In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, we’ve teamed up with Spoonful Ones‘ Chief Medical Officer and Pediatrician Doctor Wendy Sue Swanson to share with you a delicious Raspberry, Banana, Breastmilk Puree recipe for babies that simultaneously helps with food allergy protection, and deep dive into best practices for starting solids. Read on for her advice for helping stop a food allergy before it starts, starting solids, and more!
Introducing solids in partnership with ongoing breastfeeding is a perfect combination. You can enjoy both and there is no need to wean your child off breastfeeding when you start including solid foods in his/her diet. Guidelines and recommendations around food introduction have changed drastically over the past decade. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends starting your child on solids between 4 and 6 months of age. You’ll know when your baby is ready when they start showing these some of these signs:
- Able to sit up without support
- Able to maintain great head control when sitting
- Loss of the tongue-thrust reflex so they don’t automatically push food out of their mouth when offered and taken
- Follows foods with their eyes and shows eagerness and interest
- Opens mouth wide when you offer food on a spoon
What if you could help stop a food allergy before it starts? SpoonfulOne makes it possible.
In addition to starting early, it’s important to ensure your baby is getting exposed to a diverse range of foods. Research now says early and regular dietary exposure to food — speciﬁcally a food often associated with allergies, like peanuts — helps reduce the risk of a child developing an allergy to that food. We know from the EAT study, that 98% of babies who were fed foods like peanuts, sesame, eggs, fish and dairy by five months of age and who kept those foods in their diets regularly, did not develop a food allergy.
This probably feels a little difficult in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Groceries may be hard to come by and you certainly don’t want to be running to the store every few days. SpoonfulOne makes it simple to ensure your baby is getting diverse food proteins every day. SpoonfulOne includes the 9 food groups associated with 90% of food allergies in easy-to-use formats. You do not need to introduce foods to your child one a time, wait a few days, and then offer a new food. New guidance points towards a more freeing approach recognizing that waiting on introduction to these foods may increase risk of food allergies. Babies with more diverse diets have less allergic disease later in life. Feel confident knowing you can introduce multiple foods at a time and there’s no data saying you need to wait on foods that commonly cause allergies.
Best solid foods to start your baby on
There are so many foods that can be great to start your baby on solids. In addition to considering your family’s food preferences here are a few first foods (in very, very small pieces or puree):
- Soft cooked, sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin
- Soft cooked apples
- Soft cooked carrots, green beans, zucchini, and beets
- Cereals that are thinned to a near-liquid consistency with expressed breast milk or formula
- Very ripe peaches and pears
- Peanut butter thinned with water and mixed into oatmeal
There are a few foods you should steer away from when introducing solid foods to your baby.
- Honey: rare risk for causing botulism, a serious illness, if introduced in infancy
- Cow’s milk: Stick with breast milk and formula as a primary liquid until your baby is a year old. Water is okay after 6 months of age when starting solids.
- Nuts, popcorn, whole grapes, and thick/dense nut butters as they are choking hazards.
Feeding and nourishing our babies (at any age) is one of the most connecting things we do as parents. Let your babies eat and learn about all sorts of foods. Enjoy this delicious recipe with an added food allergy protection bonus.
~Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is mom to two boys, pediatrician, and Chief Medical Officer at SpoonfulOne