Health Beat: Diabetes development: Baby food & type 1 diabetes

Posted: 2:07 PM EST Dec 04, 2013   Updated: 7:08 PM EST Dec 04, 2013

Once called juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is a serious illness requiring a lifetime of injections.

Some 215,000 kids and adults are currently living with this type of diabetes. New research reveals what you feed your baby could play a significant role in the chances of your little one developing the disease.

Like all moms, Natasha McPheron wants the best for her new baby, but her current feeding plan actually may be harmful to little Isaac. 

"I plan on at least breast feeding for a year before I try to introduce more," McPheron said.

New research from the University of Colorado Denver warns there’s a small window of time to introduce solid food, from four to six months of age.

"That is pretty shocking that it's that little window. I don’t know how they came up with that research," McPheron said.

If mothers introduce solid food before the fourth month, there's a two-fold risk of diabetes.

"If you introduce solid foods after six months, in other words, if the first time you introduce them is after six months, you have three-fold increased risk of type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Jill M. Norris, professor and chairwoman of epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health.

Baby Isaac’s mom is reconsidering her plan. Diabetes runs in the family.

"If it can be prevented, I am going to do it for sure," McPheron said.

The research was done in children with an increased genetic risk for type 1, but researchers believe the findings may apply to all babies.

DOWNLOAD and VIEW research summary

DOWNLOAD and VIEW the full-length interview with Dr. Jill Norris about baby food and type 1 diabetes