Updated: May 1, 2020
MYTH THREE: “Start slow. Only give your baby ONE new food at a time and give the SAME food for 3-5 days in a row.”
Although many medical professionals continue to make this recommendation, the truth from allergy experts tells us that allergic reactions will appear within a couple hours of exposure. Waiting 3-5 days isn't necessary to catch most allergies. To make it even more intriguing, allergists also argue that reactions to a food may occur at ANY time, not just during the first exposure so even if you do wait 3-5 days, you might develop an allergy on the 6th day, or 6 months later or 16 years later!
If you have food allergies in your family, you can always ask to do a “stress test” at your pediatrician’s office.
Check out the work of Dr. Kari Nadeau out of Stanford Children’s Health—she’s an expert in food allergy, and strongly supports introducing a wide variety of foods from the very beginning!
We also want to emphasize the risk of introducing “variety” slowly instead of teaching variety from the start. The literature supports that when a wide variety of flavors is introduced between 4-6 months and when a wide variety of textured foods are introduced between 6-9 months kids are more accepting of foods later in childhood! If you do the math you will see that if you ACTUALLY wait 5 days between one food to the next you will only introduce 6 foods per month—18 foods TOTAL between 6-9 months. That’s a ridiculously low number!
Ready for myth #4? Check it out here!