Introducing Solids to an Allergic Baby (resource thread) - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-16-2005, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Could we share some ideas and general guidelines here about how to go about introducing solid food to a baby whom you already know to have food allergies and/or sensitivities? We probably all know the basics, about the main things to delay (dairy, wheat, peanuts, etc) and how long to wait, but I could really use some refresher info and support on this from moms who have btdt . . . perhaps above and beyond the common wisdom.

For instance,

-- If your child has eczema and you don't know all the triggers yet, shouldn't you wait until you've got him/her cleared up before introducing a food? Otherwise, how will you know is s/he's reacting to the new food?

-- And if you do the above, what if you're waiting and waiting to start solids and your baby really shows interest?

-- For that matter, could I please get some reassurance that it's really okay to delay solids? My ds2 is 7.5 mos and is exclusively BF, but I'm starting to chicken out a bit . . . esp since my own diet continues to be so restricted in order to keep his skin clear of eczema. (he is 20 lbs, I should add, so there's good evidence that he is thriving)

-- I now realize that bananas are NOT a good first food (hard to digest, often cause eczema in sensitive babies), but these are commonly recommended, even by people who acknowledge that cereals are also not good first foods. So what sequence do you follow with a really sensitive baby? Are there *other* foods that are problematic for these babies (beyond the big, obvious ones)?

I have a handout from a naturopath that Rx's certain foods at certain ages -- am wondering if anyone else has such a thing for comparison? Or even better, a link to something online? I'll post below if people are interested.

Let's make this a resource thread for people . . . I feel like I really hurried things with ds1 and in the process made some big mistakes . . . I'd like to do better this time around, so please send your wisdom this way!

Thanks Mamas!
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:45 AM
 
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Thanks for starting this thread. I think there is definately a need for this discussion.

Theoretically, it might be in the best interest of the child who shows signs of food sensitivities to delay the introduction of solid foods until most, if not all, allergens have been found and eliminated. But we all know it's now always so cut and dried.

Research shows that exclusively breastfed babies may not start needing more iron till 7 months (though other studies have shown babies who are exclusively breastfed till around the end of the first year have better iron levels than those who were introduced solids at around 6 months). Also exclusively breastfed babies may not start needing more zinc until about 9 months. Of course, these are generalizations. Some babies can go beyond a year being exclusively breastfed and are in good health.

While I've heard lots about why to delay solids, I have also heard that there is a window of time when your baby is most likely to be very ready for solid foods. The idea is if you wait too long then you run the 'risk' of having a reluctant eater later on. So, as you can see, there is a large variation of when you can start solids and when is the best time to start solids.

Now in light of an elimination diet: Typically I would think that just because you have elimiated a few different foods, it does not necessarily mean you are not getting the nutrients you require to be healthy (you would simply eat more of other foods, and hopefully a good variety too). But all cases are individual and should be treated as such. IMO however, breastmilk would still be my preference over solid foods, but again there are exceptions (eg. where the mother feels very depelted) where another course of action might have to be taken.

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And if you do the above [delay solids till allergens are found], what if you're waiting and waiting to start solids and your baby really shows interest?
That difficult to answer. The only reasons why I have started my little guy on solids is because he is showing all the signs of developmental rediness an partly for my own sanity.

"Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:

* Baby can sit up well without support.
* Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
* Baby is ready and willing to chew.
* Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
* Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.

We often state that a sign of solids readiness is when baby exhibits a long-term increased demand to nurse (sometime around 6 months or later) that is unrelated to illness, teething pain, a change in routine or a growth spurt. However, it can be hard to judge whether baby’s increased nursing is related to readiness for solids. Many (if not most) 6-month-old babies are teething, growth spurting and experiencing many developmental changes that can lead to increased nursing – sometimes all at once! Make sure you look at all the signs of solids readiness as a whole, because increased nursing alone is not likely to be an accurate guide to baby’s readiness."
http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-when.html

I admit I am not confident with the decision we have made, but if it weren't for the little taste (often literally just a taste) of food I give him at lunch and supper, I am afraid I will never get much food in to me (he fusses and really squirms and makes life very difficult for me at the dinner table otherwise )

Quote:
So what sequence do you follow with a really sensitive baby?
The Joneja Food Allergen Scale might be helpful. I know I refer to it quite frequently. Of course just because something is not very allergenic doesn't mean your baby doesn't have a sensitivity or is allergic to it.

Another article giving general information about food sensitivities... Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Siana, AWESOME! That's exactly the kind of info I was hoping for -- can't wait to check out those links!

I would have thought it would be easier the 2nd time around . . . that I knew it all . . . but I find this so hard even now!
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm bumping this . . . doesn't anyone else have anything to add?

where are Jane S. and sarahariz?!?
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:42 AM
 
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One bit of info from personal experience: sometimes you don't see a reaction right away. When I tried to reintroduce dairy into my diet in small amounts it took my son about 3 weeks to start showing symptoms.

Also, maybe it would be good to compile a list of possible symptoms. Sometimes when people think of allergic reactions they think of hives, rashes, etc, but I know that some children react by frequent nightwaking, hyperactivity...and so on.

I'm still new to the whole thing but I'm sure some more experienced mamma's could help compile a good list.
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Old 05-20-2005, 01:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathe
where are Jane S. and sarahariz?!?
I'm here! I haven't been on in a few days. DD is now 5 days short of ten months old and is still exclusively breastfed. I read this about the iron issue..> from one of mothering's "experts"...that exclusively breastfed babies have fine iron levels at least up to 12 mo old... what interferes with the absorption of iron from momma's breastmilk is the iron fortified baby cereal

http://www.babyreference.com/Iron%20Supplements.htm

I do let her try to eat occasionally when she is showing an interest in what I'm eating... a little apple, pear, cucumber-I've noticed she really wants things that are leafy and green-she almost choked on a piece of cilantro I let her have once, so now I'm more careful! She's not interested in food I try to get into her mouth with a spoon, so I'm not forcing the issue. I'm trying to follow her cues!

I do try to give her baby probiotics and cod liver oil on my finger once a day, and she's usually receptive to that!

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Old 05-20-2005, 01:56 PM
 
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Hello, I'm here ... It's nice to be though of

DS got his eczema when we started solids ...commercial brown rice and oatmeal cereal, and it was organic, but I realize how wrong that was now.

So I would NOT do that again. I gradually learned that the cause of DS's eczema was yeast, so adding grains that are hard to digest just caused his already compromised gut flora to go out of control. I posted about soaking grains a while ago:
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=280094
The thread didn't get that much attention, but I really do think it's a large component of the grain allergies today.

Unsoaked whole grains are very detrimental to babies, especially as first foods because they contain "anti-nutrients" call phytates that interfere with digestion. A healthy gut of an older child or adult can make the enzyme phytase to break down the phytate, but a baby cannot. And a baby that has compromised gut flora, forget it. If grains are not properly digested, they ferment in the intestines, the yeast feed on them and grow.

If I had to do it all over again, we would start on veggies and low sugar fruits. DS had huge reactions to banana, but not avocado (same allergy family) so it was definately the sugars in the banana.

I look at "allergies" totally differently now. It's not allergies per se, it's the inability for the body to digest the food properly.
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Old 05-20-2005, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for chiming in Sarah and Jane! I knew oyu guys could help.

Jane, I agree with you about the digestion . . . so what are some lo-sugar veggies? And which veggies and fruits are particularly hard to digest? Or easy?

For instance, are cooked or raw carrots better when introducing carrots? Cooked or raw apples? And should we avoid juice? I mean, I know that drinking juice is practically useless, but we used a Baby-Safe Feeder with ds1 and it was great, altho he often would just suck the juice out of fruits. Does that sound problematic?
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Old 05-21-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathe
Thanks for chiming in Sarah and Jane! I knew oyu guys could help.

Jane, I agree with you about the digestion . . . so what are some lo-sugar veggies? And which veggies and fruits are particularly hard to digest? Or easy?

For instance, are cooked or raw carrots better when introducing carrots? Cooked or raw apples? And should we avoid juice? I mean, I know that drinking juice is practically useless, but we used a Baby-Safe Feeder with ds1 and it was great, altho he often would just suck the juice out of fruits. Does that sound problematic?
Low sugar fruits are berries, apples, pears.

Cooked fruits and veggies are usually easier to digest, although the raw version constains enzymes, the cooked form breaks down harder to digest fibers. Esp. apples, as the raw pectin has been shown in studies to harm the intestinal villi if eaten frequently. Cooking neutralizes the pectin. And cooked carrots are way easier to digest for example.

Fresh avocado was a huge hit as a first food for my DS and he still loves it but I have seen it on allergy lists. Squashes (winter and summer and zucchini) are easily digested. Corn is very hard to digest.

I used to steam frozen (organic) peas and green beans and then puree with the steaming water or breastmilk...tasted way better than the jarred version.

I don't know about sucking out the juice from fresh fruit using a Baby-Safe. It would contain active enzymes and possibly some pulp that bottled juice wouldn't have.
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Old 12-24-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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Hello mamas,

I am so thrilled to find this thread since I am really struggling with how to introduce solids to my almost-10-month guy. I have been off gluten, yeast, and caffeine for months now; I originally went off since ds was affected through my breastmilk & found that I'm doing much better as well. My kinesiologist is the one who guided me toward this switch (started seeing him for my son's digestive issues) and I'm so grateful. We (both of us) have been doing lots of supplements as well.

We started the little guy on solids a few weeks ago and are sticking to non-starchy, above-ground veggies (steamed & put through a food mill) for now. So far we did zucchini (LOVED for a week, then not interested), sweet potatoes (starchy, I know, but it was a last resort when he wouldn't eat anything else on our 'ok' list), & avocado. We plan to try yellow squash, beets, broccoli.... I'm just not sure how much, how often, when to try cooked low-sugar fruits, etc. I own 'Super Baby Food', which has some interesting stuff but is just so not written for babes like ours, and 'Baby Greens' about raw diets (just arrived, haven't really dug into it yet).

Going forward, I am really hoping to find some more 'allergy'-specific advice and guidance. I checked out the thread links and found them really useful, but I want more more more!

Are there any further resources out there that are specific to this topic? Websites? Books? Does BTVC or any other book address this stuff?
I haven't delved into BTVC/SCD/MD for myself, mainly because:

a) I do tend to get really overwhelmed by all the details; I can really hardly feed myself properly! Still haven't made any kefir or yogurt either... :

b) my problems seem relatively well answered by what I'm already doing (although I'm sure I could feel even better if I could devote more time/focus/energy to it).

I am looking for a path of some clarity and minimal complexity for myself and my little guy. Can you wise mamas help me find it?

Thank you in advance for any tips!
It helps so much just to be able to connect with other moms that understand why a cheerio isn't a perfect 'first food'!

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Old 01-03-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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There isn't a resource that I've found that specifically addresses this issue for babies.

What I know I've pieced together in the last 2 years from many sources on leaky gut, food allergies and digestive problems. DS has had stool tests to determine his problems are bacterial... and hair tests to show that it originally started with metal toxicity.

'Breaking the Vicious Cycle' and 'Nourishing Traditions' are my bibles now.

'Superimmunity for Kids' by Dr. Leo Galland has some nuggets of info (I don't agree with everything he says though it's a bit out of date). He wrote a good but very dense article on Leaky Gut http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?ID=425

BTVC is a good one to start with.
The science behind the diet is very well explained in only 50 pages.
The website is quite good as well www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info and science behind the SCD diet at www.pecanbread.com
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Old 01-04-2006, 01:24 AM
 
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Hi Jane,

I actually had just ordered both NT and BTVC just before you posted
I'd been meaning to since I first discovered the HTG thread after I first eliminated gluten & yeast a few months ago, but somehow it took me this long to do it. I'm excited to get them and browse through, hopefully finding a toehold into paths of greater healing.

Sad that there isn't a source that deals specifically with little ones though!

Thanks so much for your reply...I always get so much information (usually more than my brain can synthesize!) from your posts. I am so impressed that you are able to investigate all this so thoroughly and express what you've learned so clearly.
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Old 01-06-2006, 04:39 PM
 
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Thank you very much!

All I've learned started here at MDC. It's truly changed my family's lives in extraordinary ways. I feel like I have a lot to give back.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:03 AM
 
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thank you so much for sharing this info. i am the help i'm so hungry mom. i had no idea that cereals weren't a good first food-obviously wheat but i figured rice was good. tried it with my ds-he ate it for a while and then didn't seem interested so we just BF now. i have been so frustrated with my doc (ND) and the lack of info he gives me. it means so much to me to read your words of wisdom. thank God for MDC and thank you. i will try to check it out and see what we come up with.
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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We used this chart. I wouldn't do raw foods, we even cooked fruit for something like 18-24 months (baked apples, baked bananas, etc.). FWIW, my DD is allergic to 4 of the top 8, eggs, dairy, soy and shellfish, and she had not had any of them directly before 14 months when she was diagnosed, she had just been exposed through bmilk. She did not develop allergies to any of the "safer" foods that we had introduced. We started around 7 months and she got more interested in eating closer to 8 months when she could do finger foods (Cheerios was a big hit, it has wheat starch but the starch doesn't contain wheat protein), sweet potato chunks, etc. If your kiddo is growing well there is no need to rush. A friend exclusively fed her son only bmilk for a year and he was 28 lbs.
http://www.hallpublications.com/title2_sample2.html
It's different for everyone and you really have to watch you own kid and trust your instincts.

Kitty's mama
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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i just wanted to say thank you for this thread and all the wonderful info! DS is 10 months old and has MAJOR allergies and excema... to the point that we had to go back to just BM till his symptoms cleared and then start all over again (reintroduce every food one by one like how we did when we initially introduced them). things have been progressing but it's been a very frustrating path. there's lots of info here that i had never heard of (although we see 2 NDs).

thanks!

liane
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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Thanks for starting this thread. It's very imformative and great to re-read on things. DD is 11 months now and starting at 4 months, she had really bad eczema. We couldn't determine the source and didn't look into allergies for a couple months. Once we made the connection, we had her tested at 7 months but it came back inconclusive. We went on an elimination diet and while it was great for DD, it sucked for me (BF and all). We started re-introducting foods into my diet and one day found the biggest culprit.. WHEAT! : We read into the Leaky Gut syndrome and it made a lot of sense. We've been on Metagenics Probiotics and lots of supplements. DD and I also get chiropractic adjustments regularly to help boost our immune system.

I've been a bit lazy recently and the poor bebe's got a reaction. So we're sorta back on eliminating foods. Not sure what it could be now but I'm hoping DD will grow out of this soon. I've whittled down to a near size 0 and it's just not hot for me. : And no matter what other people have said.. I am sticking to BF!

Samantha
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Old 07-08-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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This is a great thread, lots of info. I'm going to be busy for a long time following all the links!

I just wanted to mention that babies can exclusively breastfeed for a long time and still be healthy, at least mine did. Kelsey refused solids completely until just past 16 months. Now at 21 months she still eats less than a tablespoon or two of food a day. She LOVES to nurse and it seems to agree with her. I would say that her diet is still 90% breastmilk with no signs of changing. She doesn't appear to be anemic but her doc recommended a multi-vitamin just in case but so far we haven't found a liquid one thats ok...her chewables she chews and spits out.

She sees two speech therapists for the not eating thing, but they can't really find anything to help. She puts food in her mouth, chews it up and then spits it out. She appears to spit out everything but I know she's swallowing a little because around 16 months her diapers got very different! She will drink an ounce (sometimes two) of soymilk or juice or from a cup but doesn't seem very interested. One therapist thinks she has sensory "issues" and the other thinks that it's a protective mechanism related to the allergies. Me, I go back and forth!

In any case, she's very active and seems to meeting all her milestones on time so no worries there. She's awfully small though...dunno if it's genetic (could be) or allergy related, but at 21 months she weighs 21 pounds.

As far as what order to introduce food in, I've read a lot about it and have concluded that it just doesn't really matter much. Some should definately be avoided, like the "big 8" allergens and citrus and acidic stuff, coffee, beer, you know! But as far as grain or veggies or fruit...there might be slight advantages to one over another, but it's not going to matter a lot. Kelsey's fiirst food was rice at 7.5 months. She was allergic. I gave her pears at 8.5 months. She was allergic. I gave her sweet potatos at 10 months and she wouldn't eat them....I can't remember what order I went in with the rest but since she didn't swallow any of it.....

We did allergy testing at 9 and 10 months and when I started avoiding everything she tested postive for, her ecxema went away never to return. I had figured out about half her allergens with an elimination diet...and the rice and pears from giveing them to her. They were confirmed with the testing and we added several more to her list. If I did it again I would definately breastfeed exclusively as long as possible and try to figure it out with elimination. Then I would introduce foods that I was fairly sure she wasn't allergic to. The mistake I made was introducing food before her eczema cleared up....I had no real idea what all of her allergen were! I should have known I was still eating something she was reacting to (rice).

Sorry that was so long...I just wish I had known some of this beforehand...someone tried to tell me but at that point I hadn't accepted the whole allergy thing. I don't have any and neither does dh...so it seemed unlikely and I didn't want it to be true!

Pauli and Kelsey (21 months nursing and allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat,rice, beef, pork, potato, pear, tomato and also no nuts or seafood)
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:42 AM
 
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There is an excellent book entitled "Nourishing Traditions" that goes into quite a bit of detail as to why holding off on introducing cereal is such a good idea and what other solids are not such a good idea at the beginning. I have referenced it a great deal with my exclusively breast fed seven month old.
I had to order the book at Borders but they were able to get it for me. It is a general purpose cookbook with a whole bunch of invaluable information about various foods. We have more than gotten our money's worth out of it. It is great!
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:11 AM
 
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Here is a good thread for naturopathic style intro schedule: http://www.naturalhealthcalifornia.c...troduction.htm

I found it quite helpful.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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This is my frist time posting on here, but I really appreciated reading all the other posts regarding allergies. I have a few questions though if anyone has any feedback that would be great! My 8 month old daughter has food allergies (sensitivities?). She is breastfed, but had some patches of eczema very early on. Once we started solids (some rice cereal at 6 mths) her eczema got much worse. She also began to get a rash when I tried her on certain food. So far she has reacted with hives all over here torso to bananas, peas. It also seems she reacts when I drink red wine. Has anyone heard of the peas or wine causing trouble?

I am paranoid now.. and have not introduced wheat. Any suggestions about how long to wait? Also...should I be extra cautious about keeping her from any contact with peanuts? ex..should i be avoiding peanut butter? Someone told me this could heighten her chances of a peanut allergy later.

Two other things Does the sun make eczema worse or better? And most importantly... my daughter is a TERRIBLE sleeper. She is still up 3-5 a night (even when she does not have a skin out break). Is this common in allergic kids? What can I do????? I am desperate for a good nights sleep!!!
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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Hi MomJQ! I see this is your first post... welcome! You'll get a better response if you start a new thread down below in the Allergy section. This thread that you posted in is a resource sticky. I'm sure we'll have lots of ideas for you!

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Old 07-06-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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Here are the Joneja charts, since earlier links no longer work:

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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thanks for the charts
can rice cereal be given if there is no rice allergy?
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedi08 View Post
thanks for the charts
can rice cereal be given if there is no rice allergy?
Sure it CAN be given but it's best to avoid all grains at first (for ALL babies - grains are the hardest foods to digest) and focus on cooked veggies, fruits and meat. Rice offers no real nutrition - it's really just a filler - so is not an ideal food for babies at all.

Still a sleepy mama to my fabulous 2 year old girl
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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makes perfect sense, why do dr's say to do rice cereal, its baffling!
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pedi08 View Post
makes perfect sense, why do dr's say to do rice cereal, its baffling!
Because packaged rice cereals are iron fortified, and there is some concern (debatable) that babies need more iron than they get from mamas milk. But if you're concerned about your babe's iron levels, you could always start with meats.

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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don't they reccomend rice cereal bc its the least allergenic, that is what they say?
also isn't introducing solids until age 1 just to get the baby use to eating etc and not for nutrition?

any good recommendations (other than those mentioned) on introducing fruits veggies as a 1st food, i'd love to read up!!!!
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