INTRODUCING CATHERINE: INTERVIEW WITH OUR NUTRITIONIST
Here at Babease, we make sure that all the advice we give is trusted by both parents and experts.
We caught up with our nutritionist Catherine Lippe RNutr BSc(Hons), who has helped us produce most of the content you’ll see in our helpful weaning blog!
Weaning can be a super exciting time, but it can also be slightly daunting, especially as a new parent. From baby food pouches to homemade meals, you want to make sure you’re feeding your budding foodie the right stuff for their development.
Catherine Lippe has worked with us to make sure parents feel fully equipped for the weaning journey. Here, we speak to her about her career, personal experiences with weaning and her best piece of advice for new parents.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your fantastic work!
I studied nutrition at Oxford Brookes University and have always had a passion for baby and child nutrition.
I love food and I love kids so I was thrilled to land a job with the NHS as a children’s nutritionist! This is where my passion for infant and child nutrition grew further and I have never looked back.
After starting a family - my boys are now aged six and eight years - I left my beloved NHS job and moved to freelance working. It was a big decision but I enjoy the flexibility and variety it offers me.
As well as the NHS I have been lucky enough to work for some other great organisations including Public Health England, The Early Years Nutrition Partnership, BUPA and now Babease, too!
What are your memories from your own experience of weaning?
The mess!! Weaning was great fun with my two boys and I loved observing how they responded to food but it did get messy!
I had to keep reminding myself to ‘embrace the mess’ - something I am always telling parents! I certainly appreciate that weaning creates a constant cycle of feeding, cleaning and washing!
How much do your own experiences influence how you support other parents?
My experience of weaning and feeding my two boys has definitely influenced my practice as a nutritionist. Of course, the advice and the evidence remain the same, but I think having experienced it twice myself first-hand helps me to relate to the practical elements of weaning much more.
With routine, for example, routine changes all the time with babies and just when you feel like you’re getting comfortable with the current routine, things change again and you have to get used to something entirely new! I found this hard and am definitely more sympathetic towards these practical challenges that parents face.
One of my boys is also much fussier than the other. It’s frustrating but, again, helps me to relate to parents who are struggling with picky eaters.
Can you tell us a bit about your work with Public Health England?
Yes. I worked as a Scientific Officer for the Maternal and Child Nutrition division of SACN (the Scientific and Advisory Committee on Nutrition) for a short time after having my second child.
My role mainly involved providing expert advice on nutrition to teams within the Department of Health as well as external stakeholders and answering media enquiries and parliamentary questions.
I thoroughly enjoyed working for Public Health England and it was fascinating to be working alongside scientists and researchers in the field of nutrition. I learnt a lot in the short time I was there.
What’s the most common question you get asked by new parents?
There are several common questions but mostly it comes down to ‘how do I get my child to eat?’
Babies and children will all go through picky phases at some point and this is completely normal. As parents, our instinct is to do whatever we possibly can to encourage our children to eat and parents naturally want to know how to manage that.
Sadly, there is no magic wand for solving picky eating and most of the time it involves looking at the bigger picture, at what else is going on, and trying to focus on taking the pressure off at mealtimes rather than putting more pressure on ourselves and our kids to eat.
Finally, what’s your favourite piece of advice for anybody starting the weaning journey?
Have fun! I am passionate about taking the pressure off at mealtimes. If children learn to feel comfortable and relaxed around food and to have fun with it, the rest will usually fall into place.
There is so much more to mealtimes than what goes in and comes out the other end! When we take a step back to think about all the sensory steps involved in eating, it’s easy to see that there is never a wasted mealtime.
Even if your baby hasn’t eaten anything at all they will still benefit from seeing, smelling and touching the food.
Simply sitting down in the high chair and holding a spoon or piece of food is a positive. Focus on the positives, have fun and try not to put pressure on yourself or your baby to become the textbook eater!
Thanks for working with us!
I am so excited about my work with Babease. I see the passion from the whole Babease team to create not just precision food for babies but also a category-leading service that supports parents through their entire weaning journey.
Trust, integrity and evidence are at the heart of everything Babease do and I’m delighted to be part of that. Thank you for having me!
Catherine has helped us to produce a huge collection of guides and articles on weaning and baby nutrition. Check out the Our Nutritionist section of the blog to discover more, or follow us on social media to hear our best tips for the weaning journey!
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