Introducing gluten to your baby’s diet is a good way to add nutrition and variety. If you have celiac disease, having your baby try foods with gluten can also be a little scary. That’s okay and it’s normal to feel nervous. Learn how and when to introduce foods with gluten into your baby’s diet. You will also learn when to have your baby tested for celiac disease even if he/she doesn’t have typical symptoms.
I have celiac disease. Does that mean my baby is at risk of having it too?
Yes, your baby has a higher risk of having celiac disease if you, your partner or your baby’s siblings have celiac disease. But it doesn’t mean your baby will definitely develop celiac disease.
I’m gluten-free. Should my baby be gluten-free too?
Not necessarily. Even though gluten isn’t essential (needed) in your baby’s diet, it does provide good nutrients.
When should I introduce foods with gluten to my baby?
You can introduce foods with gluten when your baby is ready to try solid foods. This is usually any time after 4 months of age.
Does breastfeeding protect my baby from celiac disease?
No. Breastfeeding has many benefits and provides nutrients for your baby, but it does not protect against celiac disease.
- Introduce foods with gluten at the same time as solid foods. Which foods you introduce will depend on your baby’s age and developmental level. Start with soft, puréed food and work your way up to harder solid foods.
- Give your baby snacks that have gluten.
- Have your baby try meals with gluten at daycare, with a babysitter or with a family member.
Remember, most babies with a family history of celiac disease do not develop celiac disease.
When should my baby be tested for celiac disease?
Your baby should be tested for celiac disease by age 3, even if he/she doesn’t have symptoms. Your baby should be tested sooner than age 3 if he/she has poor growth, poor weight gain, abdominal (stomach) pain, diarrhea, constipation or bloating (excess gas that causes puffiness in the stomach and intestines).