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Question

My wife and I are on a gluten-free diet. Is it ok for our baby to also eat gluten-free?

Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP

Answer

​Parents may follow a restricted-grain diet themselves for various reasons, but now some moms and dads are also restricting gluten in their baby's food.

The Problem:

Since whole grains are important for children, removing all gluten-containing products leaves a big hole in their diets.

What We Know:

  • Recent research shows delaying introduction of gluten to infants does not decrease their chance of developing celiac disease later in life. So there is no reason to eliminate gluten in your baby's diet unless there is a documented glu​ten allergy or celiac dise​ase, and you have discussed the plan with your pediatrician.

  • It may be a good idea to limit some "white" foods, such as unhealthy, highly processed gluten-containing bars and crackers, with no fiber and long ingredients lists—these tend to be less nutritious than their whole-grain counterparts. But without a medical reason, you don't need to eliminate gluten altogether. Instead, offer many different healthy, whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, and quinoa.

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org:

 

Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP

​Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP is an official American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson, assistant clinical professor at UCLA, author of What to Feed Your Baby, Mommy Calls, editor of Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, and a mom of three boys. Visit DrTanya.com​ for more information. ​

Last Updated
6/17/2017
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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