Food Introduction Rules

March 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm 4 comments

When a child is born that baby cannot walk or sit up or talk, it takes time for the motor and cognitive systems to develop.  It is the same for the digestive system.  A baby is not born with a fully developed digestive system, initially all your baby can digest is breastmilk; the digestive system know how to assimilate nutrients from breastmilk and absorb the nutrition provided by mom.

At six months of age the digestive system is ready for solids, the physical and cognitive systems are ready as well; which is why suddenly your baby is grabby, interested in your fork and lunging for your food! 

By nine months the digestive system is ready for some protein. Plant protein found in beans is nutritious as well as dairy protein that has been broken down by bacteria, such as in yogurt and cheese.  Protein is a large nutrient and if it is introduced too early the immune system recognizes it as an invader, which creates the groundwork for allergies later on.   

By ten months the digestive system is ready for animal protein, however your baby probably doesn’t have the teeth to deal with this so it is best to puree the meat.

There are simple rules for introducing your baby to food.  If you follow these rules you will help prevent food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities for your child.

  1. Introduce new food, one food item at a time
  2. Introduce new food at lunch time (this prevents any unwanted bedtime upsets!)
  3. Introduce a new food item for 3 days before introducing a second food item
  4. You can mix a new food item with a formerly introduced food item
  5. Watch for signs of allergies

Signs of Allergies include: rashes, hyperactivity, irritability, dark circles under eyes, infections, diarrhea, constipation, runny nose, redness in face & cheeks.  These signs can occur anytime over the 3 days, not just after the food has been eaten.


Entry filed under: 10 months, 6 & 7 months, 9 months, Allergies, Introducing Food. Tags: , , , , , , .

Pureeing Fruit Veggies for Baby

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anita  |  March 31, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Wow Laurie! You are covering everything! Awesome! I still think it is hard to read the signs for allergies like redness in face and cheeks ’cause it might be due to teething? And constipation is an allergy reaction? Wow! I’m learning lots!

    • 2. lkmnut  |  March 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm

      I agree! Once you are more familiar with your baby’s teething symptoms it will become easier. In the meantime if you suspect an allergy, stop with that food for a little while and then try again in a few weeks. For example I found that Thompson couldn’t eat peas for the first while, he got gassy and v. uncomfortable, so I removed them from his diet. About a month later I tried them again and it was fine. It’s really about the development of the digestive system.

  • 3. Nuts to you Baby! « Baby Bites & Toddler Tapas  |  July 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    […] Schedule – if you introduce food following a schedule and you introduce new food one item at a time, the chances of your child developing an allergy […]

  • 4. Let Baby Choose « Baby Bites & Toddler Tapas  |  July 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    […] should be introduced at the right time and that food introduction protocols should be followed.  Click here for the broad principles I follow in regards to introducing food.  I do have an amazing one-pager […]


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