Skip to main content

Intermountain Health Experts Give Tips to Introduce Baby To Solid Foods — and Allergens

Tori Smedley is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital

(PRUnderground) March 22nd, 2024

Transitioning baby to solid foods can be an exciting and stressful experience for a new parent – especially when it comes to allergens.

But Intermountai Health experts recommend most babies should be exposed to food allergens early on.

“Evidence has suggested that early exposure to allergens when you’re introducing solid foods actually may help children to not develop severe allergies later in childhood,” said Tori Smedley, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

A food allergy is when the body’s immune system mistakenly, and consistently, responds to a certain food as if it were harmful. The immune response can range from mild to life-threatening.

Food allergies affect about 1 in 13 kids nationwide, the CDC reports.

Eight types of foods – cow milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybean — account for 90 percent of food allergies, and must be declared on U.S. food labels.

While allergens in some cases can be very harmful, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that in most cases, there’s no reason to delay introducing such foods to babies. The AAP also reports the introduction of peanut-based foods can help prevent allergies from developing.

“If you have a family history of allergies, you may want to discuss introducing such foods with your pediatrician,” Smedley said. “But for most families, we recommend starting with one allergen at a time, like peanut butter, and mixing it into a food that the baby has already eaten, and continuing to expose the baby to the food on a weekly basis.”

Here are some other tips for introducing solid foods:

  • Wait until your baby is showing signs of readiness, like sitting with minimal assistance, head/trunk control, and interest in food. These signs typically present at 4-6 months of age.
  • Position the baby in a highchair or booster so they can see other family members eating.
  • Start small, with about 1 tablespoon of up to three food choices.
  • Start with a lot of flavors and textures, like baby food, purees, mashed, and soft foods.
  • Encourage self-feeding.

“Remember, beginning eating stages are more of a practice of oral skills rather than a focus on getting any nutrition from trying foods,” Smedley said. “The majority of baby’s nutrition still will come from breast milk or formula. As the baby develops, the goal will be to incorporate three solid-food meals per day by 9 months to help maintain growth.”

For more information, visit

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

The post Intermountain Health Experts Give Tips to Introduce Baby To Solid Foods — and Allergens first appeared on

Press Contact

Name: Jennifer Toomer-Cook
Phone: 385.275.8245
Email: Contact Us

Original Press Release.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.