Q: What is colic?
A: About one in five babies suffers from colic, crying intensely for more than three hours a day, often in the evening. If your baby has it, he will typically draw his knees up and have a rigid back. It can continue for as much as a month or two, and even though it’s a relatively short time, it can make your life a misery. But remember, it’s a harmless condition, and doesn’t mean your baby is in any danger.
Q: What causes colic?
A: Nobody is sure what causes colic, although trapped gas is sometimes blamed. There is no single cause for colic and no single cure. But experts think it could be a combination of a number of things:
Basically, this means that your baby feels a bit overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds around him now that he's out of the snug womb. Until it all starts marking more sense to him, the only reaction available is to cry.
Research is still underway into the causes of colic, but one theory is that your colicky baby might not yet have a fully developed digestive system.
If you’re breastfeeding, perhaps you’re eating something that’s unsettling your baby. Experiment with cutting out certain foods to see if it makes a difference.
If you’re formula feeding, make sure that the nipple is always full of milk so your baby doesn’t take in too much air, and try to stop him from gulping down the milk too quickly. Excessive gas can make a baby unsettled and colicky.
Studies have shown that new moms who smoke around their babies, or who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have colicky babies. It’s thought that the toxins in the smoke could cause your baby’s system to produce a certain type of protein, which can upset digestion.
Q: How can I deal with colic?
A: Sometimes you just have to wait it out. In the meantime, here are some things that you can try:
Q: When should I start to feed my baby cereal?
A: The Canadian Paediatric Society Nutrition Committee recommends the introduction of solid foods at six months to meet your baby's increasing nutritional requirements and development needs.1
1. Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and Health Canada, 2005
Q: What foods should I start with?
A: The most common first food for babies is cereal with iron, such as Heinz's Stage 1 baby cereals. Try rice cereal first, as your baby is least likely to be allergic to it and it is easiest to digest.
Q: How much should I feed my baby?
A: Let your baby tell you. All babies have different appetites. Start with small amounts. Look for signs that your baby is full, such as pushing the spoon away, looking away, or spitting out food.
Q: Should I feed my baby food with a soft plastic or metal spoon?
A: It's better to use a soft plastic spoon, and not a metal spoon, as soft plastic is gentler on your baby's gums. It is also recommended that you dispense jarred baby food using a soft plastic spoon to minimize the chance of accidentally breaking the glass jar.
Q: Can I feed baby food directly from the jar?
A: It is not recommended to feed baby food directly from the container. Enzymes from the baby's (or caregiver's) saliva cause the carbohydrate content to break down. This results in the food becoming very watery.
We recommend that you remove the portion to be consumed from the jar with a clean spoon, and place the product in a clean feeding dish. The remainder of the jar can be immediately stored in the refrigerator. It is important not to touch the unused portion of food with any feeding utensil that has been in contact with the mouth, as even very small amounts of saliva can contain sufficient enzymes to cause the food to go watery.
Q: My baby doesn't like new foods. What should I do?
A: It usually takes a little while for babies to grow to like a new taste. Try several times, once every few days. If he still doesn't want it, try to reintroduce it at a later date. If he does not eat it, simply remove the food. Never force your baby to eat.
Q: Should I choose organic foods for my baby?
A: Heinz has a wide assortment of 100% Certified Organic products, baby cereals and foods, juices, and toddler snacks. That being said, in accordance with our Purity Assurance Program, all Heinz® products must meet very strict safety and nutritional requirements. Our requirements are five times more stringent than those enforced by the Canadian government.
Q: What is gluten?
A: Gluten is the protein found in wheat and in smaller amounts in rye, barley and oats. Gluten occurs in many foods such as bread, cereals and pasta. Some babies will need to avoid gluten due to a condition called Celiac Disease or an intolerance or allergy to wheat.
For the vast majority of babies, wheat-based cereals and foods are not a problem, although it is advisable that gluten-free foods be the first weaning foods.
Q: What’s the difference between intolerance and allergy?
A: Some people think the terms 'food allergy' and 'food intolerance' mean the same thing but they don’t.
Food allergies are rare and happen when a harmless food is wrongly interpreted by the immune system as being harmful. The symptoms of allergy include tingling lips and rashes. In some cases the reaction is severe, and the problem food must be carefully avoided.
A food intolerance is an adverse, food-induced reaction that does not involve the immune system. Lactose intolerance is one example of a food intolerance. Someone with a lactose intolerance lacks an enzyme that is needed to digest milk sugar. When these people consume milk products, symptoms such as gas, bloating and abdominal pain occurs.
Q: What are some of the more common food allergens?
A: While any food can trigger an allergic reaction, Health Canada identifies nine priority food allergens. They are:
Q: How can I tell if my baby is having an allergic reaction to a food?
A: Allergic reactions may be identified by a variety of symptoms. They include:
Q: Do I need to dilute the Heinz® Infant Juices?
A: It is not necessary to add water to the Heinz® Strained Juice products (including jar & plastic bottle format) as means to dilute the concentration. These products are prepared according to baby’s needs and have been appropriately diluted prior.
Q: Are any of the Heinz® Baby Food products certified Kosher?
A: All Heinz® Baby Food products packaged in the plastic containers (fruits & desserts) are certified Kosher. Since we run both meat and non-meat products (glass jar format) on the same line at our Leamington facility, these products are not certified Kosher.
Q: How can I be sure that the baby food I buy hasn’t been tampered with?
A: Every jar of Heinz® baby food has two safety checks: a safety button on the top of the lid and a tamper band around the neck. Always check that the vacuum seal button on the lid of the jar is flat and that the plastic ring around the neck of the jar is unbroken. If in doubt, don’t use it and take it back to the store where you bought it.
Q: Can I use a microwave to warm baby food?
A: Microwaves heat unevenly, creating hot spots within the food which could burn your baby’s mouth. Avoid using microwaves if possible but if you use one, always stir the heated baby food or shake the milk thoroughly so the heat is evenly distributed. And always make sure you check the temperature of the food before you feed your baby.
Q: My baby won’t eat a whole jar of baby food. Can I keep the leftovers and use them later?
A: Uneaten baby food can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days (2 days for meats) as long as it hasn’t been in contact with the spoon you used to feed your baby. Use a clean spoon to transfer food to a bowl.
When you are ready to use the uneaten portion, make sure you heat it until it is piping hot, then cool it naturally until it is a safe temperature before feeding your baby. You should only reheat baby food once – if your child doesn't eat it all, you should make sure that you throw any leftover food away.
Q: Why do leftover baby foods sometimes become watery?
A: If you're feeding your baby directly from the jar, chances are you've transferred his saliva to the jar. Saliva contains an enzyme which breaks down carbohydrates, creating a watery consistency. Use a clean spoon to remove each portion to a bowl and feed from the bowl.
Q: What is the shelf life of unopened baby food?
A: All jarred baby foods are vacuum sealed and sterilized, so they will not spoil, provided the vacuum seal is intact. When you open the jar at home, you should hear the familiar "pfft pop" sound. If you don't hear the POP, or the button is up, or the plastic seal is broken, do not feed the contents to your baby. Take the jar back to the store for a replacement.
While vacuum-sealed food won't spoil, for optimal taste and complete vitamin retention, product should be consumed prior to the "best before" date printed on the top of the jar or plastic tub.
Q: Are any preservatives added to Heinz® Baby Foods?
A: No. Heinz® jarred baby foods are vacuum packed in sterile jars and therefore preservatives are not necessary.
Q: If your cereal “may contain wheat” why isn’t it listed as an ingredient?
A: Wheat is not an ingredient of this cereal, but there is a possibility of wheat entering the system at the field level. So out of an abundance of caution, we suggest that those consumers who are allergic to wheat avoid using the products.
All our products are in full compliance with all food labelling regulations in Canada.
Q: How could you not know for sure? Don’t you know what goes into your product? What good is triple testing?
A: There is a possibility of wheat entering the system at field level or when milled into flour. Current testing can detect gluten, but cannot differentiate wheat gluten from barley or rye gluten. Out of an abundance of caution, we suggest that those consumers who are allergic to wheat avoid using the products that bear this statement.
Q: Which of your cereals can my child eat?
A: If your child has a wheat allergy, we recommend that you avoid using our cereals.