Appropriate age range for introduction of complementary feeding into an infant’s diet

Autor principal: European Food Safety Authority

Revista: EFSA Journal

Año: 2019

DOI: doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5780

Metodología: Revisión sistemática

Grupo de estudio: Niños


Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and FoodAllergens (NDA) revised its 2009 Opinion on the appropriate age for introduction of complementaryfeeding of infants. This age has been evaluated considering the effects on health outcomes, nutritionalaspects and infant development, and depends on the individual’s characteristics and development. Aslong as foods have an age-appropriate texture, are nutritionally appropriate and prepared following goodhygiene practices, there is no convincing evidence that at any age investigated in the included studi es(< 1to< 6 months), the introduction of complementary foods (CFs) is associated with adverse healtheffects or benefits (except for infants at risk of iron depletion). For nutritional reasons, the majority ofinfants need CFs from around 6 months of age. Infants at risk of iron depletion (exclusively breastfedinfants born to mothers with low iron status, or with early umbilical cor d clamping (< 1 min after birth),or born preterm, or born small-for-gestational age or with high growth velocity) may benefit from earlierintroduction of CFs that are a source of iron. The earliest developmental skills relevant for consumingpureed CFs can be observed between 3 and 4 months of age. Skills for consuming finger foods can beobserved in some infants at 4 months, but more commonly at 5–7 months. The fact that an infant maybe ready from a neurodevelopmental perspective to progress to a more diversified diet before 6 monthsof age does not imply that there is a need to introduce CFs. There is no reason to postpone theintroduction of potentially allergenic foods (egg, cereals, fish and peanut) to a later age than that ofother CFs as far as the risk of developing atopic diseases is concerned. Regarding the risk of coeliacdisease, gluten can be introduced with other CFs.

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