Q I’ve read that my baby can have cooked foods with cow’s milk as an ingredient from six months, but she shouldn’t drink it until she’s one – why?
Rachel Paterson, Wiltshire It is perfectly fine to give your baby cow’s milk with her food from six months old, and it doesn’t have to be ‘cooked’. But think of cow’s milk as ‘food’ rather than as ‘milk’. You can’t substitute cow’s milk for breast- or formula-feeding until your baby is 12 months old, because it doesn’t have the correct level of nutrients for a growing human. But it’s great to feed some within her food quota in her weaning journey, whether that’s a splash on cereal or baked in a rice pudding. JC
Q Should I use wholemeal or white bread when weaning? Alis Hoopman, Bangor
Some people think babies should only be given white bread, to avoid wholegrains due to the amount of insoluble fibre, but others say wholegrain is best because it contains higher levels of nutrients and less sugar. Either choice is fine, but as a nutritionist, I chose to give both my children wholegrain bread and foods from six months old. Whichever you choose, read the label and opt for bread without added sugar, and watch the salt content – a slice of bread can contain up to 0.5g of salt and a baby can only handle 1g a day. Or make your own, so you can control those ingredients! JC
Q Can you suggest some interesting picnic foods for a toddler? Mine is getting bored of butties! Leanne Harris, West Yorkshire
Make some savoury muffins – you’ll never go back to sandwiches once you know how quick and easy they are to make! You can add all kinds of veggies and use a wholegrain flour to further boost the nutrition. They taste great served cold and are also suitable for freezing, so you can bake a batch. Serve alongside strips of pitta or crackers with dips such as hummus, and some little cubes of cheese. I find my children really enjoy lots of ‘picky bits’ when we go for a picnic. JC