Sunday, July 20, 2008

Feed Your Baby Anything After 4 Months?

Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published an article titled:

Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods, and Hydrolyzed Formulas

One of the key messages is that early guidelines were derived from expert opinion and not from evidence. There is not enough evidence to support many of the earlier guidelines, such as when to introduce certain foods to a growing baby. The traditional guideline suggested waiting on foods like milk, fish, eggs, peanuts, etc. However, these suggestions have no strong evidence backing them up. Does this mean that we should ignore them? Can we feed our babies anything after they reach 4 months? Or should we still delay the introduction of certain foods until they're older? Should the lack of evidence cause us to use more or less caution? Maybe we're doing the wrong thing by withholding certain foods.

Also, pregnant women should feel free to eat anything during their pregnancy according to this new report. Will this cause a paradigm shift in the world of dietetics?

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