weeks that they’re just not hungry, they’re really funny about vegetables, all of a sudden, they’re throwing things at windscreen wiper in their tray, there’s just, you know, a real kind of lack of interest at that point. And they’re the phases where most people start to panic. And all of their kind of good intentions go out the window as they try to fix the issue. And really, as soon as you try and change what a baby is doing, or you try and get them to do something else, is when we start to run into trouble with food. We naturally we want to be building on their internal cues, their hunger and their fullness, we want to be respecting those, rather than feeling like it’s our job to police them or, you know, change them. And so actually, if you can make those expectant phases thinking, Okay, what’s the pretty normal part of eating there are going to be times when they don’t want a lot. My job is to provide but I trust my child to decide that really helps you through these phases. And I think if you know that that’s not your responsibility to ever get your child to eat. Then you can just see what they’re doing is really normal. You can keep offering you can keep eating with them, you keep modelling what you want to see eventually. But you never actually have to change what they’re doing. It seems very simplistic, but it’s very hard to do in real life, especially if you haven’t necessarily had that model to you. If you’ve been told, you know, as a child, you have to eat all your broccoli, and you must eat five bites of chicken before you can get down and there’s starving kids in Africa, you have to eat all your dinner, those kinds of things really infiltrate how we feel about food, or what a successful meal looks like. That has a big impact on our kids. So it really is about trusting them to do their job.

KATH BAQUIE

But something that stuck with me was it’s our job as parents to provide the food. And it’s their job as children to eat the food. So we get to choose what we put on the plate, and they get to choose if they eat it.

KYLA SMITH

I think that is the key there. So if they’re going to eat it, and how much they can eat of it. So there might be times where they’ve had all of their needs met in that day, and you get to dinner, and they just don’t want anything. And that’s actually a positive, you know, if they’re listening to their body and saying, I’ve got enough at the moment, I don’t need to go over and above, then we actually want to respect that rather than thinking no and a load them up, like there has to be, you know, an amount that you eat that is good in my eyes. And actually, I would argue that that’s probably starting to mess with those internal cues, you know, were starting to say no, I decide how much you need to be full, or I decide how much you need to be growing. I mean, I’m a pediatric dietitian, I don’t know exactly how much my child needs to grow, because that’s not my job, like actually never have to dictate to them how much they need. My job is the offering the preparing, creating the environment that supports them to eat, but they’re really trusting them to do what they need to do.

KATH BAQUIE

And this is such brilliant information, because although we’re talking about babies, correct me if I’m wrong, but this applies for toddlers, it applies for my seven year old and nine year old and I catch myself, let’s say we’ve had a party, a birthday party during the day, and I know they’re eating lots of cake and you know, junk food, and I’m desperate for them to have a healthy dinner. I’m like, come on just a couple of bits of broccoli, and whatever it is. And I do catch myself saying that. So it’s good to hear this, I think you can always keep hearing it because it’s very easy to fall into habits that perhaps you had put on you from your parents or I don’t know.

KYLA SMITH

Yeah, and the other thing is that we really want to keep food really neutral. So it’s not better for your child to eat the broccoli than it is for them to eat the pasta. That’s something that’s absolutely been drooling to ask this real kind of good food, bad food idea. But actually that’s what creates kind of disordered eating in the long run. And there are lots of adults who really can’t trust themselves around food, they feel bad if they’ve eaten lots of cake, or they feel like they have to eat the broccoli to cancel out the cake. And actually that’s not how nutritional food works. All foods can fit into a healthy diet, but we’re really trying to take all that morality out of it so that we don’t feel bad and when you talk about those foods, when begging our kids to eat another bite of cake. But well, you know, we might have a different approach to something like broccoli or chicken. And we already start to like change the way our kids view food, it’s like, you know, this forbidden thing, or this thing you shouldn’t have, which, as humans makes us want it more. And there’s things you have to have, which, you know, makes you don’t really want that. So we’re really trying to keep it on an even keel here without these values that are imposed upon food.

KATH BAQUIE

So in your household, I’m interested, you’ve got a four-year-old, right? Do you offer them something sweet after dinner on a regular basis?

KYLA SMITH

I quite like dessert myself. So dessert is part of our kind of natural scheme of things, I tend to offer dessert alongside dinner, you know, house, when I decide it’s on offer. So dessert is never a reward for eating all your dinner, it’s not a thing that we use to top up, if you haven’t had it, we decide ahead of time, if there’s dessert on the menu at that point. And if there is, then it comes regardless of what’s been eaten, or what’s not. So it’s just another food in that repertoire. And we choose to serve it mostly, it’s different on at times, like birthdays, or if you have cake after or something. But if I’m saving a portion of dessert that comes alongside dinner, so that you can decide how much your body needs to be full. Because I provide and you decide from what I’ve offered, and part of it is trusting like I don’t necessarily want you to fill up to the point of full. And then I provide another thing to entice you to keep eating. After that point, it really is about like, here’s the offering you eat as much as you need to be full, and then we move on with the day, without it being a trader award or anything like that.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh my gosh, I’m going to try that. But I know my kids, I guess going to go straight to the dessert.

KYLA SMITH

This is a really interesting thing, though, if we’re setting this up from babies, like if you have naturally restricted your child’s intake of junk foods, or what we traditionally call junk foods, and it can be really challenging them for them at first to regulate. But ultimately, what we’re trying to do is raise kids who can go to a birthday party, eat enough to feel satisfied, and then just get on with the party games without feeling like they have to stand at the dessert table and just shovel it in because somebody is about to cut them off. So I’m certainly not saying we offer those kinds of foods all day long. That’s free rein, whatever it’s actually about, we choose when we’re going to offer it and if we’re offering it now, then it’s there for you to eat without judgment without me telling you like that’s enough. You haven’t you know, don’t do anymore. Don’t trust you around this. It really is about setting up that trust. And kids actually are very surprising. If you can do this consistently and with actual trust. So without a subtle agenda where you like, I think that’s enough. Okay, how about this food? Do you know when you’re trying to push them? And they’re like, I don’t know if she’s confident about this, I’m going to keep going. It can take some kids a little while to regulate if they haven’t, but essentially, that’s our goal with eating in children is for them to be able to trust. I know mum’s going to include that food again, I Oh, my No, my dad will offer that without fanfare. So I don’t need to eat a whole block of chocolate at this time, because it will come again. And I can eat enough to feel satisfied and move on. And that ultimately is what we all struggle with as adults, because we haven’t necessarily had that trust.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, interesting. That’s great.

KYLA SMITH

I look, this is what I teach in toddler mealtime. So this is part of it as we move from babyhood where babies are really open to lots of food and lots of flavours. And we move into toddlerhood, where they’re all about the plain carbohydrates, you know, starchy white foods. They’re all funny about vegetables and meat. How do we still support this healthy relationship with food without, you know, making it really forceful, that you have to eat these particular things, or, you know, really becoming police like around what they can and can’t have? How do we create this relationship with food that is neutral? It’s not about shame, or guilt or fear or worry, and that’s kind of what I’m trying to do.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, I’ve got one more little set of questions on allergies side of things, allergens, introducing allergens to the diet. What’s your general recommendation?

KYLA SMITH

Yeah, so with the key allergens, there are nine allergens that account for 90% of food allergies in babies under the age of one. So these are things like peanuts, and tree nuts, fish and shellfish, cow’s milk, egg, weight, soy, and sesame. Those foods are the most likely to cause an allergic reaction at some point. So what we want to do is introduce those foods, all of them ideally before the age of one. And particularly, we know the most about peanut and egg and they’re the foods we want to introduce before eight months. Ideally, we want to introduce them individually. And the main reason is to work out if there is any kind of allergy going on for that for that baby. So if you introduce egg and peanut all mixed together, and your baby does have a reaction that it’s pretty much impossible for you to know what caused that and you end up having to avoid all of them until you can see a GP. Get a referral to the immunologist get allergy testing all of that stuff. So yes, we do want to introduce allergens individually or at least not with other allergens. It’s fine to introduce allergens mixed with other foods that they’ve had before. But yeah, not mixing the allergens all together.

KATH BAQUIE

And would that be for a certain set of time, like for one day at a time or?

KYLA SMITH

Yeah. So, usually the first three are the most important offerings, they’re the ones we’re most likely to see that sign of allergy. Technically, you can have an allergic reaction at any point. So it’s not guaranteed, but if you pass those first three times, it will be okay. But they’re the most common so I would try not to mix them with another allergen for at least those first three offerings.

KATH BAQUIE

Lovely. Well, thank you. What final words of wisdom do you have for parents are about to embark on this journey of starting solids?

KYLA SMITH

My first words of wisdom are come and join me at Baby Mealtimes. And basically it’s designed to hold your hand through that so if you are overwhelmed or nervous or stressed, there is heaps of help out there. So don’t feel like you have to muddle through it on your own. But the big piece of advice is that this is meant to be something that you enjoy with your baby. It’s a phase that is meant to be fun, you can teach them about food. It doesn’t have to be all scary and overwhelming so you can enjoy this phase and that’s what helps your baby to learn about food eating together is another big part of that.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing well thank you, Kyla, for chatting to me today. I will link all your links in the show notes. Could you just let us know what your Instagram handle is though and how to find you?

KYLA SMITH

Sure. I’m on Instagram. My handle is @dr_kyla. So dr_kyla and you can find me on Facebook as well. I’m Dr. Kyla Pediatric Dietitian and then you can link to the memberships perhaps in the notes but https://babymealtimes.com.au/ or https://toddlermealtimes.com.au/.

KATH BAQUIE

Thank you for coming. It’s so good to chat.

KYLA SMITH

My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

And before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the Show Notes for this episode with all the links including how to connect with Dr. Kyla at www.fitnestmama.com/podcast. Don’t forget to send Dr. Kyla and myself a DM on Instagram if you found this episode useful. We would love to hear from you. Have a fabulous day everyone and I look forward to you joining me next week for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Thanks for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast brought to you by the FitNest Mama Freebies found at www.fitnestmama.com/free. So please take a few seconds to leave a review, subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. And be sure to take a screenshot of this podcast, upload it to your social media and tag me, @fitnestmama, so I can give you a shout out too. Until next time! Remember, an active pregnancy, confident childbirth, and strong postnatal recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials, and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I’ll see you soon!

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