New food guidelines have come out for babies. Surprisingly they are recommending we do NOT give cows' milk until their first birthday, because babies who drink it sooner have lower iron levels.
Keeping them away from foods high in sugar and salt, is obvious. But they also said we should introduce them to peanuts and eggs when they are six months, as a delay in this could increase the risk of an allergy.
THE FULL LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Mothers should breastfeed exclusively for around the first six months of an infant’s life and continue breastfeeding until they turn one
- Infant formula based on either cows’ or goats’ milk is the only suitable alternative to breast milk for babies under 12 months of age
- Soya-based formula should only be used on medical advice
- Infants should not start solid foods until around the age of six months
- Breast milk, infant formula and water should be the only drinks offered after six months of age
- Unmodified cows’ milk should not be given as a main drink to infants under 12 months of age
- A wide range of solid foods, including iron-containing foods, should be introduced in an age-appropriate form from around six months of age
- Dietary, flavour and texture diversification should proceed incrementally throughout the complementary feeding period
- Cut back on foods with added salt and free sugars during the complementary feeding period
- Healthy infants do not require iron supplements
- Infants exclusively breastfed should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10µg of vitamin D (340-400 IU/d)
- Peanuts and hen’s egg can be introduced from around six months of age and need not be differentiated from other solid foods