Babytastes Blog

Welcome to the Babytastes Blog where we will keep you up-to-date with food and nutritional advice.  Please feel free to comment on the blogs by clicking the topics to the right.

12 September 2012


Posted in Blog

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, aimed to determine whether facial expressions of pleasure, neutrality or disgust affected the desire to eat particular foods in adults and children.

Adults, and children of 5 and 8 years of age, were presented with a variety of liked and disliked foods. The presenter expressed three different emotions: pleasure, neutrality, or disgust.

The results showed that food presented with a pleasant demeanour increased the desire to eat the disliked foods, particularly in children. When food was presented with a disgusted face, the desire to eat even the favourite food decreased in all age groups. Foods presented with a neutral face increased the desire for disliked foods and decreased the desire to eat liked foods. Five year olds were more influenced by the facial expressions.

The overall conclusion was that facial expressions could either have a positive or negative influence on the eating habits of adults, but mostly on younger children.

When parents prepare food, they often base their choices on their own preferences. Therefore, the attitude parents have towards cooking and eating food can play an important role in establishing their toddler’s lifelong eating habits and food preferences.

05 September 2012

Our best friend

Posted in Blog

There is now further research to suggest that children who are in contact with dogs during their first year of life may develop resistance to respiratory infections during childhood.

In addition, recent Australian research indicates the children of women who had cats or dogs as pets may be less likely to have allergic diseases. The study looked at how exposure to cats and dogs from 20 weeks gestation to 4 weeks post delivery affected outcomes on their children. The results from this study indicated that pets, especially dogs, might reduce the development of allergic diseases in children without a family history of allergy.

Above all, dogs are great fun, even when they get up to mischief!!!! They make us laugh, even if you've had a terrible day, a dog's primary wish in life is to make you, its owner, happy. To keep cat owners happy, they too make wonderful pets for all the family.

29 August 2012

National Asthma Week 2012 - You can help someone with asthma.

Posted in Blog

National Asthma Week is 1-7 September

I am sure that most of us have either a family member or friend who has asthma, as one in nine Australian children is a sufferer.

It is not fully understood why some children develop asthma, but there is often a family history of asthma, eczema, or hay fever.

Certainly, we know that cigarette smoke is a major trigger for asthma for the unborn, newborn and children.

Children of parents who smoke are about twice as likely to have asthma symptoms before the age of five. It is also known that babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing asthma. Recent studies have shown that children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy may have an increased risk of asthma, even if they are not exposed to passive smoking after birth. Even smoking only in the first trimester may be linked to a higher incidence of asthma.

SOURCE: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, online

Children may present with varying symptoms of asthma. The younger child may describe having a sore tummy or sore chest or a ‘frog in their throat’. You may match these descriptions to your infant being ‘puffed out,’ wheezing or having a persistent cough, often at night, early morning or during, or after, running about.

Children with asthma have sensitive airways, which react to certain triggers. The more common triggers include; cold air, smoking, animals, strong smells, foods or exercise.

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, it is important that you have an up-to-date asthma plan. Family members should fully understand how to give the medications and what to do if the symptoms worsen.

To find out more about asthma contact your local Asthma Foundation

1800 645130

Translating and Interpreting Service 131 450

22 August 2012

Speech Pathology Week 2012

Posted in Blog

Speech pathologists urge Australians to ‘tell their story’

Speech difficulties can occur in early infancy, right up to an older person living with dementia or having suffered a stroke.

Learning to communicate is a step-by-step process through the ages.

Initially, the newborn communicates with its parents and carers through differing cries, coos, and babble. Usually between 8 months and a year, your baby is making repeated sounds such as baba, mama, and much tuneful babble. Certainly, in the toddler years they speak in their own jargon with up to 100 words by 2 years. They begin to string 2 or 3 words together by 21/2 years.

Of course, parents need to provide an environment, which will encourage appropriate speech development. A baby learns to talk by listening to people talking to him, playing with sounds, and talking to others.

When you talk to your baby, ensure you speak slowly and clearly, and give them time to respond. Try to use a variety of words when chatting to them but when pointing to objects, just keep to a single word i.e., nappy, dog etc, so they learn to match a word with an object. As they grow older, so your stories can become more detailed. Use hand gestures to describe a word, as babies learn by imitation. Repeat their sounds, and listen and look at them when they are talking to you.

Of course, they love to hear singing, especially nursery rhymes, and being read to. Most libraries have Baby Rhyme Time sessions and, of course, fantastic books for all ages.

It is important that you sharpen your baby’s hearing skills. Playing, talking, and reading to your baby with minimal background noise enhances their listening skills. Identify household and environmental sounds; they can then learn to match the sound with the name.

Unfortunately, some babies do have communication difficulties. Always seek advice from your local Child Health Nurse or GP if you have concerns.

  • Your baby not listening to you and not responding to your talking
  • If they have difficulty in swallowing, chewing or sucking
  • Not making repeated sounds by 8-9 months i.e., baba, dada
  • Does not babble or make other sounds when someone talks to then by 12months
  • Does not understand simple instructions by 2 years

Your infant may need to be referred to a speech pathologist. They study, diagnose, and treat communication disorders, including difficulty with speech, language, swallowing, fluency (stuttering) and voice.

The negative impacts of communication difficulties are well documented, including a higher risk of literacy problems, lower academic achievement, low self-esteem, and behavioural problems, particularly in children and young people. So if you have any concerns please seek help.

15 August 2012

PBC Expo 2012 Wrap

Posted in Blog

Once again, our second Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo is all over.

As in the previous year, we worked under pressure with our Toddlertastes book only arriving the day before the expo.

Now in recovery from an extremely busy 3 days at the Perth Pregnancy, Babies & Children’s Expo we would like to thank all our supporters.

Thank you to all who bought the Babytastes and Toddlertastes books. We hope you enjoy reading them and trying out the recipes and play ideas.

Amie from Aveley won our hamper prize. Many thanks to “Cherub Baby” for supplying some of their products to put in the hamper.

Our lovely cover girl Caitlin, photographed for our Toddlertastes book, visited us at the expo to see herself in a big picture.

Many thanks to our helpers at the expo: Dawn, Sybe, Tom, Pete, and Mark for coming and helping so we could have a lunch break!

For those that couldn’t make it to the expo, we will be selling our books at the:

Perth Baby and Children’s Market

Sunday August 19th

10am – 2 pm

At Mike Barnett Sports Complex, Rockingham.

09 August 2012

Pregnancy, Babies, and Children’s Expo

Posted in Blog

Once again, we are off to the Pregnancy, Babies, and Children’s Expo at the Claremont Show Grounds. This year we will be selling BABYTASTES and TODDLERTASTES.


Hot off the press is our new book, TODDLERTASTES. A day in the life of a toddler from wake-up to bedtime, the book has well over 200 pages packed with handy play ideas, menu planners, recipes, and hints on how to deal with the “fussy eater.” All the recipes are beautifully photographed and easy to follow. In addition, nutritional info on foods, portion sizes and much, much more!!!


This year the soft cover BABYTASTES books are for sale. Look for the discount voucher in the Expo magazine, enabling you to purchase the BABYTASTES book for just $19.99.


The first 30 Babytastes sales of each day receive a free Babytastes bib.


Visit our stand, G69, to go into the draw for a hamper worth over $70 packed with feeding utensils, book and kitchen gear.

Also, join up to receive our free monthly newsletter.


We look forward to seeing you and having a chat. Find us at Stand G69.

01 August 2012

World Breastfeeding Week

Posted in Blog

1–7 August 2012

“World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to 7 in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.”

It was 20 years ago that the “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative” was implemented. Although this year is a time for reflection, it is important look to the future to ensure support is available for all mothers who wish to breast feed.

Here in Western Australia, you can join in the celebrations.

Date: 4 Aug 2012

Time: 12pm

Location: Murray St Mall, Murray St, PERTH, Perth, WA Map it

Ages: All Ages / Family

Cost: Free

Event Info: Join families from all over Perth to celebrate 20 years of World Breastfeeding Day!

For other regional events go to:

If you are having trouble with breastfeeding, there is always help at hand. The Australian Breastfeeding Association is a community-based group offering support, counselling and contact information for lactation consultants. Their web site is also an excellent resource.

Also, contact your local Child Health Nurse for support. She may be able to refer you to a lactation consultant in your area.

25 July 2012

Lifeline's Stress Down Day

Posted in Blog

Lifeline 27 July

Wear your slippers on 27 July and donate to Lifeline. All money raised will go towards maintaining and expanding their 24/7 telephone crisis support service, 13 11 14, and implementing further community education forums.

Babies and toddlers get anxious too.

Babies with secure attachment, especially in their first year of life, are often able to cope better with challenging situations as they grow older. They know that they will be supported when they try something new and comforted when needed. Stress can have a negative impact on babies and toddlers, especially when faced with new experiences.

Toddlers and babies seek attachment in many ways:

Smiling and cooing

Crawling and following you around the house


Crying and shouting

If your baby needs a break, or a calmer environment, they may:

Look away


Struggle in your arms

Look tense

Cry and look unhappy

Shut their eyes

Lack of parental response to their baby’s cry or not tuning in to their communication cues, can leave the baby feeling anxious, afraid and insecure. Babies who feel insecure, or have a poor attachment to their caregiver, are often more vulnerable and anxious, as they grow older.

Crying is baby communication, and they all cry for a reason. As the months progress, most parents begin to understand what the different cries mean and respond appropriately.

At times we expect far too much of our toddlers. How often have we asked them to be a brave boy or girl, especially when we introduce them to a new situation or new people, i.e., first time at crèche or babysitter’s? They become anxious, afraid, and even clingier when feeling stressed. Think how you feel when doing something new or in the presence of strangers! Sometimes we push them into a situation they are not ready for. They just need time, some more than others, to feel safe and brave. Having realistic expectations of your child’s emotional development is just as important as knowing their physical abilities.

18 July 2012


Posted in Blog

There is public confusion in the conflicting messages on how much sun exposure is healthy! Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer worldwide, but nearly 1/3rd of the population over the age of 25 years is deficient in Vitamin D, which we get from the sun.

The Cancer Council Australia has just released new guidelines on sun exposure during winter for people living in Perth and southern regions of Western Australia.

The new guidelines are:

June and July, sun exposure of 30 minutes, close to midday on most days.

May, August, and September, sun exposure of 30 minutes, close to midday as long as UV index is less than 3.

For people living north of Perth, they need to be sun safe all year.

Research continues to determine why so many of the population are deficient in Vitamin D.

The Cancer Council Australia has also just started a free online education resource about how much sun exposure is required to produce sufficient Vitamin D levels, but minimise the skin cancer risk. It is primarily aimed at indoor workers, who have minimal sun exposure during their work hours but a lot of exposure during the weekends.

“Working indoors - a Sun Smart balance for Vitamin D and skin cancer protection” is the first course available on Cancer Council’s eLearning platform.

11 July 2012


Posted in Blog

Here in Western Australia, we are very fortunate to have the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. Their research findings have a significant impact on the well-being of families throughout the world.

If your baby was born between July and October 2011, you should have received a letter asking you to take part in an infant feeding study. If you wish to participate in the feeding survey, just take your completed consent form to your local child health nurse, or contact (08) 9489 7964.

The University of Western Australia /Childhood Allergy and Immunology Research is looking for:

Mothers who have a medically diagnosed allergic disease i.e., asthma, eczema or hay fever, who are pregnant or have a baby less than 6.5 months of age. These mothers are needed for the STEP STUDY, (Egg Allergy Prevention studies).

Infants born to mothers with an allergic disease have a 50-80% risk of developing food allergy. Egg allergy is now the most common food allergy in young children. This study is investigating whether egg allergy can be prevented by studying the best time to introduce eggs to a baby’s diet and which form of egg to give. Throughout the study, support is given to families from Immunologists, Nurses, Dieticians, and Specialists.

“Flumum” is a national study to find out if babies of mothers who were vaccinated against flu during pregnancy are less likely to get influenza, compared to those whose mothers were not vaccinated against flu.

Overseas studies suggest that having a flu vaccine in pregnancy may protect babies within the first 6 months against influenza.

If you have had a baby in the past 8 weeks or are due in the next 4 months, please contact: Vaccines Trials Group: 9340 8542. There are no procedures involved just a questionnaire.

04 July 2012


Posted in Blog

Apps for smartphones and ipads are immensely popular. Some are convenient, informative, and helpful.

Here are a few we like but we would love to hear your suggestions for others.

This app provides useful and practical advice for mothers and families during pregnancy and the first 18 months of parenting. Receive emails on the latest information and links to resources to help make healthy lifestyle choices.

All family members, young and old, enjoy a day out at the zoo.

This app helps you explore and find your favourite animals and shows videos and photos.

Sydney and Melbourne Zoos also have free apps.

If you are trying to lose a few kilos these apps count the calories in your meals and give useful tips on exercise and healthy eating.

The SunSmart app lets you know when you do and don't need sun protection and when it's safe to get some sun for vitamin D, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year.

Packaged foods can be surprisingly high in salt, fat and sugar. FoodSwitch can help to make better food choices for you and your family. Find out what's in the food you're eating and make a simple switch to the healthier choices listed by the app for better health now and in the future.

This app is based on the timeless classic “I spy” with a techno twist.

Aimed at 2 – 6 year olds. They can catch up on Play School episodes and animate a Play School movie. They can also create pictures and make a story slide show.

27 June 2012

RED NOSE DAY FRIDAY 29th June 2012

Posted in Blog

This important day raises funds for SIDS and KIDS to continue to provide services such as bereavement support and education programs. In addition, money raised helps to fund research to help save babies’ lives.

SIDS and KIDS provide ongoing bereavement support for families affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy, at birth, infancy or during childhood, regardless of the cause. The service is free and is offered nationwide. Support is offered 24 hours a day through the bereavement support line and after-hours counselling and home visits.

The inaugural RED NOSE DAY was in June 1988, raising over 1 million dollars and increasing public awareness of sudden infant death syndrome.

The SIDS and KIDS Safe Sleeping Program initiative was launched in 1990. Since this has been implemented, the number of SIDS deaths has significantly dropped, it is estimated that over 7,500 Australian babies lives have been saved.

SIDS is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age, which remains unexplained after investigation.

The SIDS and KIDS Safe Sleeping Program recommends:

Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

Keep baby in a smoke-free environment before and after birth

Provide a safe sleeping environment day and night

Sleeping baby in a cot next to parents’ bed for the first 6-12 months

Breastfeed if you can

20 June 2012


Posted in Blog

When your toddler goes through that ‘fussy eating stage’, you are happy with any food they eat. Unfortunately, children often refuse higher fibre foods. Before long, your child may become constipated and very uncomfortable.

Children should poo every day, a healthy looking sausage; not dry pebbles. Constipation in children is of concern as it can cause long-term health problems, but also immediate pain and discomfort when trying to open their bowels. If doing a poo is uncomfortable, a child ignores the message to poo, which can disrupt the brain-signalling mechanism that tells a child when stools need to come out. When a child is constipated, they are often more fussy with eating which just adds to the problem. The main cause of constipation is lack of fibre in their diets.

Last year, a Gut Foundation study found that 41% of primary school-age children in Australia experience regular bowel problems such as pain and constipation, most likely linked to a lack of fibre in their diet. Also concerning is that about half of the mums surveyed didn’t know how much fibre their kids needed, or where to get it.

"That’s a staggering number of kids having bowel problems – too many,” said Professor Terry Bolin, from the Gut Foundation. "Children are unable to get their fibre requirements unless they eat wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruit, and vegetables."

The amount of daily fibre required is AGE OF CHILD + BETWEEN 5 – 10 grams. For example, a four year old would need between 9 and 14 grams [4+5 to 10= 9 to 14.]

Start the day off with a high-fibre breakfast cereal, topped with fruit. Offer snacks of drained kidney beans, or cooked wholegrain pasta with some grated cheese. Use rye or wholemeal bread for sandwiches or baked beans on toast. Brown rice, quinoa, and wholemeal pasta will increase their fibre intake. Offer water not cordial or juice.

White pasta: ½ cup = less than 1g

Wholemeal pasta ½ cup = 4 g

Check out the quinoa/pear/apple puree and quinoa and chicken patties in our Babytastes book.

13 June 2012


Posted in Blog

This Men's Health Week, we are exploring the role of our environments (or 'environMENts'!) on men's health.

There are many topics to discuss but today we highlight fathers and new babies.

A new baby in the home is a time of excitement and joy but also a period of change and adapting lifestyles. Sometimes during this stage a fathers emotions are not discussed. Recent research has shown that some fathers really struggle to adapt to changes in their relationship with their partners, or feel overwhelmed at the amount of support both physically, financially, and emotionally that they now have to give. They feel they are the givers, but no one is there to offer support to them.

Of course, parenting should be a shared experience but some dads may need time and encouragement to feel confident in bathing, changing nappies, and settling their new baby. We know that being involved in the day-to-day care of babies assists with bonding.

Couples often feel closer in the early days after the birth of their baby but as the weeks go on, and each becomes more tired, they start to feel more stressed and tensions rise. Some fathers cope with this by retreating, staying longer at work or going out more and not talking about their feelings, which of course just exacerbates the situation. Be aware that dads can get postnatal depression too.

Supports are available:

Men's line 24hour    1300888236

PANDA Helpline      1300 726 306 (Post and Antenatal Depression Association)

Beyondblue info line 1300224636 hey dad program

06 June 2012


Posted in Blog

For the past 12 years, Bowel Cancer Australia has run a public education week to raise awareness of bowel cancer. In Australia, this type of cancer is the most common form to affect both men and women, and the second biggest killer following lung cancer.

Like most cancers, early detection saves lives as bowel cancer is one of the most curable types, if treated early.

Red apple day hopes to raise funds for invaluable research, so look out for the $2 red apple pins.

Sometimes, it is a specific day or week highlighting a disease that makes us think about what we eat or how much, or how little, exercise we do!!

Research findings show eating a healthy diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, and cereals, high in fibre, can reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight and doing exercise is also of benefit. So remember 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily.