Yesterday, we heard that Israel's ministry of Health gave a set of new recommendations regarding introduction of solid foods to babies. The updated recommendation is to start giving solids beginning from the time when baby is four months old, and to start replacing full meals by solids from six months onward.
As a mother of a four-months-old, naturally I'm interested in hearing more about the specifics of these new guidelines. I didn't find much information about it online - here's a link to an article for those visitors of mine who read Hebrew.
I would very much like to know details such as why the recommendations were changed, what is the research behind it, and whether other countries are following the same lead. We're not talking about a slight variation from the previous recommendations, but about a substantial change - in the new list of foods for babies four months and older you'll find even fish and eggs, which previously weren't recommended as first foods because of their potentially allergenic effect.
In the article I linked to, I found a rather vague explanation that "early introduction of solid foods helps to prevent food allergies"; however, until now it has been thought that early introduction of solids might be a cause of allergies. No information could be obtained from the official Ministry of Health website. Could this be a fad?
During the years while I studied for my degree in nutrition, perhaps the most important thing I learned was that nutritional recommendations change constantly, and one shouldn't follow blindly. There's also a variety of opinions by a variety of experts on any given topic at any given point in time.
My personal belief is that introduction of solids, as well as weaning, should be mostly child-led - we can offer, but if the baby shows no interest, it's better to wait a bit and then try again. I'm against arbitrary guidelines such as "all babies must eat such and such amount of solids by such and such time" - all babies are different. As for potential allergies, to me it seems that it's safer to wait rather than rush.
I will certainly be on the watch for further information about this.