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Media Release: 2005 World Breastfeeding Week Theme Announced

For Immediate Release
Contact Information: Mary Lofton, PRManager at llli.org; Mary Hurt, PRAssociate at llli.org; Rebecca Magalhaes, RMagalhaes at llli.org
(847)519-7730, Extensions 271, 286, 260

Schaumburg, IL (May 16, 2005) - The 2005 World Breastfeeding Week theme will be Breastfeeding and Family Foods. The focus of this year's theme is to raise awareness of the risks and costs of introducing other foods and drinks to breastfed babies before six months and to draw attention to the value of continuing to breastfeed as nutritious foods are introduced after this time.

Health associations worldwide support these goals. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life could save at least 1.3 million lives a year—that's about 3,500 children EACH DAY, according to UNICEF. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports exclusive breastfeeding for six months and points out that breastfeeding provides invaluable immunological protection from a whole host of diseases -- including ear infections, allergies, intestinal disorders, meningitis, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs), diarrhea and pneumonia.

It makes sense that mothers continue the habit of good nutrition that they started when they decided to breastfeed their babies. LLLI has long recommended exclusive breastfeeding for six months and its continuation with a gradual introduction of other nutritious foods.

As an alternative to less nutritious and more expensive commercial products, many mothers prepare their own baby food. Of course when these foods are first introduced they need to be modified by mashing, softening, or chopping to make the food suitable for the infant.

LLLI groups around the world discuss the introduction of solids using nutritious family foods. LLLI publishes resources which address the topics of introducing foods and even feature recipes including nutrition guides to help plan baby's meals so they are balanced and specifically tailored to the child's age, needs, and tastes. Breastfeeding and the gradual introduction of nutritious foods is one strategy in helping reverse the current trend toward obesity. (Please see attached sample recipes)

Breastfeeding advocates the world over celebrate World Breastfeeding Week each year from August 1-7. La Leche League International (LLLI) is a core partner of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action which chooses the theme of World Breastfeeding Week each year.

LLLI is a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 by seven women who wanted to help other mothers learn about breastfeeding. Today LLLI is an internationally recognized authority on breastfeeding with a mother-to-mother network in over sixty countries. For more information about introducing solids, other breastfeeding questions, or to find an LLLI group in your area visit www.lalecheleague.org or call 1-847-519-7730.

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Recipes from Whole Foods for Babies & Toddlers, by Margaret Kenda, La Leche League International

Baby's First Meats, Just the Right Texture

If you're preparing meat, poultry, or seafood for the rest of the family, remove a portion when it is well cooked and before you add other ingredients. Then cut up into small pieces. Use a food processor or blender to prepare. The advantage is that you can begin with a smooth puree, and then proceed to more and more texture, as your baby is ready.

  • ½ cup ground or cut-up meat or poultry
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

1. Process on medium-high speed for about 60 seconds. Then stop the machine, and scrape the sides.Mbr> 2. As you wish, process again for another 30 seconds, and so on, until the meat is just the right consistency.

Teething Biscuits (past nine months because of egg yolks)

You can use an electric mixer to make this, if you want, but it's just as easy to mix it by hand. These are flat, dry, and hard biscuits for teething babies, so you don't use the same amount of liquid as you might in other baked goods.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) honey*
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) molasses
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) oil
  • 1 teaspoon (15 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 milliliters) sifted whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) soy flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) wheat germ

1. In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolk, honey, molasses, oil, and vanilla extract
2. In a separate measuring cup, mix flour, soy flour, dry milk powder, and wheat germ. Then mix into the egg mixture. The dough will be stiff and somewhat dry.
3. Roll out the dough very thinly. There's no need to be exact, but aim for a thickness of 1/8 to ¼ inch (1 to 2 milliliters). Cut into baby-finger-length rectangles. Place onto a baking sheet.
4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, and store in a tightly covered container.

*In baked goods, honey is a good sugar substitute but do not let a baby have raw honey. The risk is that honey can contain the bacteria that cause infant botulism and affect the nerves and muscles.

Baby's First Vegetables, Steamed

Use a steamer basket to produce tender potatoes, peas, squash, broccoli, or other vegetables.

  • Water
  • ½ cup (120 milliliters) vegetables
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) additional water

1. Peel and cut up potatoes or squash. If you're using frozen peas, separate them with a fork. Arrange in a steamer basket.
2. Fill a pan with about one inch (2 or 3 centimeters) of water, and bring the water to a boil.
3. Place the steamer basket into the pan. Cover, and turn down heat. Let steam for five to ten minutes, until soft and tender.
4. Mash potato or squash with a fork. Or use a food processor or blender to puree peas, broccoli, potato, or squash. Add the water, and process at high speed or “puree” for 60 to 90 seconds. You will need to stop the machine once or twice to scrape the sides. Process until the vegetable is a smooth texture.
5. Serve warm. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
6. For older children and adults, serve with butter. Or make a glaze by melting 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) butter in a small saucepan. Stir in ½ cup (120 milliliters) brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) orange juice. Stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved, then boil for one additional minute. Add sweet potato to glaze, and toss gently until well coated.

Colorful Cubes (Fun Foods for Toddlers)

Gelatin cubes are the all-time favorite toddler finger food. Choose a colorful fruit juice, such as orange, grape, or cranberry.

  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters or two packets) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) fruit juice

1. In a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over one cup (240 milliliters) fruit juice. Stir.
2. Heat on high power in the microwave oven for one minute, or until just short of boiling. Stir to dissolve the gelatin.
3. Stir in the rest of the fruit juice
4. Pour into an 8-inch (20-centimeter) square glass baking dish.
5. Refrigerate until completely set.
6. Cut into cubes. Or cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Set in a pan of warm water for a few seconds until the cubes slide out easily.

These recipes from Whole Foods for Babies & Toddlers by Margaret Kenda are reprinted with permission from La Leche League International Schaumburg, IL 2001. To order visit our online store or call 1-847-519-9585.

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