The Best Defense Against Childhood Food Allergies: A Parent's Guide
With all the new research on food allergy prevention, it’s easy for parents to feel overwhelmed. Parents have a lot of questions about how to help reduce their child’s risk of developing a food allergy, based on the new guidelines from the AAP and NIH. That’s why we put together this up-to-date guide on the latest research, to help families follow the new guidelines safely and effectively.
Food Allergy Prevention Is Important For All Babies
Food allergies are on the rise, with 1 in 13 children in the United States affected. These allergies can often be inconvenient for families. Worst of all, reactions can be severe, and sometimes even life-threatening - a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room every three minutes. But over half of the children with food allergies have no family food allergy history. Thus, all infants are at risk for developing food allergies.
What The Latest Food Allergy Research Tells Us
Fortunately, three groundbreaking clinical studies show that you can reduce your infant’s food allergy risk by up to 80%, by introducing them to allergenic foods early and often. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) have issued new recommendations supporting early, sustained introduction of allergenic foods such as peanuts for infants.
Tips To Defend Your Child Against Food Allergies
Starting around 4-6 months of age, babies enter a critical window where their immune system begins to develop either positive or negative responses to foods. Introducing allergenic foods during this window helps train your baby’s immune system to develop the positive response needed to reduce their food allergy risk. Although it is important to not delay, most infants (up to 11 months of age) will still see a benefit in food allergy prevention with introducing allergenic foods.
Consult Your Pediatrician
Before you introduce allergenic foods to your baby, consult your pediatrician. They may want to conduct an allergy screening first, especially if your baby has severe eczema.
Introduce When It’s Best For Baby
When you’re ready to introduce allergenic foods, pick a time when baby is healthy. Also, make sure that an adult can monitor baby for at least 2 hours, to watch for signs of an allergic reaction. Introduce one allergenic food at a time, so it’s easier to determine whether your baby is having an allergic reaction to that food. (Wait 3-5 days between introducing each new allergenic food, as recommended by the AAP.)
Breastfeeding Alone Is Not Enough
According to the AAP’s most recent guidelines, there is not enough conclusive evidence to prove that breastfeeding can prevent childhood food allergies on its own. So, families should introduce their babies to common food allergens early and often, regardless of how they choose to feed their baby.
Introduce Peanut, Egg, and Milk
Combined, peanut, egg, and milk account for more than 80% of childhood food allergies. More importantly, the landmark studies showed that introducing these allergenic foods early and often led to a significant reduction in food allergy development.
Introducing your baby to allergenic foods only once or twice is not enough to help prevent food allergies. Studies show that feeding your infant allergenic foods multiple times per week, and sustaining this introduction for at least several months, are just as crucial factors as starting early. The studies exposed infants to allergenic foods 2-7 times per week for at least 3-6 months. In fact, one of the landmark studies continually exposed infants to peanut for 4 years.
We know that parents need resources and support to implement the new guidelines on food allergy prevention at home which is why we’re proud to partner with Ready, Set, Food! Their gentle, guided system slowly and safely introduces baby to the most common food allergens (peanut, egg, and milk) in pre-measured amounts consistent with the new clinical guidelines. Learn more about Ready, Set, Food! below.
About Ready, Set, Food!
Ready, Set, Food! is an innovative system developed by a team of allergists and parents that can help reduce your baby’s risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%. The system gradually introduces common food allergens in the amounts used in landmark clinical studies, for maximum safety and efficacy. Plus, it easily mixes with breastmilk, formula, or puree, so it makes following the new guidelines simple and easy for parents everywhere. Ready, Set, Food! contains only organic, non-GMO peanut, egg, and milk, and is recommended by over 230 pediatricians and allergists.
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To learn more about how Ready, Set, Food! can help give your baby the best defense against food allergies, and take advantage of this exclusive offer for Newton Baby families, visit their website here.