New data shows that the pediatric medical community is pushing toward a more comprehensive approach to food introduction. In a survey published by JAMA, authors suggest that old methods of waiting days in between introducing foods are out of sync with the latest approaches to food allergy introduction and that the long waiting period might even be harmful.
Food allergy experts do not recommend waiting days between new foods because food introduction will stretch out too long. "From the perspective of food allergy detection and prevention, there is no reason why a new food can't be tried every day. The guidelines need to be revisited and updated to reflect the latest research on food allergy prevention and to provide greater clarity for pediatricians and parents on safe solid food introduction to infants." - senior author Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, Director of the Center of Food Allergy and Asthma Research and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Lurie Children's.
Lead author, Dr. Waheeda Samady, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine states: "Waiting for days between each new food introduction to infants limits food diversity in the infant diet and may delay peanut introduction. There is evidence that food diversity helps to decrease the development of allergic diseases in infants, and early peanut introduction is an important peanut allergy prevention strategy.”
Building on the study, and showcasing that there's no need to wait and introduce foods one at a time, the newest edition of Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5, (published by the American Academy of Pediatrics), states: "In the past pediatricians recommended starting one new food every few days so that you can see if a reaction occurs to that particular food."
Most parents can get common allergens like egg, peanut, and milk into their babies’ diets. We know that the harder ones like cod, shrimp, and sesame are not getting introduced as routinely.
The Bottom Line: New research has shown that it is safe to start many foods early in infancy, especially common allergens.