Introducing Allergenic Foods to Babies
When I had my first son in 2013, the recommended guidelines around introducing allergenic foods to baby was from the age of 1-3 years. By the time my second entered the world in 2016, those recommendations had changed. The current recommended guidelines suggest that introducing allergenic foods to babies at an early age may reduce their risk of developing food allergies.¹
According to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests introducing allergenic foods to babies as early as 4 to 6 months of age. This includes foods such as peanut butter, eggs, fish, and tree nuts, which were previously thought to be unsafe to introduce to infants.
The study found that introducing allergenic foods to babies at an early age, while still breastfeeding, may help reduce their risk of developing food allergies. The study recommends that infants at high risk of developing food allergies, such as those with a family history of food allergies or eczema, should be introduced to allergenic foods even earlier, between 4 and 11 months of age.
The AAP guidelines also recommend that infants be introduced to allergenic foods one at a time, starting with a small amount and gradually increasing to test for any adverse reactions. Parents should closely monitor their baby's response to the new food and be aware of any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
It is important to note that the decision to introduce allergenic foods to a baby should be made in consultation with their pediatrician or healthcare provider, particularly if the baby has a pre-existing medical condition or history of allergies. The guidelines may differ depending on the country and healthcare system, and parents should always follow the recommendations of their local healthcare professionals.
In conclusion, introducing allergenic foods to babies at an early age may help reduce their risk of developing food allergies. Parents should consult with their healthcare provider and follow the recommended guidelines, including introducing one food at a time and monitoring for any adverse reactions, to ensure the safety and well-being of their baby.
Fleischer, D. (2012, November 26). Primary prevention of allergic disease through nutritional ... In Practice . https://www.jaci-inpractice.org/article/S2213-2198(12)00014-1/fulltext