I’m very lucky to have one of the nation’s leaders in celiac research right in my backyard. The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center is a hotbed of research that has helped get celiac disease on the map. So naturally, when I had a question about how to introduce my daughter to gluten so she would minimize her risk of developing celiac disease in the future, they were right there with great advice.

To sum up:

1. Breastfeed for as long as possible. Try it for a full year. In addition to providing the best possible nutrition for your baby, breastfeeding has been shown to provide the best protection against developing celiac disease later in life.
2. Delay the introduction of gluten until after 4-6 months of age.
3. Introduce gluten while you are still breastfeeding.
4. Introduce small quantities of gluten at first. Don’t feed more than 1-2 teaspoons of gluten-containing foods per day.