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It is often said that you should introduce certain foods in a certain order. These reasons often have to do with allergies, choking hazards, digestive system maturity, etc. What ages should your child be before you introduce different foods and why?

The answer I'm looking for would consist of a list of different foods, what age it is generally recommended to introduce each food, and why you should wait until that age (allergies, choking, etc).

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7 Answers 7

This site says no dairy or citrus till age one, no wheat or egg whites till two. And no peanut butter, fish, or shellfish till age three, because of allergies. It recommends against any whole nuts till age four.

http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/infant/startingsolids.html

That's fine advice, but we read similar recommendations, and then once our kids were one, they basically ate what we ate, and they turned out fine.

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I basically agree with you. There are a few rules that I consider to be hard and fast, such as no honey before the age of one. Other than that, I would read lists like these, and then have them in the back of your mind but not stress too much. –  Kevin Apr 11 '11 at 14:25
    
The no-honey rule has been changed recently. The risk of infant botulism was tiny. Having said that, honey is just sugar, so it's still not a great food for children. –  DanBeale Aug 6 '11 at 13:54

It wouldn't be a bad idea to ask your pediatrician. There are general guidelines, like start with rice cereal around 5 or 6 months, then move to whole grains, then pureed fruits and veggies. Those are good, but other, kid-specific factors (weight, history, nursing vs bottle-fed) may be relevant.

And you should also get a list of foods to NOT eat before a certain age. As Johnny mentioned, there are some foods that can cause any small kid bad allergy issues.

Here is a good, general guide on introducing solid foods to your baby (it's based on this book). Also, I do recommend the Caring for Your Baby book, as it has several pages of info on introducing your child to solid foods.

As you introduce new foods, make sure to introduce each, one at a time, and to wait a few days between each to look for signs of allergic reactions.

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1  
+1 Agreed. Your pediatrician will have a guideline you can get, mine gave us one after a few check-ups. –  MichaelF Apr 28 '11 at 15:36

Here is another list that matches motor development with recommended foods until 12 months.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_age-by-age-guide-to-feeding-your-baby_1400680.bc

Foods should be introduced as a child's oral motor development is refined to safely manipulate that type of food in the mouth. Self-feeding skills correlates with the development of hand and finger movements for reaching, grasping, holding, and moving food and utensils effectively.

Matching food with motor skills is a useful strategy for introducing new types of food while providing developmentally appropriate practice in emerging motor skills.

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Here's a PDF from the British Dietetic Association (Paediatric Group)

http://www.bda.uk.com/publications/statements/PositionStatementWeaning.pdf

Here's a quote from them:

• Exclusive breastfeeding from birth until weaning is the optimal way to feed young infants.

• Continuing breastfeeding throughout weaning may reduce the risk of coeliac disease, type 1 diabetes and wheat allergy.

• Infants should all be considered individually as they develop at different rates.

• The health departments in the UK recommend beginning weaning around 6 months. Recent evidence indicates that term infants should begin weaning by 6 months but not begin weaning before 4 months (17 weeks).

• Some current practice recommends avoiding certain high allergen foods before six months. However recent evidence indicates that potentially allergenic foods such as egg, fish, milk used in foods and cooking, cheese, yoghurt, wheat and other gluten containing cereals do not need to be delayed until a certain age.

• Preterm infants need special consideration and 5 - 8 months after their actual birth date is likely to be the best time to begin weaning. The majority may benefit from delaying until after 3 months after their estimated date of delivery (EDD) to allow sufficient motor development.

Here's the advice given to every new parent in England from the UK National Health Service

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Healthydietweaninghub.aspx

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I highly recommend the book Super Baby Food. It is chock full of information about what foods to introduce when and why. Also, it contains recipes, menu suggestions, and fun things to do with food.

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We have the book, and it does have a lot of interesting information in it. However, in the interest of answering the specific question asked, perhaps you could edit your post to include some of the specific recommendations from the book regarding the order in which foods should be introduced? –  Beofett Dec 23 '11 at 15:53

With the usual disclaimer of "Ask you medical professional" our experience has been that around 6 months is when we started introducing more foods to our children's diet.

One important thing is to introduce one food item at a time so that if you do see any adverse reaction you know what caused it.

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When it comes to determining what age it is appropriate for you to give a certain food for an infant or toddler, it is best to consult your pediatrician first. You have to take note that each child is different. Your family doctor may know better considering he or she knows your family history regarding some food allergies, if you have. They can also give you a better advise on determining which foods can cause adverse effects on your baby. - http://www.ehow.com/list_6544099_foods-avoid-feeding-baby.html.

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