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Expert Q&A: Meeting Your Baby's Nutrition Needs

An interview with pediatrician Stephen Parker, MD.

What foods should you absolutely not feed a baby under 1 year old? continued...

I haven’t shifted my position yet. I’m still going with what the orthodoxy says -- to hold off peanuts as long as possible -- because these allergies are so bad. Peanut allergies can be so devastating, it’s important to keep abreast of the issue. Hopefully more research will help clarify this area. And I would hold off on feeding your child anything you are allergic to until they are age 3 or older.

You should also wait past a year on honey, because of concerns about infant botulism.

What about whole milk? I recommend a year, but I’m not ironclad on it. Most babies could probably tolerate it at 6 months. In our culture we’ve arbitrarily said, boom, you’re ready at a year. Maybe some kids do better digesting it if you wait a little longer, but most who get it at 9 months don’t blink an eye.

If a parent wants to start it earlier, I don’t tell them not to do it. Just introduce it the same as you would any other new food: Don’t give another new food at the same time and watch for distress.

Reviewed on July 08, 2010
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