Healthy Nutrition

Making up infant formula bottle-feeds safely

Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative is firmly committed to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding. However, in the UK bottle feeding remains very common and so we also work to ensure the best outcomes possible for babies when they are not breastfed. If you are bottle feeding you should be shown how to sterilise equipment and make up feeds as safely as possible. If you haven’t been shown – ask. Even if you think you know, check with a midwife or health visitor as some advice may have changed. You should also have had support with feeding technique to ensure that you and your baby have a pleasant feeding experience.

The following Community Groups could be useful

How to help if your baby has reflux

Reflux is when your baby effortlessly spits up whatever they’ve swallowed. We know that it’s natural to worry that there may be something wrong when your baby is bringing up their feeds or being sick. But reflux is very common often starting in the first eight weeks and will usually pass by the time your baby is a year old.


Colic is where a baby has excessive or frequent crying due to a pain in the tummy usually caused by wind. It’s a common problem that affects up to one in five babies. Colic tends to begin when a baby is a few weeks old. It normally stops by four months of age, or by six months at the latest. Looking after a colicky baby can be very frustrating and distressing, but the problem will eventually pass and is usually nothing to worry about.

Introducing your baby to solid foods

Introducing your baby to solid foods – sometimes called weaning should start when your baby is around six months old. It’s a really important step in their development and it can be great fun to explore new flavours and textures together and  essential that you introduce your baby to a healthy diet from the start.



  • Remember that breast milk (or first infant formula) will still provide energy and important nutrients throughout your baby’s first year
  • From six months, start to introduce a range of vegetables and fruit; starchy foods, (such as potato, bread, rice and pasta); protein foods, (such as meat, fish, well-cooked eggs, beans and pulses); and pasteurised dairy foods like plain full-fat yogurt
  • Choose foods with no added sugar or sweetener and DON’T add them to your baby’s food
  • Choose foods with no added salt and DON’T add salt to your baby’s food
  • Remember your baby’s tummy is only small, so they only need small amounts of food at a time

Drinks and cups for babies and toddlers

If you’re bottle feeding, it’s a good idea to introduce a cup rather than a bottle from about six months. By the time your baby is one, they should have stopped using bottles with teats. Otherwise, they may find it hard to break the habit of comfort sucking on a bottle.

Preventing obesity

Research shows children who achieve a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, better able to learn, and are more self-confident. They’re also less likely to have low self-esteem or be bullied. They’re much less likely to have health problems in later life.

Your child grows and develops rapidly in their first years of life. But they also have relatively small tummies so their food and drink has to give them all the energy and nutrients they need in a modest amount, without lots of salt and sugar which can damage their health in short and long term.


Children, as well as adults, will benefit from additional vitamins for their wellbeing, growth and development. Although it’s still very important to have a healthy varied diet, babies from six months and young children may not be getting enough vitamins from food alone, especially vitamins A, C and D. The recommended daily vitamin drops from six months to five years of age and, for some babies, from birth.

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