Switching to Solids

Keeping an Eye on Food Allergies

After a week of rice cereal, you can try to feed your baby other types of cereal like oat, barley, and wheat. (A recent Pediatrics study shows that introducing wheat before your baby is 6 months old may decrease her risk of developing a wheat allergy.) To make pinpointing allergies easier, give your child only one new food at a time and wait three or four days before trying another. Keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction or intolerance, like a rash, hives, wheezing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, excessive gas, diarrhea, or blood in her stools. Call your pediatrician if you notice any of these symptoms (they can take minutes or days to appear), and go to the ER if the reaction seems serious.

Once your baby's eating a variety of cereals, you can move on to pureed fruits and vegetables. It doesn't matter which you give her first, but try just one fruit or veggie at a time. If she spits out her pureed peas as if they?re poison, don't lose hope. "She may purse her lips and shake her head, but it's usually because its a new taste," says Loraine Stern, MD, clinical professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles. "If you offer it three or four times, she'll probably take it."

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