Pros and cons of introducing all foods to babies

Ronald Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, explains the pros and cons of parents introducing all foods to their baby to test for food allergies
Pros & Cons Of Feeding All Foods To Babies To Test For Food Allergies
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Pros and cons of introducing all foods to babies

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There is actually a controversy about when to introduce foods to a young child. Some people advocate introducing food a little bit later. Some advocate introducing food a little bit earlier. Actually, the guidelines in The Academy of Pediatrics have changed in the last year or two. We used to tell parents to wait and introduce high risk foods such as peanuts or eggs or strawberries, into children's diets until they got older, say two or three years of age. It turns out, when you look at the data, that there is very little data that says introducing food at a later age actually decreases the amount of food allergies will develop. There is not a lot of data that says that introducing food earlier does decrease it, but we know that we are not helping anybody by delaying the introduction of foods. There is a little bit of evidence that is saying that we are doing some harm. In other countries, where they introduce foods very early into the diet, those children tend to have less allergies. Whether that can be generalized to children in the United States because it is not just the timing that influences. Right now, we are recommending that people introduce foods into their diet whenever they naturally occur and just feed the kids a healthy diet. For some people who have allergies in their family, some people are still a little bit cautious and recommend avoiding the high allergy foods, but for the average child, it doesn't make much difference.

Ronald Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, explains the pros and cons of parents introducing all foods to their baby to test for food allergies

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Ronald Ferdman, MD

Pediatrician, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Ronald Ferdman received his BA from the University of California at San Diego and his MD from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.  He completed both his Pediatric residency and his fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then obtained a Masters in Medical Education (MEd) from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Education.  He currently is an attending physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  He is board certified allergy/immunologist, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  His current interests include management of allergic and immunologic diseases in high-risk children and education for families and clinicians. He is a California native, where he currently lives with his wife Susan and their three of four children, and spends his spare time wishing for more.

 

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