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Babies

BabyIf you or a close family member has coeliac disease, there is an increased risk that your baby may have the condition. We have the following advice for parents on feeding and weaning babies who may be at risk of developing coeliac disease. 

Studies show that if a family member is diagnosed with coeliac disease, there is a one in ten chance of a close relative developing or having the disease.

 

Feeding a new baby

Breast or formula milk will provide your child with all the nutrients they need for healthy development in the first stages of life.

All infant milk formulas are gluten-free.

Weaning

Babies who have an increased risk of coeliac disease should still be weaned in the same way as any other baby.

At around six months your baby will be ready to eat solid foods, as well as breast or formula milk.

If after checking with your health visitor or doctor you decide to start weaning before six months, you should avoid certain foods, including gluten and other foods which might trigger allergies such as eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts and seeds.

Gluten intake

Gluten can be introduced from six months old – there are no benefits for delaying having gluten in the diet for any longer.

Once a baby is established on solid foods, gluten should be eaten regularly. Coeliac disease can only be diagnosed once gluten is in the diet. A diagnosis can be made quickly and easily if symptoms do occur.

Further advice can be given by your health visitor or dietitian. For more information on weaning, see the Department of Health’s comprehensive guide on weaning.

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