In January 2008, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reported newer, conflicting findings on feeding infants and introducing solid foods. In their latest study on introduction of various allergenic foods and atopic disease, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/121/1/183#SEC6, researchers are rethinking the former recommendations for mothers to avoid common allergens such as milk and peanuts during lactation and pregnancy to prevent allergies, and even found evidence that delayed introduction to eggs and grains can increase, rather than decrease, the risk of future allergy. This comes on the heels of another report (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/541952) by the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology that recommended delaying the introduction of eggs until 2 years and fish and nuts until 3 years in kids predisposed towards allergies.
Two organizations reviewing similar research and coming to very different conclusions – what’s a parents to do? When you look at the fine print on these studies there’s actually quite a few similarities:
1) both studies admit that there is conflicting evidence and we need more research.
2) both studies support exclusive breastfeeding for most infants for the first 4 months.
3) both studies indicate that food introduction is not an exact science, and that every parent has to take into account their own family history of allergies and the child’s health history as well as the general guidelines.
Looks like we don’t have all the answers yet, but isn’t it amazing how God created each baby to grow and develop into a unique human being? Even when we don’t know it all, it is good to know He is in control.