I was asked by Mother and Baby Magazine to help with their monthly Q & A section where readers can submit questions to experts on a variety of topics.
Question: I’m 20 weeks pregnant and have been told my vitamin B12 levels are quite low. What should I eat? Nicola Bicker, Kent Vitamin
My Answer: B12 benefits your mood, energy levels, memory, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. Like folic acid, it’s also needed to prevent neural tube and other neurological defects in unborn babies. Low energy is the most common symptom of deficiency. Red meat, especially beef, is the best source during pregnancy. Organic grass-fed dairy products, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish and organic poultry are valuable sources, too.
Question: My baby was born six weeks early. Do I need to approach weaning any differently? Joanne Withers, Tyne and Wear
My Answer: It’s recommended that weaning starts at around six months. However, each baby’s development speed is different, so take her personal needs into consideration. Questions to ask are: ‘Can my baby sit up and hold her head unaided?’, ‘Is she showing an interest in my food?’, ‘Does she put toys in her mouth and attempt to chew on them?’. Of course, if there were any health complications as a result of being born early, seek advice from your health visitor as to what’s best for your baby.
Question: My two-year-old normally eats what we do – is it OK for his diet to completely change when we go abroad on holiday this summer? Christine Osbourne, Shropshire
My Answer: One of the great benefits of holidaying abroad is being able to expose toddlers to new foods. Your break away is an ideal time to get your little one experimenting. The best way to do this is to eat new foods yourself – if he sees something he likes the look of on your plate, he might try it. Let him pick something off your plate that looks interesting to him – the fact that you’re eating it gives him the go ahead that it’s safe to eat. Of course, you do need to be careful about hygiene so, depending on where you’re travelling to, follow the recommended advice of choosing bottled water over tap, fruits that need peeling, and be wary of salads that may have been washed in local water, as well as meat and fish that could have been sitting around in the heat. Toddlers can be fussy but won’t let themselves go hungry, so if he’s refusing to join in and eats bread and butter for most of the holiday, don’t worry: he won’t be the first child to do so! As long as he eats well at home, it won’t hurt him.
Click Here or on the image below to see the full piece, scrolling to page 4 for the food advice.