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Many Pediatric Practitioners Do Not Advise Waiting Between New Foods

About two-thirds of practitioners do recommend waiting between foods for infants at risk for food allergy

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TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most pediatric practitioners do not counsel families to wait three days or longer between introducing new foods for infants, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Waheeda Samady, M.D., from the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, and colleagues characterized pediatric practitioner recommendations regarding complementary food introduction and waiting periods between introducing new foods. Data were included from 563 survey responses from practitioners, including pediatricians, resident physicians, and nurse practitioners (80.6, 15.1, and 3.6 percent, respectively).

The researchers found that 38.6 percent of the practitioners recommended waiting three days or longer between food introduction; for infants at risk for food allergy development, 66.3 percent recommended waiting that amount of time. Overall, 46.9 percent of practitioners recommended infant cereal as the first food, and 40.1 percent did not recommend a specific order of foods. For exclusively breastfed (EBF) infants and non-EBF infants, 47.6 and 34.3 percent of practitioners, respectively, recommended food introduction at six months; 31.8 and 42.5 percent recommended food introduction at four months for EBF and non-EBF infants, respectively. More than half of practitioners (55.1 percent) reported a need for additional training on complementary food introduction.

"Because the approach to food allergy prevention has changed, a reevaluation of published feeding guidelines may be necessary," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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