lil'bee

Introducing new foods to your child

Eating & Nutrition   |   Age: 5 months 3 weeks


article_10899.jpg

Introducing new foods to your child

Food allergies can be as scary to new parents as the monster under the bed might be for your baby. But the worries with allergies can’t be solved as easily as figuring out which relative is letting her watch scary movies when they babysit. Food allergies are a very real danger that affect one out of every twenty-five children in the US, according to Centers for Disease Control data from 2007. Introducing your baby to new foods should be an exploration of her new taste-buds, but worrying about allergies can cut into the fun of that adventure.

Common wisdom about the right time to introduce your baby to allergenic foods has evolved significantly over the past few years. It used to be generally accepted that highly allergenic foods should be introduced later. The idea was that babies who were a little older would be better prepared to handle an allergic reaction, and that waiting might reduce the chance of allergies. Instead, studies published in 2013 and supported by other data since suggest that introducing allergenic foods like eggs, fish, and peanuts within your baby’s first 4 to 6 months could actually reduce her risk of food allergies, even if she has a family history of them. Evidence that introducing these foods early could help prevent allergies isn’t conclusive, but various medical bodies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, no longer recommend waiting to introduce these foods.

Expert advice

Before introducing potentially allergenic foods, it’s always a good idea to consult with your baby’s pediatrician about the best way to introduce these foods. If your baby comes from a family history of food allergies on either side, for example, or has a sibling with a serious food allergy, your pediatrician may recommend introducing those or other allergens at a certain time, or even while you and your baby are already in the hospital for a checkup.

Taking the plunge

There’s a good chance that your pediatrician will just recommend introducing potential allergens in your and your baby’s own time. The best way to introduce potential allergens is still one at a time every 3 to 5 days. This way, if your baby begins to show an allergic reaction, you’ll have a good idea of what’s to blame.

Like with anything your baby hasn’t tried before, she may not be a huge fan from the first bite. Combining a new food with something familiar, like a favorite mashed vegetable, could help convince your baby to give the new food a chance. Early exposure to potentially allergenic foods doesn’t mean they have to be the main dish, either - you can start by cutting up a hard-boiled egg for your baby, but you could also just use a pancake recipe that includes eggs - the trace amounts of egg protein are a fine first exposure.

Signs of an allergic reaction

If you believe your baby is showing signs of an allergic reaction, especially after introducing a new allergenic food, you should contact a healthcare professional.


More articles at this age

Well-child visit: 6 months


Has it really been almost half a year already? Well, there's even more good news: it's time for your baby's next well-child visit, and potentially an eye exam.

What are some common first words?


We all know what words we don't want to come out of your baby's perfect little mouth. But is there a way to influence - or at least predict - what the first few will be?

Instant hit gifts for toddler birthday parties


Whether your baby is invited to be a guest at a birthday party or you're helping a friend or family member select a gift for her, the goal is always to pick a present that will delight the birthday girl or boy.

Why do babies love repetition so much?


For all their breakthrough discoveries and trips to the moon, humans are creatures of habit. And by now you've probably noticed that your baby is no exception to this rule - but why?

Helping baby reach milestones


your baby is bound to go through life at her own pace. That's the beauty of the human experience! This said, there are ways you can be a supportive caregiver while empowering your baby to meet developmental milestones.

Setting the scales for work and life


Returning to work after pregnancy can feel a little like you're an alien landing on a lunar surface. And it will take a little time to get re-adjusted to the foreign landscape of your office. But with a little preparation, things don't have to be so difficult.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏