HealthDay News — Most pediatric practitioners do not counsel families to wait 3 days or longer between introducing new foods for infants, according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.

Waheeda Samady, MD, 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%, respectively).

The researchers found that 38.6% of the practitioners recommended waiting 3 days or longer between food introduction; for infants at risk for food allergy development, 66.3% recommended waiting that amount of time. Overall, 46.9% of practitioners recommended infant cereal as the first food, and 40.1% did not recommend a specific order of foods. For exclusively breastfed (EBF) infants and non-EBF infants, 47.6% and 34.3% of practitioners, respectively, recommended food introduction at 6 months; 31.8% and 42.5% recommended food introduction at 4 months for EBF and non-EBF infants, respectively. More than half of practitioners (55.1%) reported a need for additional training on complementary food introduction.

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“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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