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Can Early Food Exposure Actually Lead To Fewer Food Allergies?

Parents are now being advised to feed their babies different foods by 4-6 months in decrease chances of food allergies.

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It seems like every mother is told something different about when and what they should feed their child as their first meal. The older generation might believe that the babies should be fed no earlier than six-months and it should only be rice cereal. Some mothers are convinced that no "people food" should be given to babies until they are one years old. Even pediatricians have differed around their opinions over the years. So, what are we supposed to be doing? When is the best time to feed our little ones food?

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In recent studies it has shown that parents should be giving their children foods sooner than six months. Some pediatricians are even recommending new foods to start being exposed to the child at 4 months old. Recent studies have shown that if parents introduce children to foods earlier they are less likely to develop an allergy to them.

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Many parents have been told in the past to make sure that they avoid foods that are typically ones that have a high allergy rate. So, many parents avoid giving their children nut products and some berries. A co-author of a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Dr. Frank Greer said that there really isn't much reason for parents to avoid giving their children certain types of food. It doesn't lower their chances of having allergies, in fact, it probably increases their chances of having an allergic reaction to these food in the future.

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Medical professionals are now encouraging parents to exclusively breastfeed their children, but then to start introducing foods at around 4 months. Medical staff are now advising their patients to start giving baby's foods such as peanut butter, eggs, cows milk, shell fish and wheat. These foods have the highest amounts of intolerance and therefore should be exposed earlier than previously advised. There has been no evidence indicating that a later exposure to these types of food will help decrease their chances of being allergic.

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