We recently had a chat with Nutrition Consultant, Holistic health practitioner, and all round beautiful person Lauren Lesser - the woman behind the Wholefood Bub. Lauren gives us some great information for all things Infant nutrition. If you are wanting to find out some more tailored information for you and your little ones nutrition you can book in a 1:1 consult with Lauren. 

Can you tell us about you and who is in your family?

My name is Lauren, I am a Certified Nutrition Consultant and Holistic Health Practitioner. I specialise in Infant Health and Human Microbiology with babies and toddlers. My partner Zach and I live on the beautiful Gold Coast with our two-year-old son, Lonnie, our almost three-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Frankie and I am also currently pregnant with our second baby who is due in March 2022.


We would love to hear about you and your wonderful new business ‘The Wholefood Bub’ what it is all about and what inspired you to start it?

I have been practicing holistic health and wellness in my own everyday life for so many years now – from studying Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Herbalism and Ayurveda, as well as diving deep into the world of raw foods, cellular cleansing and detoxification. Nutrition and herbal medicine has been my number passion since I was about sixteen years old, however, I have never felt a more intense pull towards a certain niche until my son was born.

At the time this photo of the three of us was taken, Lonnie had just turned three and a half months old. It was only two weeks after this that we were recommended by a health professional that we start offering him some solid food as he was “showing all the signs”.
After so much research from books, blog posts and podcasts all written by or interviewing other health professionals who specialise in this field, as well as following Instagram pages such as Oh Baby Academy, I soon came to realise how EASY taking the previous advice would have been - there is so much conflicting advice out there. I took what felt right and, of course, dove deep into study mode.

Lonnie was four and half months old when I enrolled into Oh Baby School of Holistic Nutrition which is where I specialised in Baby Nutrition. I have now graduated from the Academy and I am so extremely passionate about this topic that I started my own business, The Wholefood bub, supporting parents and caregivers as they navigate everything that comes with starting solids with their baby – this includes introducing allergens, raising a plant-based baby, how to manage food allergies and/or sensitives, skin reactions such as eczema, building great gut health, navigating fussy eating, how and when to supplement if supplementing is required and so, so much more. 


What are your thoughts about the most common question “what age should my baby start solids?”

Instead of only waiting until a baby reaches a certain age to introduce complementary foods, it is recommended to wait until they meet all of the vital developmental signs of readiness. These observable milestones indicate when a baby’s intricate system is ready and mature enough for the introduction of solid foods. Babies usually begin meeting signs of readiness at around six months of age, but it can definitely take longer for some. There has been extensive research showing that it’s extremely beneficial to wait for both nutritional and developmental reasons. 


Signs of developmental readiness and a good indicator that baby is ready to start solids:
  • Baby can sit well with little or no support (this does not include using supported seats such as a Bumbo)
  • Baby is able to turn their head easily to indicate that they have had enough to eat
  • They have lost their tongue-thrust reflex and do not automatically push solids out of their mouth with their tongue
  • Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp: this is when they learn to pick up items or pieces of food with their thumb and forefinger instead of just using their palm or their whole hand
  • They are ready and willing to chew and are eager to participate at mealtime. This sign should only be considered AFTER the previous signs have been clearly met as it could be a false sign. Babies see us eating every day, so their interest in food will begin much earlier than when they are developmentally ready.

As much as I recommend waiting until all signs are met, if baby hasn't met all developmental signs of readiness as they approach 6.5 or 7 months, I would recommend that the parent or caregiver sees their health care provider as there are certain nutrient requirements that greatly increase during this time. 


As a family, what are your go to meals?
  • Mexican burritos or bowls with a vegetable-loaded bean mix and variety of fresh salad ingredients to pick and choose our own fillings. Lonnie loves to pick and choose what goes in his wrap or bowl, so this meal is always on the menu.
  • Sushi or rice paper rolls with lots of fresh veggies, rice noodles, grilled tempeh or egg omelette, miso, avocado and sauerkraut is always a winner. Lonnie would happily eat a combination of all of these ingredients all day long.
  • Homemade pizzas with lots of fresh and roasted veggies, olives and hummus. Zach and Lonnie might add some organic chicken or other organic meat to theirs and I’ll have all veggies with a nice, simple salad and sauerkraut…always.


Best advice for fussy eaters?

I could honestly talk about this topic all day.There are so many things that we can do from very early on in baby’s solid food journey that will greatly benefit their food choices and preferences in the future. If, however, a parent feels they missed the early introduction of certain foods (which, by the way, is very common) and now their older baby or toddler simply will not touch unfamiliar or texturally usual food, they certainly have not missed the opportunity to encourage and support dietary expansion. There are a few things that parents can start implementing from any point in their child’s life and if anyone reading this has a fussy eater on their hands, now is the time! It is never too late to start supporting, encouraging and modelling to our children how fun, relaxing an enjoyable a variety of food and family meal times can be.

  • EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE! My number one tip is to just keep offering
  • Keep meal times calm and enjoyable
  • Offer share plates with a mix of familiar and unfamiliar foods and let them help themselves
  • Model healthy eating habits by eating together as a family whenever possible and eat the same foods as them
  • Try not to focus on your child too much when eating or fuss over what they have or haven’t eaten. This can create pressure, resistance, stress and anxiety around meal times
  • If they don’t eat their food, don’t replace it with something you know they will eat. This encourages and rewards their fussy eating and the cycle will just continue
  • Try to limit distractions such as the TV. This will help them to be more engaged with their food and also increase their ability to self-regulate their appetite
  • With toddlers and older children, let them help. This can be as simple as letting them pick a recipe, getting all of the ingredients together, washing the produce or, if you have a garden, picking some herbs and leafy greens for a salad. This sense of achievement encourages excitement around the meal and children are more likely to want to taste their creation.


What was your go to item when Lonnie was a Bub?

I would have to say our much-loved wrap and newborn carrier – babies love to be close to our chest, feel our warmth and hear our heartbeat. Wraps and carriers are so perfect when it comes to keeping baby close and comforted, still enabling us to have both arms free!

Your top 3 favourite birdie + me items?

Being such a foodie and obsessed with all things infant nutrition, I would have to say the silicone ‘Meal Time’ items, particularly the silicone suction plate with the three sections for different foods. Babies and toddlers love to see what they’re eating, explore their food and feel as though they are the ones making food choices. These plates are perfect for this.

I am also in love with the Bundl Wool Wrap. I’m all about fabric softness, quality and comfort when it comes to baby items and these wraps tick all the boxes.

Lastly, we can’t forget the mama! I quit wearing all perfumes and synthetic fragrances many years ago. I am an essential oils lover through and through, so the mama bundle from cle.naturals would have to be in my top three favourite birdie + me items.


You can follow Lauren along on instagram @thewholefoodbub for some wonderful tips and tricks for your Childs nutrition and also book in for consults via her website www.thewholefoodbub.com.au 


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