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Should babies be given solids earlier to prevent food allergies?

babyeatingIs this one of the worst wrong turns in the history of parenting advice? Telling people to delay the age they start their babies on solid food might be contributing to the rise in food allergies.

Babies used to be given their first solids when they were around 4 months old. Many start showing an interest in the food their family is eating around this time, as well as developing a larger appetite. But since the World Health Organization published a report about a decade ago saying that babies should be exclusively breastfed until 6 months, countries like the UK and US have recommended parents hold off until then.

 

Not all UK parents follow this 6-month rule but healthcare staff and parenting websites all tend to give out this advice. NHS leaflets and websites warn parents that if they start weaning earlier than 6 months they must avoid potentially allergenic foods, like peanuts and eggs.

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