It is important talk to your baby's doctor about when to start solid foods and what foods to incorporate and avoid. Based on research data, the food progression listed below is based on the recommendations to help prevent food allergies from the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
- Restricting a mother's diet of specific allergen foods during pregnancy and while breastfeeding (when a child is otherwise well) is not routinely recommended as a means to prevent food allergies.
- Breast milk is the ideal way to nourish your baby. It is least likely to trigger an allergic reaction. It strengthens your baby's immune system.
- For infants at risk for food allergy where mom is unable to breast feed, hydrolyzed infant formula is recommended as the formula choice.
- Between the ages of 4-6 months, single-ingredient baby foods may be introduced such as rice and oat baby cereals, apples, pears, bananas, green vegetables, sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots. A new food can be introduced every 3-5 days as appropriate for baby's readiness. This slow progression gives parents or caregivers a chance to identify and eliminate any foods that cause a reaction.
- Egg, cow's milk dairy foods, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish can be gradually introduced during this same 4-6 month time period after the less allergenic foods have been tolerated. In fact, delaying the introduction of foods like wheat, cow's milk dairy, eggs, fish and nuts may actually result in an increased risk of food allergy and eczema.