Ask the Doc: Introducing Solids

Q: Why are there such discrepancies on information regarding feeding solids to babies? -Kristina B.

A: Although several years ago it was thought that introducing solids later in a baby’s life might delay or prevent allergies, newer research has started to crumble that theory. Scientists noted that there were far fewer food allergies in cultures where solids and nut products were introduced very early into a baby’s life. As a result, long term studies close to completion are looking for the “window of tolerance,” wherein a baby’s immune system can welcome any food as friend rather than enemy. Evidence-based science is now steering us back to offering babies more liberal choices earlier. We all still want to encourage dedicated breast feeding (if that is mom’s choice) but the introduction of complementary solids can dovetail nicely with continuation of breast feeding and in the near future, we hope this effort will perhaps help reduce food allergy rates as well.

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About Dr. JJ Levenstein

Dr. JJ Levenstein is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and in 2012 retired from her thriving private pediatric practice in Encino, California. She served on the staff of CHLA and Encino Tarzana Hospitals for 20 years and was consistently voted one of the Best Doctors in America® from 2003 through 2012. Drawing from her experience as a pediatrician and mom, Dr. Levenstein serves as president and co-founder of MD Moms, makers of Baby Silk, the first personal care line for babies developed by pediatrician moms. She serves on the board of United Cerebral Palsy LA, is an active writer and sits on the advisory boards of several child-centered websites. She is an accomplished chef and completed culinary school in 2013! She has had a lifelong interest in child nutrition and all things related to preventive health.

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