Medical guidelines recommend early allergen introduction – the early and frequent feeding of foods associated with common food allergies – for all babies. But doing this on your own can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s where an early allergen introduction system can come in, to make the process easier. Here’s what to look for when choosing an early allergen introduction solution.
What To Look For When Choosing An Early Allergen Introduction Solution
Early allergen introduction – the frequent feeding of foods associated with common food allergies, in baby’s first year – is vital for all babies. Landmark clinical studies, and several sets of medical guidelines, recommend early allergen introduction to promote a healthy future of food freedom.
Most notably, guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) recommend that “both peanut and egg should be introduced around 6 months of life, but not before 4 months.”
The guidelines also affirm that consistently feeding these allergens to babies is the best approach, as demonstrated by three clinical studies (the LEAP, EAT, and PETIT studies).
Thanks to these studies and guidelines, we now know that to promote healthier outcomes later in life, consistently feeding allergens during baby’s first year is strongly recommended by leading health organizations and doctors.
Of course, introducing allergens to baby on your own can be difficult and time-consuming, especially since frequent feeding is key. That’s where an early allergen introduction solution can come in, to make the process easier.
But not all early allergen introduction systems are created equal. Here’s what you should look for when choosing an early allergen introduction system for your little one.
How many allergens are there?
If you’re choosing an early allergen introduction system, one with peanut and egg is a must given medical guidelines.
But the AAAAI guidelines don’t stop at recommending peanut and egg introduction. They also state that “Other allergens should be introduced around [4-6 months of age] as well,” and tell parents and caregivers, “Do not deliberately delay the introduction of other potentially allergenic... foods."
It’s vital to introduce many foods that represent the most common food allergies in babies and young children. The most common childhood food allergens are:
- Cow’s milk
- Almond (a tree nut)
- Cashew (a tree nut)
- Walnut (a tree nut)
So, make sure that your early allergen introduction system of choice covers these foods, to make consistent feeding easier for you and your family.
Ready. Set. Food! introduces all 9 of the top allergens listed above: peanut, egg, milk, almond, cashew, walnut, soy, sesame, and wheat.
Our Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mix-Ins start with peanut, egg, and milk. Then, our Stage 3 Mix-Ins and Organic Baby Oatmeal add the tree nuts, soy, wheat, and sesame along with continued introduction of peanut, egg, and milk.
Is the dosing evidence-based?
Make sure that the dosing of the early allergen introduction system you choose aligns with medical guidelines and research.
Most notably, based on the amount of peanut used in the LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) study, and the number of times it was given in a week during the study, the AAAAI recommends feeding baby 2 grams of peanut protein at least three times per week.
Unfortunately, some early allergen introduction systems don’t have enough amounts of the allergens to meet medical guidelines for early and sustained introduction.
Ready. Set. Food! introduces common allergens (peanut, egg, and milk) in the exact amounts and frequencies recommended by studies and medical guidelines. Our system introduces the recommended dose of allergens daily, so it’s easy to know that baby’s getting the right dose often enough.
When can you start?
It’s best if you can start using an early allergen introduction solution with your baby between 4 and 6 months of age, as this is the window of introduction recommended in the current AAAAI guidelines.
You can start introducing allergens with Ready. Set. Food! as early as 4 months of age.
Is it organic and non-GMO?
Organic foods are better for the environment, and aren’t treated with harmful pesticides and other toxic chemicals. So, they’re a more conscious option for your little one.
And to stay away from genetically modified (GMO) foods, make sure that the solution you choose is non-GMO.
All of our Ready. Set. Food! products are made with real food, are 100% USDA Certified Organic, and are completely non-GMO.
Is there no added sugar?
According to the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines, children under 2 years of age should not consume any added sugars.
Consuming foods with added sugar can lead children to develop a preference for unhealthy, overly sweet foods later in life (especially if a child consumes these foods frequently). And early allergen introduction systems are built around frequent feeding. So, when choosing an early allergen introduction solution, avoid added sugar at all costs. Read labels and ingredient lists carefully!
Ready. Set. Food! Mix-Ins introduce all 9 top allergens to babies, with no added sugar.
Does it mix with breastmilk or formula?
Yes, recent medical guidelines recommend introducing allergens as early as 4-6 months of age, but many babies aren’t yet ready for solids at this early age. And some allergen introduction solutions are only meant for food eaters, as these options don’t fully dissolve in liquid and can clog up a bottle nipple. Fortunately, there’s an early allergen introduction solution that will safely mix into baby’s bottle of breastmilk or formula, and fully dissolve.
Ready. Set. Food! Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mix-Ins are the only early allergen introduction options that safely dissolve into a bottle of breastmilk or formula. This way, you can introduce peanut, egg, and milk to any baby as early as 4 months of age, even if they aren’t ready for solids.
How easy is it to use?
Some other factors that you should consider for an easy-to-use system are:
- Are the allergens pre-measured, so you can add them to food, breastmilk, or formula right away? (Or are they already inside the food, for another way to introduce them easily?)
- Is it easy to know what to feed baby each day, and how much to feed them daily?
Ready. Set. Food! is easy to use. Just tear open the guided daily Mix-In packet, mix it into breastmilk, formula, or food, and then feed it to baby. Or, mix up our Organic Baby Oatmeal with 9 top allergens already inside.
What different options are there in the system?
It’s important that you choose a system that aligns with your needs and your baby’s developmental stage. Flexible options that grow with your baby are best.
Ready. Set. Food! is an early allergen introduction system that grows with baby. Choose Ready. Set. Food! Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mix-Ins to blend with breastmilk, formula, or food. For babies already eating food, you can also offer Stage 3 or one of our several yummy Organic Baby Oatmeal flavors.
Ready. Set. Food! is an allergist-developed, bottle-friendly system that follows medical guidelines on early allergen introduction. Our daily system gently and safely introduces allergens in pre-measured amounts, to give babies the best chance at food freedom.
With Ready. Set. Food!, early allergen introduction has never been easier! Give your baby a head start towards a healthier future today.
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