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Food diversification and intolerance : should you avoid certain food traps?

gisèle gual — mar 19, 2019

Are you concerned about intolerance during the diversification of baby's diet? Nevertheless, now that we all are (over)informed, it is difficult to be able to identify what is true and what is not in all the things we hear or read about children’s diet. And especially about eating foods considered allergenic or not easily digestible.

Food diversification and intolerance: which foods to avoid?

About intolerance, it is even more important for parents of children aged between 4 months and 3 years, because it is when cases of food allergy appear more often.

Yet, the new recommendations are clear: food diversification should start between 4 and 6 months old and no food is banned!

From the beginning?

Yes, from the beginning because an “early” introduction of allergenic foods can indeed induce a certain tolerance!

In concrete terms, let's take stock of the...

Foods that cause intolerance that are most often feared or avoided:

Foods with gluten (bread, pasta):

babies can eat these as early as 5 - 6 months old! Change meals by replacing potatoes with other carbohydrates such as little pastas you can mix in the first vegetable purées/sauces, then later simply served with vegetables or in a soup; give a bread crust to your kid as soon as he is able to eat some (at about 9-12 months old); prepare semolina for snack time…

Vegetables which are “difficult” to digest: 

onions, garlic, tomato, pepper… all these vegetables are said to be difficult to digest and therefore to be avoided for a child. Nonsense! You can cook and use these very tasty foods, which make us travel just by eating them, without any concern!


very very hot spices aside, all spices and aromatic herbs are allowed! They are actually recommended because you can naturally season meals without any added salt and your child can discover different tastes and smells. So, add some parsley, thyme, coriander, cumin, rosemary, black pepper, cinnamon, mint, vanilla, etc!


big predators such as tuna, eel or monkfish aside, all fishes are allowed for a baby or a child. You can cook them steamed (with a few herbs, of course, to make them tasty!), in foil, in a veggie sauce, with a bit of coconut milk… There are hundreds of ways to cook fish and make your kid love fish!


all fruits are allowed and, even if it is always better to pick season fruits, nothing prevents you from helping your kid to discover new tastes by using frozen or dried fruits. For example, porridge with a few frozen strawberries, a fruit purée with a bit of coconut, dried fruits as a snack…

Nuts (walnut, hazelnut, pistachio…):

if we obviously avoid whole nuts for a small baby to prevent him from choking, nothing prevents you from using them as a powder in a dish, a fruit purée, a pudding, a porridge… Then, as from 3 years old, as a healthy snack!

Food diversification and intolerance: conclusion

If your child has no known allergy, all foods are allowed from the time of diversification and are even recommended to accompany him in his sensory discoveries! On this subject, have you already discovered our healthy and delicious meal aids for babies and toddlers?

Article by Gisèle Gual, pediatric dietitian.