Should I Start Cereal at 2 1/2 Months?

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
My question is my daughter is 2½ months old. She is only eating breast milk (no formula). Well, people are trying to get me to feed my baby rice cereal but I read that if you start a baby on cereal to early it can cause allergies later on in life. Should I wait until she is 4 months or start her now. She weighs 13 pounds 3 ounces.

ANSWER

For most full-term, healthy babies breast milk is the only food needed for the first six months of life. Breast milk provides protection from infections by sharing the mother's immunities with the baby, until the baby has a chance to build up an immune system. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary in the first 6 months of life. Ask your pediatrician about what signs to look for, to show that your baby is ready to begin eating solid foods.

-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.