Purpose of review
Modalities and timing of the introduction of solid foods to infants may influence growth, obesity, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic disease. The most debated effects of solid foods introduction are those on the development of food allergy.
For the first time, in recent years prospective studies have been published about the effects of early vs. delayed introduction of allergenic foods into the infants’ diet on food allergy. According to these studies, the early introduction of peanut may be a powerful protecting factor against peanut allergy in some risk categories. This seems not be true for wheat, cow's milk, sesame, and whitefish. The effect of early introduction of egg on egg allergy are controversial.
The recent studies have changed the practice recommendations given by healthcare providers to families. We review the modifications of the recommendations of international societies on the introduction of solid foods, both to the general population and to infants at risk for allergy.