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Allergies and Starting Solid Foods

One potential risk to be aware of when your child is starting solid foods is allergic reactions. Children at high risk for allergies are defined as those with a parent or sibling with an allergic condition. If your baby is at high risk and is starting solid foods, it is best to come up with a food plan with your healthcare provider.

Starting Solids in Children at Risk for Allergies

Allergic conditions are quite common. In fact, the most common allergic conditions affect up to 20 percent of the population. This includes atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic asthma, and food allergies.
The number of people affected by these conditions is also increasing. So, researchers are trying to figure out ways to prevent these conditions. One of the areas that has been studied is the impact of delaying exposure to certain foods known to cause allergies.
This article will discuss the current consensus among healthcare providers regarding allergies and starting solid food.

Basics About Starting Solids

Healthcare providers recommend starting solid foods in infants when they are four to six months of age. It is also recommended that parents follow an infant feeding schedule (see Feeding Solid Foods to Infants).
This schedule includes starting with single foods (such as rice cereal), giving an infant one new food at a time, and offering that single food for three to five days in a row before starting a new food. These recommendations help to determine if a baby has a food intolerance or allergy to a particular food.
Healthcare providers also recommend starting with cereal, then moving to pureed meats. Following acceptance of these foods, they recommend moving to pureed fruits and vegetables.
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