1-Year-Olds & Baby Solid Foods
It is still generally accepted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dietetic Association that your baby, after reaching 12 months of age, can begin to eat table foods. However, there are a few cautions to go along with this rule.
Ask yourself if there is a history of food allergies in your family. If the answer is yes, you will want to hold off on introducing common food allergens until 18 months or later. These common allergens are, in order of frequency: cow's milk protein, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, soy and fish. Often, you already know if your baby has a milk allergy because your baby will have eaten cheese or yogurt, if not a milk-based infant formula. As for the rest of the potential allergens, remember to introduce them one at a time so that if there is a reaction, you can detect the offending ingredient easily. After trying a new food, wait three days before offering another new baby solid food to your child.
What if there isn't a history of food allergies? In this case you can try new foods as you wish, but remember to wait three days to determine if the new food is well tolerated. Symptoms of food allergies range from hives and itching to runny stools to difficulty in breathing—this last one is serious, and you need to call the doctor immediately if it occurs.
It is important for everybody who cares for your child to keep track of the introduction of new foods. Many children are cared for by a number of caretakers, and sometimes kids are fed new foods too rapidly or without the parents' knowledge. I will never forget the time when I changed my baby's diaper and saw a lot of red in the diaper. Panicked, I ran to the phone and called my babysitter. Sure enough, she had just fed my daughter beets for the first time the day before. I was relieved, but requested that my sitter tell me when new foods were introduced.