Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis
What To Do To Protect Against Food Allergies
● Early Introduction: Don’t wait to introduce potential allergens in an infant’s diet. Think of introducing common allergens like egg or fish or wheat or peanut into the diet early as you introduce fruits and vegetables and cereals. In fact, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology have released statements supporting that highly allergenic foods may be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age.
● Diverse Diet: Feed diverse foods, including common allergens like peanuts. The 9 food groups are responsible for over 90% of food allergies are milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans and sesame.
● Routine Feeding: Feed potential allergens multiple times per week through infancy and early childhood. The LEAP and EAT studies, in particular, demonstrated that feeding must be sustained over time in order to decrease food allergy development risk.
● Skin Care: Keep baby’s and toddler skin protected and in good condition to avoid unwanted skin exposures to food. For babies with eczema (atopic dermatitis), it is particularly important to protect their skin with emollients, creams or medications from your baby’s doctor, when necessary.
New science guides how we can reduce the risks of a food allergy developing in babies and children. Reducing the number of children who develop food allergies is possible with a changed and thoughtful approach to feeding in early life. What we do at the beginning of a child’s life has an immense impact on health for the rest of it. With these steps - early introduction, diverse diet, routine feeding and great skin care, we have the potential to help protect the next generation from ever developing a food allergy in the first place.