Introducing solids and allergies
The key to introducing solids successfully is to do it slowly - regardless of whether you suspect your baby may suffer from allergies. By introducing foods individually and over a couple of days, you will be able to pinpoint any suspect foods.
As the jury is out on when's best to introduce solids to allergy-prone babies, and all babies do need to start moving onto solid food at around 6 months (as their iron stores are low by this age), there's no need to delay the introduction of solids.
- Begin with rice (usually in the form of cereal), then follow with other low allergy foods such as pumpkin and potato, pear and apple, and then slowly introduce other fruit, vegetables and then chicken
- From 9 months, you can introduce wheat products
- Between 9 and 12 months, introduce soy products
- At 12 months, you can introduce cow's milk and whole eggs from 12 months
- Delay the introduction of fish (tuna, salmon) until 18 months
- Don't introduce peanuts, nuts, shellfish or any other foods that have a known family history until your child is at least 3 years old
While there is a need for caution when you introduce high-risk foods to your child's diet, there is no need for total avoidance based on family history - just because you are allergic to shellfish, it doesn't necessarily follow that your child will be. Don't exclude any foods from your child's diet unless you know that they will trigger an allergic reaction.
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