New Guidelines for First Foods May Surprise You
My nephew is 18 months old and there are still foods my sister wonâ€™t allow him to eat, which I totally understand because when my girls were in the toddler years, I was very strict about when certain foods were introduced into their diets.
I never introduced anything new on a weekend or when out of driving distance of our pediatrician. You know, in case of an allergic reaction or choking hazard. Yes, I was a bit of a helicopter new mom. Still am. It only took one toddler to choke on a raisin for this mama to rule raisins food nongrata forever. No, my now 8 and 6-year-old daughters are not allowed to eat raisins to this day.
Depending on who you ask, solid foods can be introduced anywhere from 2 months to a year. Our pediatrician said that at 4 months, we could start introducing baby rice but I know others whose pediatricians who encouraged them to add rice to their newbornâ€™s diet at just around 2 months. We waited until our girls were 5 months old. Yet, I know 2-year-olds who have still never tasted peanut butter.
But a new report from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests that you introduce the most common allergenic foods like eggs, soy, dairy, wheat, nut butters, fish and shellfish, as soon as your baby starts solids around 6 months.
The belief now is that by parents waiting so long to introduce these foods, we may have actually contributed to the rise in food allergies. Talk about canâ€™t win for losing.
New research says that unless your child has already had an allergic reaction, moderate to severe eczema or a family history of allergies, start these foods earlier. Donâ€™t wait.
Here are the new guidelines for giving first foods to your little ones.
Once youâ€™ve successfully introduced fruit or rice cereal, then you can go ahead and introduce some of the common allergenic foods like eggs, dairy, wheat, nut butters, fish, shellfish and soy. Just make sure that you introduce rice cereal or fruit first. Donâ€™t make your kid’s first food be one that there might be a sensitivity to.
Like Iâ€™ve always done, when you introduce allergenic foods, start with a small amount when you are at your own home. If there is no allergic reaction like diarrhea or hives, every three to five days give the child a little more, slightly increasing the portion each time.
Last but not least, avoid whole cowâ€™s milk until after the age of 1. I believe we swapped out formula and bottles for sippy cups with organic cowâ€™s milk when our girls turned 1. The reason being that cowâ€™s milk is difficult for the tiny humanâ€™s digestive system to breakdown and can lead to kidney complications. It can also affect your babyâ€™s iron levels. But cheese, yogurt and milk-based formulas are okay.
I followed the guidelines for when my children were babies and I felt that I was being pretty cautious but now, I am wondering if my overzealous friends who were giving their little oneâ€™s peanut butter at 9 months had the right idea. Because I know quite a few children who werenâ€™t given peanut butter until after they were 18 months and they are allergic to peanut butter now.
Are we raising a generation of highly sensitive digestive systems and prone to allergic reaction children? Are we raising a generation of weak kids because weâ€™ve kept them in a bubble too long?
When did you start giving your baby solids?
Photo Source: Andrew Malone