A local Byron brand has brought out the first breakfast cereal for infants that introduces tree nuts to children. Due to food allergy concerns, parents had been told to hold off on peanuts and tree nuts (such as almonds and walnuts) until as late as three years of age, but a few years ago that advice changed. It’s now believed that delaying foods like tree nuts does not protect against allergies, and introducing them early, anytime after starting solids, is actually best.
According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) you can start to introduce solid foods around 6 months (not before 4 months) and you should include common allergy-causing foods by 12 months in, for example, a smooth form, and once introduced they should be given regularly, eg twice weekly. Even babies with a high risk for peanut allergies (because of eczema or egg allergy) can be given peanuts as long as allergy testing is negative. When giving any new food to babies you should still monitor for signs of food allergy, and of course, the nuts need to be finely ground – whole nuts are a choking hazard and even gobs of nut butter can cause problems.
At the launch, Pam Brook, the creator of the new Brookfarm Bloom baby cereal, said that her motivation to create a multi-ingredient organic wholefood product for babies was driven by what she had discovered in the market when looking for product to feed her grandchildren.
Last year Brookfarm co founders Pam and Martin Brook passed over the reins of their successful businesses to sons Will (Brookfarm) and Eddie (Cape Byron Distillery). Whilst both Pam and Martin are still actively involved, their sons, and now Will’s children, are the new generation in Brookfarm.
‘As adults, we don’t eat single ingredient foods, so why should our children? Bloom introduces well balanced flavours in the right way and is a product that will help to build a babies’ palate’, Pam said.
‘Bloom is made from real food, ground fine – the way it used to be before food became overly processed”.
However much the food may hark back to earlier times, the Brookfarm launch itself was thoroughly modern, as you’d expect with Byron having a something of a reputation for Insta-mums. Organisers say that the event generated over 200 instagram stories, reaching a potential audience of 2.7 million people. Judging from #raisinghealthykids, a number of good-looking babies were photographed on fluffy white rugs with wooden toys behind, and their mothers received much positive feedback for looking gorgeous.
Magdalena Roze hosted a panel discussion with Brookfarm co founder Pam Brook and Lizzy Abegg about the challenges of accessing real food for babies, without additives or being spray dried, the importance of sharing meal times with your children and the importance of introducing allergens to babies from four months.