This is quite a conservative plan for introducing foods and is suited to those that have a family history of allergies. If you don’t have to worry about this, you can do it faster than suggested here and allow baby to eat appropriate foods from plate. Latest research has challenged this idea and indicates that it may be a good idea to introduce baby to all foods before the age of one to reduce allergy risk. I think that what it comes down to is making sure you introduce one food at a time and watch for any reactions and let your baby be your guide. It is still a good idea to follow the order as it starts with low allergy foods and moves to higher allergy foods as baby gets older. Remember that your the expert when it comes to your baby.
At 6-8 months
- Start with low allergy cereals- Rice is the grain least likely to cause an adverse reaction so it is best to begin with this. Brown rice is most nutritious. You can buy commercial brown rice baby cereal at health food stores or you can make a brown rice porridge; see recipe section for details.
- Mix the cereal with expressed breast milk or tepid filtered or boiled water.
- The next grain to introduce is barley followed by oatmeal then millet.
- It is a good idea to introduce vegetables before fruits as vegetables tend to be less reactive.
- It has been suggested that if you start fruits first, the baby may expect foods to be sweet and may become a fussier eater.
Suggested first vegetables
- Pumpkin (squash)
- Sweet potato
Suggested first fruits include:
- Fresh ripe banana
Babies are less likely to react to fruits if they are stewed as it helps to release natural enzymes.
- Oats, rice, barley
- Beans, spinach, potato and peas
- Stewed plums, blueberries, nectarines, apricots and peaches
- Fresh rock melon
- Pureed lamb, veal or fresh white non-oily fish (be sure there are no bones in it)
- Split peas
From 12 months
- Parsnips, asparagus and spinach
- Fresh nectarines and peaches, kiwi fruits and grapes
- Turkey , tofu
- Goats milk products
- Egg yolk
From 14-18 months
- Wheat and rye
- Tomatoes, eggplant and corn
- Citrus fruits and juices, pineapple, strawberries
- Cows milk, cheese, cottage cheese and soy milk
- Chicken, beef and oily fish
- Almond and cashew paste, ground almonds and walnuts
From 2 years
- Peanut butter
- Baby’s need breast milk or an approved artificial milk substitute at least until their first birthday. Breast milk contains many pro- biotics, immune factors and fatty acids that cannot be found in any substitute and is beneficial to the child for as long as both the mother and child wish to continue breastfeeding.
- If formula is needed, goat’s milk formula is best as it is closest to human milk in fat/protein composition. The proteins found in goat’s milk are close to those found in human milk and so are less likely to cause adverse reactions.
- If soy or cows milk formulas must be used you can add ¼ teaspoon of a vegetable based fatty acid supplement such as evening primrose oil or Udo’s oil to 200ml of formula to increase the fatty acid composition of the formula. An infant pro-biotics powder can be purchased from the health food store which should be added to all artificial infant milk feeds.
- Once you commence the introduction of solid foods, small amounts of water can be given at meal times.
- Avoid fruit juices for the first year. Once the child is 12 months old, dilute juices can be given in the ratio of ¼ juice to ¾ water.