In the medical community, there's a clear consensus on when infants should begin complementary feeding: at 6 months old. But despite the AAP, ACOG, AAFP and WHO recommendations being very clear about this timeline, parents often start much earlier.
The primary reason that official guidelines push for this 6 month mark is that very early introduction of complementary foods has been shown to reduce breastfeeding's overall duration. The medical community also holds concerns that introducing solids prior to the age of 6 months could increase the risk of choking and aspiration, lead to diarrhea and poor gut health and contribute to the onset of certain chronic diseases later in life, including diabetes and celiac disease.
So why is there so much confusion over this?
Starting solids poses such a challenge because we’re not only trying to sort through all of the available information and opinions on the topic, but also fit a brand new feeding and food preparation routine into our already busy lives. And, in the hustle to get this done, we often forget the most important element of introducing our children to food: Helping them foster a healthy relationship with food for life.
Disclaimer: The information provided is the opinion of Good Feeding, it has not been evaluated by healthcare professionals, and is for educational purposes only. Before starting any new foods or feeding practices, please consult your baby's healthcare professional.