Should you introduce your child to allergenic foods?

When children are being introduced to solid foods while breast feeding or formula feeding, many parents struggle with the idea as to whether or not their children should eat these allergenic foods at all. Some foods which are often responsible for sensitivities in children and adults include eggs, nuts, and cows milk products.

Solid food introduction generally begins around the age of 6 months, but can even begin as early as 4 months. Parents often delay the introduction of allergenic foods, for fear of them causing an allergy if introduced too soon. Recent research has found that the opposite is actually true.

The study included 1,421 children, whose parents introduced allergenic foods at different times. Most parents introduced cows milk products before the age of one, with 48% of parents introducing the food between 0-6 months of age. When it came to egg introduction however, 76% of parents delayed introduction until 6-12 months of age, with 19% waiting until after 12 months. The results found that those children who were introduced to egg, nuts or cows milk earlier on, had a lower sensitization to these foods and less chance of developing an allergy compared to those who were introduced later on.

Introducing children to a wide variety of foods early on is not only important for their nutrition, but also proper development of their immune system. Food introduction can be a fun time for both the parent & child,  and who says we can’t play with our food a little !

For more information or questions about timing of food introduction for your child, fill out the form below to get in touch !

Yours in Health,

Laura Pipher