Wheat: Okay for babies under a year old?

I have been heard that it is best not to feed your baby foods that could potentially cause allergies. I would like to give my seven-month-old daughter a mixed cereal that contains wheat. Is there any reason to wait until over a year?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Your question, whether or not it is ok to try some of the foods that are commonly known to cause allergies in young children before age one is a good one, and one which unfortunately does not have an entirely black and white answer.

It doesn't hurt to wait until your baby is at least one year old to introduce these foods. The longer you wait the better the chance your baby will have outgrown the sensitivity and will avoid a reaction altogether.

The foods that most often cause allergies in young children are milk, soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat, corn, and citrus fruits.

Remember, though, any food is a potential allergen. It is a very individual thing. When offering a new food it is very important to monitor your baby's reaction. Be sure to add new foods, one at a time, with a three to five day wait in between, so if a reaction occurs, you know which food to associate it with.

Only a small percentage of infants will have an allergic reaction to any food, so your chances are low that your baby will.

One way to know if you should be extra careful about avoiding certain foods is to look at your family history, since many allergies are inherited. If any of baby's close relatives have known allergies, asthma or dermatitis you will want to be watchful for those foods in her diet

Enjoy your daughter's discovery of all those delicious new foods. It will be fun to see what becomes a favorite and what she just hates!

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