Does the age you introduce food to an infant affect allergies later?
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Yes. In children at high risk for atopy (those with a family history of allergy, asthma, or eczema in at least 1 first-degree relative), breastfeeding or giving hydrolyzed protein formula during the first 4 to 6 months reduces the risk of atopy in the first year of life, when compared with introducing cow's milk or soy formula (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on a systematic review that included only 2 double-blinded randomized controlled trials [RCTs]). There is inconsistent evidence to show that early introduction of solid food increases the incidence of atopic disease (SOR: B, systematic review of inconsistent studies).
Clinical Inquiries, 2007 (MU)
Journal of Family Practice, 56(9) 2007: 749-750.