Food Allergies In Babies

Becoming a mother was the scariest thing I have ever done. Pregnancy was scary, birth was even scarier, and everything that followed was beautiful¬†but also scary! After I spent the first few months of parenthood scared of every little thing (including nights spent getting up every 20 minutes to make sure my baby was breathing when she started sleeping through the night), I eventually started to relax and actually got into a good routine… And then, the 6-month mark arrived I was recommended to have my baby start solids. I had a really hard time with this, I was so scared my baby would have an allergic reaction. Is it obvious I have anxiety yet?

I introduced rice cereal first and my baby loved it… so much so, that she ate more than I now think is recommended the first time. Fast forward 40 minutes later and my sweet baby is with red rashy cheeks. I was told this was not an allergy, it was more of an intolerance and can be common with young babies (they have such new and developing digestive systems!). But, I pretty much wanted to avoid attempting food again. Because I just could not handle introducing solids to my baby alone, I called the only baby expert I knew… my older sister who has 4 of her own kids. A few days later baby and I took our first flight together and went stay with my sister for a few weeks so she could get us set up.

Introducing food to babies is a good amount of trial and hopefully no error. The key is to only introduce one new food at a time, and wait 3 or so days before introducing another. That way, if there is an allergy or intolerance, you will know confidently which food has caused it. You don’t need to stop giving foods you have already introduced, just don’t add new ones during the time period of waiting to see how baby tolerates it. It does not really matter what you introduce first to you baby, this is totally a parental choice. Some parents do rice cereal, some will do purees, and some will do the popular baby led weaning. It is always a good idea to introduce healthy and well-balanced foods to your baby. We did a lot of vegetables because the one time I gave my baby fruit, it was all she wanted to eat… I don’t blame her, apple sauce tastes a lot better than pureed peas.¬†

There are so many fun recipes online for first baby foods. I loved making homemade purees and freezing them in ice cube trays. They ended up being the perfect serving sizes for my baby!