Amazed by health visitor's advices.(79 Posts)
We went yesterday for my DS's 10 months assessment ( he will be 1 year old soon actually, that's how well they do their job). We were talking about food and my DS's diet. So, she said that we should give him everything we eat, even if it has added salt or sugar in it. We do BLW and he does eat most of the times the same as us, but it's baby friendly, no salt, no sugar. I was gobsmacked when the HV said that I can give to an almost 1 year old cake and custard, stuff that are full of sugar. I thought NHS is trying to reduce the sugar intake.
The lateness of your appointment isn't to do with how well the HV do their jobs. It will be to do with lack of funding or lack of staff. You can withdraw from the service if you don't want their advice, so you can avoid the 2 year check if they still offer it in your area.
What was the context of the diet advice - was it in relation to your DS's weight?
The lateness of the appointment was due to them forgetting to do it, this I know for sure. I went recently myself to the HV to weigh my DS and I questioned this assessment as I heard about it from a friend of mine. The HV was like "oh you haven't been sent the papers yet?".
Yes, we were talking about his weight. He is on 25 percentile and as any mum I am a bit worried about his weight. But I don't think that it is alright to give to a child of this age foods with added sugar or salt.
Did she specifically say 'give him food with added salt and sugar' or was she just trying to encourage you to make sure he's getting plenty of he kinds of food that will help him thrive? If you raised concerns about his weight and told her he was eating lots of healthy (low fat, low sugar etc) stuff she's maybe trying to reassure you that you don't need to be so restrictive. I doubt she was suggesting you give him solely on processed food.
Fruit is full of sugar.
Of course it's not ok for them to live off junk, but her advice was possibly that at this age you can give them the odd sugary thing or not worry so much about salt as you do when they are tiny?
Ds gets what we eat (generally meat/fish, plenty of veg, rice or pasta.)
He's underweight. The paediatrician we saw said that we can give him things (incidentally custard was mentioned) that are sweeter as part of getting him to enjoy food more. Her approach was that if 95% of the diet is good then it's ok to have the odd treat or bribe. Everything in moderation
We baked him a cake for his birthday and he scoffed it with great joy - it's the most I've ever seen him eat. Obviously we aren't moving to a cake based diet but very occasionally it's ok.
She's probably just saying chill out a bit, a bit of cake isn't going to hurt.
I agree with pizza. Mine advised something along those lines all those years ago as I was worried about giving my daughter spag bol with a stock cube in it. She said don't worry about it. I read it as it'll do no harm and I saw her point. You really don't want to have to go around reading all the packets unless you have a specific allergy or health condition and so long as it's a balanced diet, it'll be fine.
If you don't want to give your child added sugar and salt, don't. No one needs added salt or sugar. You don't have to eat it yourself.
It sounds like the advice was very general. Really a child would not eat everything and adult would. This should not be news. Several chocolate liqueur chocolates? Super rare steak? However you should be able to feasibly cook a meal you can all eat together and it is a nice social thing to do. And actually what the HV probably meant is that children this age do not need special meals preparing and that they are pretty robust. There can be a temptation to go too far the other way regarding avoiding unhealthy food which is fine in moderation. It would be a shame if you felt your child could not join in with social events and have a little bit of birthday cake or something like that.
A homemade pudding with homemade custard isn't going to be overloaded with sugar. Some sugar isn't a bad thing, just too much sugar too often, particularly in processed food.
I think it's more important for them to eat with you, their diet isn't much better. I don't understand the feeding of 3+ year olds completely separate from birth for breakfast/lunch/tea that they never eat as a family/adults
You're being PFB. I was the same with DS1. His first cake was the day he turned one, like that age brought about a miracle of change in his metabolic processing.
DS2 - way more laid back, plus I realised that our salted/sugared foods weren't exactly going into him in large enough quantities to be of any concern. If he was having beakers full of packet gravy, yes that would have been stupid. But a few bits of pasta with salty pesto, most of which ended up on the floor? Chill out, OP.
DS2 is by far the more adventurous eater by the way.
Also, some things with no added sugar have aspartame instead, which is in squash. And things like custard without sugar are the low fat versions and babies need their fat.
My son is nearly 14 months and on the 25th centile, he weighed 20lb exactly at his 12 month check that was done not too long ago.
I wouldn't worry about weight tbh.
I agree about the salt and sugar though. Lo is allowed a treat now and then, and he's always had proper adult food with us. He's fine
I was having this conversation with my mum the other day as I gave DS a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and was feeling, stupidly, a little guilty about it ( was too knackered for faffing around) and she pointed out that former generations didn't have any of this guidance but for the most part, muddled through with the application of some common sense and moderation.
So DS does have lots of lovely home cooked food and fresh vegetables
to throw on the floor but I have decided that he will also has dough balls if we go out for a pizza, and he tried a bit of pulled pork and cheese panini the other day when we went out for lunch, and has even had a tiny taste of cake. We don't eat a lot of that sort of thing so it's not all the time, but I think a little taste is less damaging than making foods forbidden and therefore something to want even more in the future.
Wouldn't it be amazing if your title was a story of some great advice a HV gave!
Although no-one gives a baby everything the family eats, I think it is a good principle.
Realistically most babies are going to end up on parents/family diet. So if you are eating high sugar foods and high salt foods then they will end up eating these too.
If you only eat small amounts of sweet foods then in proportion baby would only have tiny bit of custard or sponge too.
A bit of cake and whatever you're having for dinner should be fine and won't be overloaded with tons of sugar and salt.
What they want you to avoid is things like heaping spoonfuls of sugar on breakfast cereal, and sprinkling salt on their dinner (and things like big bags of crisps/bars of chocolate etc).
** obvs if you are eating a high salt and high sugar diet I dont think you should change baby onto it!
I felt shocked the HV mentioned giving "watsits" at the 4 month old weaning talk! 8 years on I am now ok with it!
My first visit from the HV was her asking about the HV who attended before the birth - um that didn't happen (although the midwife told me it would). Apparently I fell through the crack. Also happened when my midwife went off sick at 11 weeks and I wasn't told until I made a formal complaint when I couldn't get hold of her 11-22 weeks but had been told by the hospital to tell my midwife about a scan result immediately to get the advice.
HV also said to ignore the NHS guidelines on weaning
I'm going to agree with you, OP; I find this shocking too.
I know it's really normal for people to give their kids bits of cake and biscuits and things, but it's not best practice at all and they can really develop an unhealthy taste for sugary and salty foods if they get too used to them at this age. Also, the healthy limit on salt is actually really low at that age, and processed foods have quite a bit.
While I'm not fussy and would give my DD stuff like this while visiting friends who have different views, I wouldn't expect a health visitor to be giving this advice as they should know better.
FWIW, healthy growth is linked to intakes of protein, fat, etc - avoiding added sugar won't be stunting growth! There is plenty of natural sugar in fruit, which babies and toddlers eat lots of.
What I did when DD got older was to change my own eating habits!
Previously I bought more ready meals; now I'm more likely to make my own. I also don't add salt to what I'm cooking (rice, pasta etc) but instead have some on the table for me/grownup friends to add before eating.
Being a mum has made me much more conscious of how unhealthily I was eating. I still have unhealthy snacks and things when I'm out, but I've adjusted our family meals quite a bit.
Op - HVs work to the health child programme which recommends when the core programme health and development reviews take place; antenatal, new birth, 6 weeks, 3-4 month, one year, two year. The actual provision will depend on your local service provider and their key performance indicators as to the exact timing.
I am not worried of the amount of fat my baby gets. He has dishes with full fat milk, full fat natural yoghurt and homemade cheese made from full fat milk. Plus butter and other foods that contain fat. I don't think that a cake has a great nutritional value, the fat that is contained in it can be taken from other sources. Yes, I will give him a piece of cake or a biscuit once in a while, you can't avoid it. I believe that the parents should adapt their diets according to baby's necessities not the other way round. We do eat together and we do eat most of the times the same dish.
I just wanted to express my concern about these kind of advices. I believe a HV shouldn't even mention the word cake when discussing a toddler's diet. ( my DS is not even a toddler yet)
Yes, fruits contain sugar, but that is natural sugar which is absorbed differently comparing to processed sugar.
WTF is a 10 month check up? Never had one of those. If you don't want HV's input, don't go and see one - it's worked for me.
Maybe make an official complaint about the HV's advice?
I agree that there's no need to give a baby sugar. They'll get plenty of sugar in later life. It's hard to avoid
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