Parents are conscious of giving their baby a healthy start in life but are confused about complementary feeding
Before beginning weaning, parents can find themselves bombarded with conflicting information on how and when to wean their little one. Weaning Week in association with Organix, recently ran a survey on Your Baby Club, the UK’s fastest growing online community of new parents, to find out how UK families are navigating this period of their baby’s development.
Parents are conscious of giving their baby a healthy start in life but are confused about complementary feeding
Despite NHS guidance to wean their baby onto solid foods from 6 months, almost half of our 1,183 respondents did so when their baby was 4-5 months*. It is interesting to note that 70% of parents believe that nutrition from food is more important than from baby’s milk before they reach their first birthday, when in fact food should supplement milk until after 12 months. This may explain why many healthcare professionals are switching to the term ‘complementary feeding’ to emphasise the importance of milk at this stage.
The good news is, that parents are determined to ensure their little ones get the best start in life, wanting to do their best to help them appreciate natural flavours on their precious palates. Over 66% always read the nutritional information on ready-made baby and finger foods before they buy, and over half make their final choice of food based on what they see on the packaging. Trusting what brands state on their packaging is really key, with nearly 90% of parents putting their faith in brands, trusting that labels on packaging are correct.**
Over half of parents claim no added artificial colours and preservatives, no added salts and sugar and added vitamins are top of the list when it comes to nutritional elements which influence a parent’s choice, swiftly followed by products containing fruit and veg, and food being organic, approved by a nutritionist and baked not fried. It is clear from this that parents want their little ones to experience flavours from a natural source such as fruit and vegetables, with no added artificial colours or flavours, and nothing unnecessary such as added salt or sugar.
Parents are turning to the internet for feeding advice more than ever
Over half of the respondents also agreed the current coronavirus situation is affecting how they start their child on solid foods. Notably, there has been a significant jump in those who use the internet to research how they should go about weaning and weaning products, with 40% using it as their preferred method, more than double any other option available to them (compared to 29% in 2019). This may be explained by not being able to see friends, family and their Health Visitor, and feeling nervous about going into stores to shop (35%).
The biggest concerns are choking and allergic reactions
Parents biggest concerns around weaning and feeding are that their baby may choke (72%) or have an allergic reaction (49%), with 40% worried about portion control and over a quarter are anxious about confidence in their own ability or knowledge.
Mirroring last year’s results, Tesco has won the race for baby food shopping, followed by Asda. Although, it’s a slightly different picture when it comes to where people are shopping for weaning products like spoons and bibs, with Amazon taking first place, followed by Asda, then Tesco.
National Weaning Week runs from 4th to 10th May
For the first time, Organix, the baby food and toddler snacks brand, is partnering with the platform to bring weaning and feeding awareness to as many families around the country as possible. Weaning Week aims to create a supportive network and place where parents search for information and connect with each other, experts and leading baby brands, empowering them to wean their child as nutritiously as possible, without feeling confused or pressurised.
Last year saw 25 brands, retailers, nurseries, parents and experts come together to provide competitions, articles, recipes, twitter chats and product reviews. The NHS and Health Authorities across the UK were quick to get on board. The week achieved a reach of over 9 million across social channels alone. This year, Weaning Week will bring extra online articles and tips, digital weaning workshops from top industry experts, new recipes, Instagram Lives and a Twitter Chat to parents when they need it most. Other brands supporting the event include Itsy, Nuby, Messy Me, Doidy, Tidytot, Mum & Me app, Vital Baby and Bibetta.
Co-founder, Kerry Haynes comments, “This survey has shown there are still many concerns and fears around the current situation and parents feeling left alone without the support of their Health Visitor, friends and family whilst going through the weaning process. We have been delighted with the response from experts, parents, and brands this year who want to show their support to parents in their time of need. Throughout Weaning Week, we hope to create a network for parents to support them in weaning their children as nutritiously as possible, so little ones develop a good relationship with food which will lead to a healthier lifestyle later on. Most importantly we want it to be fun!”
For more information visit www.weaningweek.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
#weaningweek2020 #weaningweek @WeaningWeek
For further research results, experts for comment and other press enquiries contact The Media Snug at email@example.com or call Adeline on 07984 833166 or Kerry on 07715 329191.
The Weaning Week 2020 survey in association with Organix was run with thanks to Your Baby Club and saw 1183 respondents have their say.
Notes for Journalists
About Weaning Week
Weaning Week 2020 runs from 4th – 10th May. Created by award winning marketing consultancy The Media Snug in 2018, Weaning Week 2019 proved to be an even bigger hit than 2018. The main objective of the week was to bring together parents, carers, grandparents and brands to offer tips, information and recipes to make weaning and feeding as easy and fun as possible. By creating a supportive network and place where parents search for information and connect with each other, experts and leading baby brands, the aim was to empower
families to wean their child as nutritiously as possible, without feeling confused or pressurised. The week saw 25 brands, retailers and experts come together to provide competitions, articles, recipes, twitter chats and product reviews, and featured in national newspapers, websites and radio. The NHS and Health Authorities across the UK were quick to get on board, and new content included a useful meal planner and vegan/vegetarian menu options when weaning. This year will see the launch of digital weaning workshops run by a number of experts to take weaning advice into parents’ homes.
Organix launched nearly 30 years ago with a pioneering mission to give parents healthy and nutritious food choices for babies and toddlers, that little ones love and parents can rely on. The Organix extensive range of early foods helps parents at this important time in their little ones’ development. The weaning and finger foods help babies discover new tastes, shapes and textures, and the wide range of toddler snacks provides parents with healthier snacking and on-the-go options to fuel happy days.
Leanna Rice, Marketing Manager at Organix, adds, “Organix leads the way in delicious, healthier food choices that little ones love, and parents can rely on. Our food is always organic with nothing unnecessary added, it’s our ‘No Junk Promise’ which appears on every pack as a stamp of reassurance to parents. We felt Weaning Week was the perfect platform to bring further support and advice to parents through our ‘Protecting Precious Palates’ campaign. We know that what we feed our little ones first has a huge impact on the rest of their lives, so we try to protect little ones’ precious palates by helping children appreciate natural flavours, with always organic foods but without artificial colours or flavours, and nothing unnecessary such as salt.”
The Organix range of baby finger foods, cereals, fruit & veg jars & toddler snacks is designed to suit numerous occasions, ensuring parents have foods they can trust when they are on the go or needing to fill a gap between meals. For more information visit Organix.com.
*All four UK Health Departments and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend babies are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, and continue to receive breastmilk throughout the first year and for as long after that as mum and baby want to continue. At Organix, we support this.
Breastmilk will provide enough energy and nutrients for growing and developing babies until they reach six months of age. Babies are rarely developmentally ready for solid food before about six months of age. At around six months of age, your baby will need nutrients not available in adequate amounts in their milk alone, so at this time it is important they are introduced to solid food that is nutritionally adequate and safe while breastfeeding continues.
The important thing to remember is that if your baby is ready for solid food all three of the signs below will be there. Your baby is ready if they can:
1. Co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth, can look at food, grab it and put it in their mouth all by themselves.
2. Stay in a sitting position and can hold their head steady.
3. Swallow their food. Small babies instinctively use their tongues to push foreign objects out of their mouths, and until this reflex fades, they are likely to do the same thing to a spoon or a piece of banana.
For more about when and how to start introducing solid food to your baby take a look at Organix advice here
**Organix has discovered that some brands do not necessarily earn the trust of consumers, with misleading claims and added ingredients in their packaged baby food and toddler snacks.
About Your Baby Club
Fanfinders connects brands with consumers in the UK and US markets via Your Baby Club, currently the UK's fastest growing mum's community, reaching 80% of all UK mums, and Your Beauty Club. Members of the clubs have to choose to engage with a brand based on the proposition promoted to them by Fanfinders on a brand’s behalf. Since launch of Your Baby Club in the US in May 2018, Fanfinders is acquiring 45,000 new members each month. The GDPR compliant platform maintains a consistently high volume of data offering brands quality at less cost than other platforms. With an end to end service from concept through to implementation to analytics, all in one platform on offer, Fanfinders have exceeded industry standards in terms of sign ups, engagement, and conversions.
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