Introducing solid foods to a baby with cow’s milk allergy may sound daunting, but with a few tips under your belt, it’ll feel like a piece of (dairy free) cake!

Tips for Starting New Foods

  • If you have a child with cow’s milk allergy and want to begin transitioning to more solid foods, talk to a healthcare professional first.
  • Make sure that infants with cow’s milk allergy aren’t experiencing any obvious signs of their allergy before beginning to introduce new foods.

  • If you’re ready to start your child on any new foods, do it at lunch, not dinner, as it’ll be easier to keep an eye on them and to get medical assistance if they have an allergic reaction.

  • Keep track of when you give your child any new foods and what, if any, reactions they have to them.

  • Babies are more likely to prefer foods with flavors that they know, so introduce new foods along with familiar ones, rather than on their own.

  • Wait until your baby is hungry before offering them a food they haven’t tried before.

  • Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t like a new food straight away. They may need to try it up to 10 times before they get used to it.

  • Babies can sense negative reactions so try to be positive when feeding your baby.

  • Help your baby feel included by feeding and talking to them at family mealtimes.

General Feeding Tips

Babies should be allowed to feed as quickly or slowly as they like. Don’t rush or push your baby into eating more when they feel like they’ve had enough.

6 Months:

  • Just give your baby little bits of a new food to start with — one or two teaspoons of smooth purée is enough.
  • The amount of food that babies eat doesn’t matter, what counts is getting them used to eating.

  • Try giving your baby food with an increasing variety of textures as he ages.

6-9 Months:

  • Before giving babies with diagnosed cow’s milk allergy other potentially allergenic foods such as egg, nuts and soy, get advice from a specialist.
  • Make more food than is needed and freeze the leftovers.

9-12 Months:

  • While babies are still spoon feeding, offer them milk-free finger foods so that they can hold them and get used to chewing.