Optimal Timing to Introduce Solid Food? What Studies Suggest

Based on the results of four studies, we suggest two different timings for starting feeding infants solid food to cater to parents’ different considerations.

For the sake of preventing allergies, solid food can be started as early as 17 weeks; there is no need to wait until 6 months because there's no evidence to show that it can reduce the risk of atopy, food allergies, or asthma in later years.

For the sake of preventing food neophobia, complementary food can be introduced after 6 months because there is 2.5 times the chance of developing food neophobia and only wanting to eat a limited variety of food as a result of earlier introduction of solids.

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM


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Details of Scientific Answers: Click on each bullet to Read References

References:

1: "Timing Of Solid Food Introduction In Relation To Eczema, Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis, And Food And Inhalant Sensitization At The Age Of 6 Years: Results From The Prospective," Pediatrics, 2008, by A Zutavern, I Brockow, B Schaaf, A von Berg. (Citations: 191).

OBJECTIVE. Current prophylactic feeding guidelines recommend a delayed introduction of solids for the prevention of atopic diseases. This study investigates whether a delayed introduction of solids (past 4 or 6 months) is protective against the development of eczema ...


2: "Timing Of Solid Food Introduction In Relation To Atopic Dermatitis And Atopic Sensitization: Results From A Prospective Birth Cohort Study," Pediatrics, 2006, by A Zutavern, I Brockow, B Schaaf, G Bolte. (Citations: 188).

OBJECTIVE. Prophylactic feeding guidelines recommend a delayed introduction of solid foods for the prevention of atopic diseases. Scientific evidence for this is scarce. This study investigates whether a delayed introduction of solids (past 4 months or 6 months) is ...


3: "Infant Feeding Practices And Reported Food Allergies At 6 Years Of Age," Pediatrics, 2014, by S Luccioli, Y Zhang, L Verrill, M Ramos-Valle. (Citations: 5).

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to identify the frequency of physician-diagnosed food allergies among 6-year-old US children and study the impact of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary food introduction on this frequency. METHODS: Data ...


References:

1: "Associations Of Infant Feeding Practices And Picky Eating Behaviors Of Preschool Children," Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2011, by JE Shim, J Kim, RA Mathai. (Citations: 47).

Picky eating behaviors are prevalent during childhood and are often linked to nutritional problems. However, information on the determinants of picky eating behaviors during infancy, when food acceptance patterns develop, is scarce. This study was conducted to ...


References:

1: "Timing Of Solid Food Introduction In Relation To Atopic Dermatitis And Atopic Sensitization: Results From A Prospective Birth Cohort Study," Pediatrics, 2006, by A Zutavern, I Brockow, B Schaaf, G Bolte. (Citations: 188).

OBJECTIVE. Prophylactic feeding guidelines recommend a delayed introduction of solid foods for the prevention of atopic diseases. Scientific evidence for this is scarce. This study investigates whether a delayed introduction of solids (past 4 months or 6 months) is ...



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