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Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention

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Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention

Experts recommend exclusively breastfeeding until your infant is 4 to 6 months of age. You can introduce solid foods when your baby is between 4 and 6 months of age and developmentally able to sit with support with sufficient head and neck control.

Single ingredient infant foods, such as rice or oat cereal, yellow and orange vegetables (sweet potato, squash and carrots), fruits (apples, pears and bananas), green vegetables, and then age-appropriate stage-based foods with meat can be introduced to your baby one at a time, every 3 to 5 days. This slow process can give you the chance to identify and eliminate any food that may cause an allergic reaction.

Your infant does not need to avoid acidic foods like berries, tomatoes, citrus fruits or vegetables that may cause a rash around the mouth. This is due to irritation from the acid in the food, not from an allergic reaction to the food.

Common food allergens can be introduced to your baby just as you would introduce any other solid foods. Common food allergens that you can feed your baby include:

  • Dairy products (cheese, yogurt, or cow’s milk protein infant formula)
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Peanut and Tree Nuts in the form of butter or paste (do not give whole peanuts or tree nuts due to choking hazard)
  • Fish and Shellfish

It is recommended to avoid honey in children under one year of age due to botulism. This is not an allergic concern.

You should introduce common food allergens to your baby after other solid foods have been fed and tolerated, and with the first taste being at home. If no reaction occurs, then you can gradually increase the amount at a rate of one new food every 3 to 5 days.

You should talk to your baby’s health care provider before introducing a common food allergen for the following reasons:

  • Your infant has had an allergic reaction to a food
  • Your infant has a known food allergy
  • Your infant has persistent, moderate to severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) that is not improving with recommended treatment
  • Your infant’s sibling has a peanut allergy
  • Your infant has a positive blood test to food(s)

Disclaimer:This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 03/2018

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