Major retailers further restrict formula sales

Global demand for infant formula is being driven by a rapidly growing Chinese population and local safety fears.

Coles and Woolworths have imposed tighter buying bans on baby formula amid a shortage blamed on Chinese consumers.

Join our campaign: Retailers called on to enforce formula tin limit

There are many brands of infant formula but all those sold in Australia and New Zealand must adhere to the same strict Food Standards guidelines.

LETITIA ROWLANDS It has been described as a crisis and has parents across the country struggling to access the formula needed to feed their babies.

China's Singles Day to blame for baby formula drought

Isabel Wagner, with baby Alberto, was relieved when she secured four tins of Bellamy's.

ESTHER HAN An Australian baby formula company has revealed the cause of an "extreme" baby formula shortage is the world's biggest online shopping event, China's Singles Day.


Good reasons for making your baby's food (and how to do it)

Homemade baby food is generally more nutritious and tastier than commercially processed food if it is fresh and made from whole foods.

Casey Seidenberg Homemade baby food is generally more nutritious and tastier than the commercially processed stuff. It can be cheaper, too.


Is it time to change baby food guidelines to help prevent allergies?


EVELYN LEWIN As the number of children with food allergies rise, should we change the guidelines about when to give children foods they may be allergic to?

Australian babies and toddlers eat better than their parents: report


LETITIA ROWLANDS Much of their dinner might end up on the floor or smeared all over their faces, but it seems what food Australian babies and toddlers do eat is of top quality.

Baby-led weaning worked for us


Sarah Barr My baby wasn't interested in food - until we tried something new. Now she's eating it all, and it often comes from my plate.

Baby Pip Eats: 26 easy recipes for babies

<i>Baby Pip Eats</i> is out now.

Babyology I'm quite certain that in my next life I'll be a food stylist. Or at least the person who looks at very lovely pictures of food… is that a job?

Lessons from a reformed paleo mum

Siobhan and her baby.

Siobhan Rennie As a former paleo eater who eventually came to her senses, I've learnt what works for me - and my baby.

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Annabel Karmel's recipe for success

LETITIA ROWLANDS How do you get a fussy baby to eat good food? It's a question faced by mothers around the world on a daily basis.

Pappa pomodoro (Italian bread soup): food babies love

food babies love

Emily Dupuche The Italians are famous for creating masterpieces out of the simplest ingredients, and this traditional bread soup is a prime example of simplicity at its best.

Chicken nuggets: food babies love

food babies love

Emily Dupuche These delicious nuggets make great finger food and can be served with dips, diced vegies or just about anything you fancy. Being baked, not fried, they are much healthier than commercially prepared options.

Banana balls: food babies love

food babies love

Emily Dupuche Your baby will love you for these! Like a piece of cake in a ball, they are clean to eat and extremely moreish. They're also great for anyone with egg allergies.

Creating food babies and toddlers love

Emily Dupuche Emily Dupuche was inspired to write a recipe book after becoming a mum to twins. Here, she shares her story and great recipes from her book, Food Babies Love.

As a guilty mum: are special baby and toddler foods worth it?


Kate Browne From yoghurt to savoury snacks to, believe it or not, good old water, there's a special product out there being marketed especially for your kid. But are they necessary?

10 ways to entice a fussy toddler to eat


DANIELLE COLLEY If mealtimes are a struggle at your house try some of these tactics to try and outwit your fussy child.


Video: Baby tries salt and vinegar chips for the first time


Melanie Mahoney Kids can have some very funny reactions when trying new foods – and little Sadie’s first experience with salt and vinegar flavoured chips is pretty darn cute.

Beef & vegie pasta salad


This recipe can be changed to suit your child's developmental stage - you can make it silky smooth, lumpy, finger food or suitable for toddlers.

Roast lamb & vegie roast with potato wedges


Iron-rich foods are recommended as first foods at around six months. This recipe will be a hit with your little one!

Beef & sweet potato pie


When you first introduce beef and lamb to your baby, these simple recipes will help get you started.

Mince beef & sweet potato burgers


Adapt the family meal to meet your baby’s different developmental stages - and adjust the ingredients and flavours to reflect your preferred cuisine or cultural background.

First vege puree


Root vegetables have a naturally sweet taste so are perfect for puree baby food.

Avocado and banana puree


Raw fruits are best since none of the nutrients are lost in cooking. You can combine two different fruits together when you make this weaning recipe.

First apple puree


Apples are ideal first fruits as they are easy to digest and unlikely to cause allergies.

Weaning: first foods to nine months

baby food

ANNABEL KARMEL A guide to starting your baby on solids - including best first foods to try, when to begin, and the ongoing importance of milk.

Weaning: allergies and busting common myths

food baby

ANNABEL KARMEL Learn what foods to avoid when giving your child his first foods, and discover the truth about common weaning myths.

Macro Organic baby food pouches recalled

baby eating

Staff writers Woolworths has issued a recall on a popular brand of baby food pouches which may cause illness if consumed.

Peaches and cream puree

peaches cream

Think of this as a pureed parfait for baby.

Pineapple and mango puree

puree baby

This summery puree can be refrigerated in individual containers for up to one week, or frozen for up to six months.

Raising an adventurous eater

eat child

Nevin Martell The idea of my child exclusively eating the so-called "beige diet" made my stomach churn. So what could my wife and I do to help raise an adventurous eater? I asked the experts.

What 8030 babies taught me about healthy eating

eating baby

Louise Wedgwood The lessons learned from a recent study have got me thinking about what I teach my little boy about food. But the big surprise is what babies are teaching me about my own eating habits, too.

Baby McDonalds? Jars of food add little to diet, study finds

Baby eating pureed food

Allison Connolly Commercial baby foods offer little nutritional benefit over breast milk and babies would get more out of homemade purees than from a jar, a study has found.

Training tiny taste buds

baby food

Paula Goodyer Commercial baby food has stepped up a notch, but how good is at teaching tiny palates to eat a broad range of healthy foods?

Is baby-led weaning best?

babyled weaning

Evelyn Volders Not only is the timing of introducing solids important for future health, research shows that how babies are introduced to solids may also have an impact on their future habits and health.

Into the mouths of babes

Melanie Gill

Caroline Baum It was only a matter of time before the idea of gourmet baby food caught on in Australia. The surprise is that it took a non-parent and fine-dining chef to come up with the concept.


First tastes on film a hit


INGA TING A short film has captured children trying a range of foods for the first time, with some very funny - and sweet - results.


Baby formula recall group criticised

Sarah Knifpel and her 8 month old bub, Cleo, who 
suffered a bad reaction from a Nestle Baby food formula.

Melissa Davey and Melanie Mahoney A senior paediatrician has described a campaign to have a popular baby formula pulled from shelves as unfounded and alarming.

Parents cry foul over new formula recipe

crying baby

Nestle’s baby formula is under the spotlight amid reports that it is causing illness and agitation in children.

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The battle of the breast

Baby spoon fed

Rachel Browne While doctors recommend that parents give their children solid foods from four months in an attempt to lower allergy rates, breastfeeding advocates are concerned it will reduce the already low number of Australian mums who breastfeed.

Nutrition: what your baby needs from six months

Nutrition for babies.

From around six months of age, you can offer your baby pureed foods after they have had their milk feed.

Egg parcels


River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook, by Nikki Duffy. Essentially little quiches without pastry, these are quick, simple and eminently adaptable.

Zucchini polpette


River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook, by Nikki Duffy. These vegetarian ''meatballs'' are inspired by a wonderful recipe from Italian food writer Ursula Ferrigno

Vegie bean curry


River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook, by Nikki Duffy. Throw all the left-over vegies in and you have a great dish for the whole family.

Creative baby food mash-ups

Baby mash

Cherie Lyden Creating your own baby food may take time to make, but reaps the rewards in the end. Here's some creative ideas to get you started.

Healthy diet starts with baby food

Generic pic of a baby eating an apple.

Study finds homemade baby food trains kids' palates to enjoy fruit and vegetables.

Home-made food is best for baby

baby eating

Fiona Purdon It seems home-made baby food is the best health option and the cheapest in today's economic climate. Fiona Purdon reports

Avocado, fetta and green things dip - baby & toddler food


As I am not a fan of hiding food in children's meals, this recipe is as honest as can be.

Toddler snack ideas

The little engine of a toddler is constantly burning fuel, and your toddler will benefit from small meals spaced out during the day. Healthy, fun snacks will provide toddlers with energy to burn. Here are some great snack ideas.

Pregnancy power salad


Quick to make, contains protein in the form of tuna and eggs, carbohydrates (and protein) with the canned beans, and a serve of the all-important five vegetables.

Best high chair: Essential Baby Awards 2015

Parents review the best high chairs on the market: find out which high chair was voted most popular in the Essential Baby Awards 2015.

Easy family recipes

Family meals, lunchbox ideas, party food, cooking for kids and more at Essential Kids.


Feeding your Baby

From first milk to first solids and beyond

Recipes, cooking tips forum

Share your favourites and find new inspiration

Allergy and Food Intolerance Support

Advice, recommendations and support.

Photo Galleries

EB Picks: Kids in the kitchen

Essential Baby have found some great little foodie products to make cooking and feeding time fun.

Hello Naomi cupcakes

Beautiful cupcakes, sugar cookies and wedding cakes are made to perfection and topped off with hello naomi's original designs.

Kids party cakes

Here's some great looking cakes EB members have made - we hope you can get some ideas and inspiration from them!

Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.

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What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.


Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration