Giving solid food to infants less than six months old is not advisable as it may lead to the risk of food allergies later and new moms should rather breastfeed them exclusively, scientists say.
Solid foods of all types should be avoided for the first six months, and certain items like cow's milk, eggs, fish, and nuts should not be introduced until even later, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), reported online edition of health magazine WebMD.
New moms should breastfeed exclusively for the first six months to help protect their babies against developing food allergies later on, the ACAAI said.
"It is important to understand that we are talking about exclusive breastfeeding, with no formula, soy or anything else," researcher Amal Assa'ad was quoted as saying. "This appears to be important for protecting against allergies."
An ACAAI committee came up with its recommendations after reviewing the available clinical evidence. Its 'consensus statement' on the matter is published in July's Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, published by the ACAAI.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, followed by gradual introduction of solid foods.
The researchers, however, added that some infants and mothers with certain medical conditions or who are undergoing certain medical treatments should not seek alternatives to breastfeeding.