Monthly Archives: September 2013

Allergies on the Increase – Why?

19 September 2013

Many studies have found that food allergies are on the rise. Is it simply because the tests are more advanced? Are they really on the rise?

There are a few theories behind why this is the case:

- Hygiene: Our lifestyles are a great deal cleaner then previous years. Could this lack of germ contact be lowering our immune systems and making us more susceptible to allergic reactions? Read more about it here:

- Pollution: Our environment is far more polluted than previous years. Could the chemicals in the air be affecting our immune systems?

-Allergen exposure: Could exposing children to common allergy foods earlier help at all? We usually hold off introducing foods such as shellfish and nuts until later in life but a doctor at an American hospital recommends nuts at a young age. Read more about this here:

As ever, nothing is for certain and more research needs to be done but it’s worthwhile to consider these theories in the mean time.

Baby Food and Nutrition – The Latest News

12 September 2013

When you have a child with allergies or intolerances, ensuring they get the right nutrients can be a struggle, especially when so many different foods are off limits. As parents, we need to seek out alternatives to ensure our little ones grow up healthy!

At Dribble Delights nutrition is key as we develop our products. We work alongside our nutritionist and University partners to ensure that all of our food contains the vitamins and minerals your little one needs for growth and development. We are also looking into incorporating some exciting ingredients…watch this space!

Check out the following articles which show how Glasgow University researchers found that leading commercial baby foods are lacking in nutrients in comparison to homemade food. It was also found that the products are high in sugar which could lead to children making unhealthy choices later in life:

Our nutritionist Kimberley says:


‘All areas of nutrition are of interest to me but my number one passion is those first foods that are given to babies. I knew before coming to Dribble Delights and starting my studies that this was the area I wanted to research and improve. I received wonderful guidance in my baby food research from my supervisors’. My supervisors’ study on commercial baby food was recently published and has received a lot of interest. I discuss here the importance of this study and their findings. Remember to #AskKimmy on our Thursday twitter chat.

The foods given to babies have found to not only be important for the growth and health of the infant at the current time but there is evidence that the first foods have an effect on future adult health.

Current guidelines from the Department of Health are that infants should be introduced solids at six months however only 14% of infants in Scotland are introduced to baby foods after six months (Growing up in Scotland, 2013).

It is also recommended that infants are given homemade baby foods. However, commercial baby foods are on the rise in the UK with a 46.5 increase of commercial baby foods between 2005 and 2010! Also 56% of infants aged between 4-6 months have been given commercial baby foods in the UK (2010 Infant Feeding Survey). With the high prevalence of these foods in the UK it is essential that we are aware of what is in these foods!

It is also important to introduce bitter foods and a variety of tastes and textures to decrease the incidence of fussy eating and improve neurodevelopemental function. However a study from the University of Glasgow found that a large component of the baby food market is made up of soft, spoonable, sweet foods that are labelled suitable from four months.

Many parents state a reason for introducing solids early is the perception that the baby is hungry. However, this study found that there is little difference in the energy content in breast milk, formula milk and commercial baby food. Therefore, the child would receive no additional energy from being given solids early. It was also found that many commercial baby foods contained high levels of sugar.

Also it was concluded that approximately half as much energy and protein from commercial baby foods when compared to the equivalent size of homemade baby foods. Obviously this varies on the types of food given to child.

This study gives wonderful, much needed information on the baby food market!’

If you’d like to chat to her please join us on Thursday morning at 11am for a Twitter chat @DribbleDelights. Use the hashtag #AskKimmy and she will get back to you!

Join us for a Chat!

12 September 2013

At Dribble Delights we want to connect and chat to all of the parents out there. From now on every Thursday between 11am and 12pm we will be hosting a Twitter chat where you can ask our fabulous nutritionist Kimberley McLean anything to do with nutrition! For our first week we will be concentrating on allergies and giving you alternatives and recipe ideas.

To chat to us follow @DribbleDelights and use the hashtag #AskKimmy. 

But in the meantime let’s here from the lady herself…


‘Hi I’m Kimberley McLean and have completed a Masters in Human Nutrition with specialisation in Public Health Nutrition. I’m passionate about infant and childhood nutrition but have studied and enjoyed all areas of nutrition. Please feel free to send me your queries during our Twitter chat and I will do my best to respond to them as fully as I can. However it is always important to seek medical advice from a physician if you are concerned about the health of your child. I look forward to hearing from you all!’

Nutritional Insights – Folic Acid

12 September 2013

This week at DD HQ nutritionist Kimberley has been teaching us about folic acid and its importance!


Folate occurs naturally whilst folic acid is synthetic. Interestingly, the body finds it easier to absorb folic acid. Folate is very important for cell production.

To up your intake eat chickpeas, eggs, beans, asparagus, kale, broccoli and pulses. Try humous and crudités for a snack for example!

Folic acid is very important as it can prevent NTDs in newborn children. NTDs are common birth defects which affect the spinal cord, spina bifida for example.

In America they fortify flour with folic acid and this has decreased NTDs by 19%. In the UK it could reduce NTDs by 41% but there’s concern that it could mask Vitamin B12. (COMA, 2000) B12 is very important for the health of the nervous system.

Pregnant women should take folic acid when trying for a baby and for the first 12 weeks.  A study found this decreased the risk by 72%.

Nutritional Insights – Calcium

12 September 2013

Everyday is a school day at Dribble Delights HQ and this week nutritionist Kimberley has been teaching us about calcium, its function and how we can make sure our little ones are getting enough. 

What is the function of calcium?

It gives us healthy teeth and bones – for some of us our bone mass reaches its peak at 30 but for 75% the peak is reached at 18. This means calcium is incredibly important from a young age as once bones are damaged it is often irreversible.

Aside from this calcium is also useful for the nervous system, muscle function and contraction, blood clotting and cell signalling, In addition to this it helps enzymes and proteins to work effectively.

How can I get some?

As many of you will know, calcium is found mainly in milk and dairy products where 43% of the average human’s intake comes from. If your little one is dairy intolerant then try to incorporate the following into their diet: broccoli, parsley, pulses, eggs, small fish and fortified bread.

It’s also important for any parent to highlight the importance of calcium to their child whether they are dairy intolerant or not as studies have shown adolescents, particularly females, do not achieve their recommended daily amount.

Dribble Delights’ food will be created with fortified dairy free products to increase calcium.



Nutritional Insights – Potato, Carrot and Broadbean

12 September 2013


Did you know that a wide variety of foods also make the child to be more accepting of new foods?

Babies have a natural preference for sweet foods and dislike for bitter foods (such as vegetables). It is important to give the baby bitter foods early to develop a preference for these foods later in life. An effect of way is doing this is by giving the bitter foods with a sweet taste (for example fruit or sweeter vegetables such as carrots, peas etc.) along with the bitter foods.

A study has shown that carrots are the most liked vegetable by babies in the weaning process (Maier et al, 2007) – but remember to keep introducing foods your baby does not like too. The carrots have a sweet taste to them and is an effective way of making the foods more palatable and makes this dish a winner for introducing vegetables. Carrots are also bursting with many vitamins and minerals. Such as Vitamin A which is important for the immune system, cognitive ability, sight and many more.

Potato is a fantastic base, it creates a delicious creaminess and is full of B vitamins which is important for growth. Broad beans also contain a lot of nutrients such as folate which is important for cell production. Broad beans also contain oligosaccharides (a prebiotic) – a type of sugar that is important for gut health and almost acts as the food for your gut’s good bacteria. The weaning process is a crucial time as the gut bacteria develops depending on the diet. There is also evidence to suggest that prebiotics in the weaning process determine gut bacteria and colonic health later in life.

If you would like to learn how to make the delicious potato, carrot and broadbean recipe please click here:


Latest Ebook Review


Thank you very much to Monster Mummies, an excellent resource for mothers on the web packed full of advice, encouragement and tips. They have recently reviewed our global selling ebook which you can find at the link – click on ‘Latest Ebook Review’7y70sFNSSsgG96CYqfytaQNewWwin5wJLdXToJpekCA

Our ebook caters for the weaning stage and beyond, specifically aimed at children with food allergies or intolerances or parents keen to find exciting and nutritionally balanced meals for their little angel! All recipes are made without gluten, wheat, soya, eggs, nuts or dairy.

You can purchase it here and check out some FREE recipes!

Nutritional Insights – Vitamin D

12 September 2013

At Dribble Delights we’ve been enjoying the sunshine over the past few weeks but do you really know about the benefits of Vitamin D? The lovely nutritionist Kimberley has written a blog all about it!


Vitamin D has gained a lot of interest in the recent years; it is quite literally the hottest of all the vitamins! But there is a lot of debate as to whether vitamin D is actually a vitamin or a hormone as our main source of vitamin D comes from the sun and not the diet. It is then synthesized on our skin and goes through many processes, which enables it to be used in the body.

For children, the reference nutrient intake (the amount that is adequate for 97.5% of the population) ranges from 7.5-8µg and for elderly, pregnant and lactating women it is 10µg per day. However, for adults ages 19-64 years there is no reference intake (Coma, 1991). The average intake of vitamin D in the UK for adults is very low (approximately 2.5µg per day). The lack of vitamin D in the diet, alongside lack of sunshine makes the Scottish population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Current guidelines are that all babies and young children aged 6 months to 5 years should consume supplements (NHS, 2013). For some families, supplements are available for free through Healthy Start (as well as other vitamins, fruit and vegetables and other vitamins for the mother). Find out more information here –

So why is vitamin D important? Vitamin D is a ‘jack of all trades’ but one of the most important functions is for bone health. Vitamin D encourages the absorption of calcium from the small intestine, encourages storage in the skeleton and has a beneficial effect on the kidneys by limiting the amount that is excreted. Children double in length during the first year of life so it is important that they receive adequate levels of vitamin D and calcium for good bone health. Vitamin D has also shown to be important in immune health and to have beneficial effects on neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. It is also positively associated with cognitive function, body weight control and the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular function (Gibney et al. 2009).

Vitamin D content tends to be rather low in food sources. Highest levels of vitamin D are found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel), as well as fish oil capsules, but also in sundried mushrooms. In our ebook we have a lovely fish pie recipe you could try out! A lot of the vitamin D we receive in our diets is through foods that have been fortified such as margarine, cereals and orange juice (Barasi, 2005).

Aim for one to two portions of oily fish a week but slowly introduce fish into your child’s diet as it is a common allergen and allow your little one to get used to the taste.

Consume more fish, opt for foods that have been fortified, get outside and be active!