Feeding your baby

babyYou may be worried about your baby and how coeliac disease may affect them.

First, it's important to understand that if you or a close family member has coeliac disease, there is an increased risk that your baby may have the condition – a 1 in 10 chance.

We have the following advice for parents on feeding and weaning babies who may be at risk of developing coeliac 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 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 still needing 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, cows’ milk, fish, shellfish, nuts and seeds.

Introducing gluten

baby feedingGluten can be introduced from six months old – there are no benefits for delaying introducing gluten.

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. Don’t guess, a diagnosis can be made quickly and easily if symptoms do start.

Your health visitor or dietitian can give you more advice. For more information on weaning, see the Department of Health’s guide on weaning.

If your baby does go on to develop coeliac disease then we are here to help. You can call our helpline and speak to one of our dietitians.