Edinburgh nursery baby death: Health guidance on what food to feed to babies - and what to avoid

The Bright Horizons nursery is an independent business based in the David Lloyd club in Corstorphine (Photo: Lisa Ferguson)
The Bright Horizons nursery is an independent business based in the David Lloyd club in Corstorphine (Photo: Lisa Ferguson)
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A top level probe is underway after a 10-month-old boy died in hospital following a choking incident at an Edinburgh nursery.

The infant, who was in the care of staff at Bright Horizons nursery - an independent business based in the David Lloyd club in Corstorphine - was rushed to the Sick Kids hospital on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Baby boy dies after choking on mango at Edinburgh nursery
The Evening News has been told the child choked on a piece of mango and police confirmed on Thursday that he died in hospital on Wednesday morning.

The owners of the nursery said they were "devastated" by the incidents.

Expert Advice on Feeding Babies and Infants

NHS advice on what food to feed babies and infants also lists what should be avoided.

It says from around six months old babies can be weaned with single vegetables and fruits - such as blended, mashed or soft cooked sticks of parsnip, broccoli, potato, yam, sweet potato, apple or pear.

Babies take different amounts of time to get used to lumps, and whilst this can start around age six to seven months it is vital someone stays with them to make sure they are swallowing it safely.

From seven to nine months infants can move on to meals including foods such as fruit and vegetables, potatoes, beans and pasta.

As they become more confident the NHS advice is to offer more mashed, lumpy and finger foods.

From 10-12 months, the guidelines say that infants should be able to manage a wider range of finger foods and will be increasingly able to pick up small pieces of food and move them to their mouth.

READ MORE: Edinburgh nursery writes to parents after death of baby boy
The advice says that carers and parents should avoid giving the following foods to babies and young children - salt, sugar, saturated fat, honey whole nuts and peanuts, certain cheeses such as mould-ripened soft cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, raw and lightly cooked eggs, rice drinks, raw jelly cubes, raw shellfish, or and shark, swordfish or marlin - the latter three of which it says can contain an amount of mercury which can affect the development of a baby’s nervous system.

Professor Mary Fewtrell, assistant officer for health improvement for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “All babies need solid foods from six months for adequate nutrition and they should be given a variety of foods, including fruit.

“However, the texture of the food should be appropriate for the baby’s age and stage of development and each child is different.

“To help babies get used to lumpy foods, these should be offered from around six to seven months, but an adult must stay with the baby to make sure they are swallowing the food safely, and the baby should be sitting upright whilst eating. Whole grapes and small pieces of hard fruits such as apple should be avoided

“Babies and young children should never be left to eat on their own – if they were to choke, they need help quickly.”