What Should I Know About Food Allergies When Introducing Solids
Although it was once common to delay giving a baby certain foods like eggs, seafood, nuts and some dairy in the hopes of staving off allergies, the AAP no longer recommends doing so since the data shows that holding off on certain foods does not prevent food allergies.
In fact, the AAP now says that introducing allergenic foods like peanut butter earlier in a child’s life between 4 and 6 months and certainly by 11 months actually reduces her chances of developing a food allergy. Just be sure you’ve successfully introduced a couple of other solids first, and be sure to introduce the foods one at a time at home .
How To Start Babies On Solid Food: An Evidence
opens IMAGE file
Introducing solid foods to your baby is a messy, amusing, and sometimes frustrating business. How do you start?
The first thing to understand is the goal. You arent trying to replace your babys breast milk or formula intake with solid food.
Thats because solid foods dont provide the complete nutrition that young infants need. If young babies reduce their breast milk intake, and replace it with cereal or other baby foods, they are at risk for poor nutrition .
So when you introduce solids to your baby, you are entering a transitional period. Your baby will still rely on breast milk or formula for the bulk of his or her nutritional needs. But your baby will be learning about solid foods learning how to eat, and how to accept new flavors and textures.
And this understanding can keep you from becoming overly frustrated. Your baby doesnt have to empty a jar of baby food in order to make progress. Repeated tasting of foods and practice moving food around in the mouth is important progress by itself.
With that understanding in mind, what else does the evidence tell us about introducing solids to babies? Here are some common questions and answers.
How Should I Prepare Food For My Child To Eat
At first, its easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your babys oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.
Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.
Here are some tips for preparing foods:
Also Check: How To Apply For Federal Solar Tax Credit
Q When Should Babies Be Introduced To Common Food Allergens
A. The best way to deal with common food allergens, such as peanut products, eggs, soy and fish, is to introduce them to your child early: around 4 to 6 months. Feel free to offer these foods to your child if:
- Its not a choking risk.
- Its pureed and soft.
- Your child doesnt have a strong family history of food allergies or allergy-prone conditions, such as severe asthma.
- Your child doesnt have severe eczema or other allergic tendencies.
The only foods on the no-fly list? Honey and cows milk until age 1 .
We dont recommend honey, especially unpasteurized, because of the risk of botulism, explains Dr. Prabhakaran. Breast milk is the best choice for your baby until they are one year old. And even though formula is made with cows milk protein, it is fortified with more vitamins and iron than cows milk.
If you have any concerns, check with your childs pediatrician before introducing potential allergens. They can help assess your childs risk and come up with a plan to see if your baby can safely enjoy these foods.
When Should I Introduce Solid Foods To My Baby
Your baby only needs breast milk or infant formula for the first 6 months.
At around 6 months old, most babies whether they are breast or formula fed need more iron as well as other nutrients, such as zinc and protein. A baby’s iron stores, which build up while they’re in the uterus, become low by 6 months. Their body also demands extra kilojoules and nutrient-dense food.
The current recommendation is to introduce solids at around 6 months but not before 4 months. Each baby is an individual and will show signs of readiness for solid foods at different times. However, all babies benefit from having solid foods by 7 months of age.
Babies also need solid foods, as well as breast milk or formula, to satisfy their hunger and meet their extra growth needs.
Don’t Miss: Is Residential Solar Worth It
Summarized Tips On Why You Should Buy From An Online Marketplace
In the year 2022, you have a multitude of options every time you look to buy a new product. You have traditional retailers, department stores, online marketplaces, etc. We believe that for your next purchase, you should seriously consider online marketplaces.
Online platforms come with loads of facilities designed to make your entire shopping experience better. They are reputable, well regarded, and provide you with the opportunity to shop from your home and get the best deals.
A very important thing you get when buying from an online platform is flexibility and convenience. In our busy lives, it is quite hard to find the time to visit a physical store. Meanwhile, you can buy anything you want, including food to start baby on solids from an online store, while you are taking a break at work or doing your chores.
As it should be clear to you by now, there are a multitude of benefits when you go with an online platform over physical stores. Some of the benefits are summarized below in a few key points:
To 11 Months Old Feeding Schedule
Expressed breast/human milk or formula: 20 to 30 fluid ounces 5
Solids: 3 meals
Aim to offer three solid food meals each day along with breast/human milk or formula distributed across four or more bottle feeds. For babies who enthusiastically embrace breakfast, you may find you can start reducing the first bottle of the day .
Baby is likely awake for about 2.75-3 hours at a time, and most babies will nap two times a day.
Continue offering breast/human milk, formula, or water in an open or straw cup with meals, alternating between open and straw cups for practice. Around 11 to 12 months of age, small amounts of cow milk may be offered in an open cup to acclimate baby to its taste. If baby doesnt seem hungry for solids, is approaching 12 months of age, and otherwise gaining weight and in good health, consider slowly reducing the amount of breast/human milk or formula in each bottle or cutting out a bottle feed. As always, discuss babys schedule with a pediatrician or health care provider.
To 24 Months Old Feeding Schedule
Expressed breast/human milk or cows milk: 16 fluid ounces maximum
Infant formula: None, unless otherwise recommended by a childs medical provider
Solids: 3 meals + 2 snacks
If your toddler is still bottle-feeding at this age or has limited interest in solids, consult your pediatrician or health care professional.
Note: At this age, breast/human milk is not an adequate source of calcium and vitamin D. Although there are many other health benefits to extended breastfeeding, its important to offer various foods that provide both calcium and vitamin D. 8
A word on cows milk: Never put cows milk in a bottle. At this age, serve cows milk in an open or straw cup, but limit consumption of cows milk to 16 ounces per day or less, if the child is consuming other sources of dairy such as yogurt or cheese. One way to keep within this limit: remind yourself that milk is a drink that accompanies a meal and not a meal itself. Only serve milk in a cup with meals. While you dont have to offer cows milk, it does bring a good amount of protein, fat, calcium, and vitamin D to the table. If youd like to forgo cows milk and dairy entirely, make sure to offer other sources of calcium and vitamin D. See our Nutrient Cheat Sheet for a list of foods by nutrient.
For more on milk and milk alternatives, see our Milk FAQs.
Can I Give My Baby Baby Food At 3 Months Answer: Not Recommended
Around the ages of four to six months, your child will be ready for solid food. By this age, your child will be able to move food from the front of their mouth to the back in order to swallow.
Your childs pediatrician will probably want you to start with an iron-fortified rice cereal. These cereals provide the iron that is necessary in their diet. Also, the grain in rice cereal is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
So When Can You Give Them New Foods?Rice cereal is often the first solid food used to introduce your baby to solids because it helps them practice eating and swallowing. Rice cereal is made with gentle ingredients and its smooth texture is developmentally appropriate for your baby. After rice cereal, your pediatrician will probably recommend oatmeal. This is why its essential to not give them baby food at 3 months. Its a gradual process.
Cereal is now fed to your child using a spoon and not inside the bottle . Before your baby can start cereal, they must be able to sit up properly in a high chair or Bumbo and hold their head steady.
Always start with a small amount to help your baby learn. Cereal should be mixed with formula or breast milk, and eventually can be mixed with applesauce or other pureed fruits. Note that fruits should not be added to your childs cereal until he or she has mastered cereal alone. Also, be sure to wait at least three days after adding a fruit to your childs cereal to watch for an allergic reaction.
Read Also: Is Pine Sol Good For Laundry
Can I Give My Baby Baby Food At 3 Months
You might be tempted to give your baby baby food at 3 months, but is this something you should do?
Starting solid foods is a great milestone for your baby. They are excited to try new tastes and textures. But solid foods need to be introduced to your child when he or she is ready, usually around the ages of four and six months. Until then, formula and breast milk is exactly what your child needs to grow and develop.
Rice cereal is usually the first solid food doctors recommend for your baby, but this will not occur until your child is between the ages of four and six months. For the first few months of their life, your childs nutrient needs are best met by their mothers breast milk or their formula, so theres no need for baby food at 3 months.
Babies do not benefit from solid foods until they are older. First, they are not developmentally ready to deal with swallowing solids. They are physically unable to move solid food from the front of their mouth to the back for swallowing. Instead, your baby would gag.
Also, your babys digestive system cannot break down the complex molecules in proteins, fats and carbohydrates. For this reason, most solid foods would pass right through causing diarrhea, or they may get stuck, causing constipation.
What If A Baby Keeps Pushing The Food Back Out With Her Tongue
Thats not unusual. Nor is it unusual for a baby to use his tongue to push food to wrong parts of his mouth. Instead of moving food to the back of the throat, where it can be swallowed, babies may push food into the spaces between their gums and cheeks, and end up spitting some of the food out.
Whats going on?
Part of the problem is that your baby is still experiencing what doctors call the tongue thrust reflex automatically pushing the tongue forward in response to stimulation of the mouth. The reflex is good for suckling, but not so helpful for ingesting solid food.
Another problem is that your baby is still developing the necessary skills to move food toward the back of the mouth.
So if your baby is ejecting food, does this mean you should stop trying to feed your baby solids?
If your baby is very young, and pushes out everything you try to feed him, then you might wait a few days, and try again. But if your baby is doing it only sometimes, then youll want to keep at it. Your baby needs the practice!
Read Also: Do I Qualify For The Solar Tax Credit
Feeding Your Baby: From 12 Months
From 12 months, your child will be eating 3 meals a day containing a variety of different foods, including:
- a minimum of 4 servings a day of starchy food, such as potatoes, bread and rice
- a minimum of 4 servings a day of fruit and vegetables
- a minimum of 350ml milk or 2 servings of dairy products
- a minimum of 1 serving a day of protein from animal sources or 2 from vegetable sources
Your child may also need 2 healthy snacks in between meals.
Go for things like:
- sticks of cheese
- toast, pitta or chapatti fingers
- unsalted and unsweetened rice or corn cakes
The World Health Organization recommends that all babies are breastfed for up to 2 years or longer.
You can keep breastfeeding for as long as it suits you both, but your child will need less breast milk to make room for more foods.
Once your child is 12 months old, infant formula is not needed and toddler milks, growing-up milks and goodnight milks are also unnecessary.
Your baby can now drink whole cows’ milk. Choose full-fat dairy products, as children under 2 years old need the vitamins and extra energy found in them.
From 2 years old, if they’re a good eater and growing well, they can have semi-skimmed milk.
From 5 years old, 1% fat and skimmed milk is OK.
You can give your child unsweetened calcium-fortified milk alternatives, such as soya, oat or almond drinks, from the age of 1 as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Solid Foods For Babies: What Can They Eat
One of the first things parents want to know when their baby is ready for solid foods is, What can my baby eat? The short answer given by MommyHood101 is that almost anything goes be sure to start with easy-to-digest foods and watch for any allergic reactions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Don’t Miss: What Materials Are Needed To Make Solar Panels
To 5 Months Old Feeding Schedule: Pre
Solid meals: None until showing all signs of readiness.
Baby is likely bottle-feeding six to eight times per day, with most still taking one or more bottles during the night. Structure the day with baby to introduce the idea of food, eating, and family mealtimeseven before starting solids. There is no need to implement a firm schedule however, a flexible but consistent daily routine is helpful for both baby and parents. Baby is likely awake for about 1.5 hours at a time and many babies will nap three or four times a day.
Note: Some infants may drink more than the range shown above, especially during growth spurts. Some infants may drink less. As long as baby is growing appropriately, there is no need to worry about volume.
Ideas to Help Prepare Baby for Solids:
- Bring baby to the table while you eat. Bring baby near the table while you eat, and if you like, sit baby on your lap during the meal. Let them smell the food and drinks, watch you bring food to your mouth, and talk about the meal. Baby may show some interest in tasting what youre eating. If your babys doctor has given you the green light, you might consider sharing small tastes of fresh foods for baby to lick. Avoid chunks of food or food bites that need chewingat these young ages, opt for small tastes that are easily swallowed with saliva.
Q What If My Baby Doesnt Like Solid Food
A. If your baby rejects a food, dont think they dont like it. It takes a while for their taste buds to accept new flavors and tastes, so try a few more times, Dr. Prabhakaran says. And feel free to feed the baby what your family eats just go slow with foods with intense flavors and seasonings.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost To Bird Proof Solar Panels
What Are The Best First Foods For A Baby
No matter what’s on the menu, if you’re introducing solids in the form of purees , the texture of your baby’s first foods should be super smooth and practically dripping off the spoon. If you prepare your own baby food, you should strain, puree or finely mash it, and then thin it with liquid if necessary.
As your baby becomes a more experienced eater , gradually reduce the liquid you add and thicken the texture.
Here are good first foods to start with for spoon-feeding:
Those early-bird specials get pretty old after a few dozen meals. Spice things up by adding:
- Minced meat
- Mashed eggs
At 8 months, you can start trying finger foods to add a whole other dimension to eating.
Ready to serve up a combo platter? That’s fine, as long as you keep the foods separate for a while. Your goal is to get your baby acquainted with the taste of particular foods, so if you mush the meats and veggies together, she may never know the joy of just plain peas. Once she likes the taste of a variety of different flavors, feel free to mix things up.
Always hold off on honey and cow’s milk until your baby is at least 1 year old. Most doctors will, however, green-light whole-milk yogurt, cottage cheese and hard cheese by 8 months or so, or even sooner.