Learn why Dr. Robert Hamilton, renown pediatrician and creator of the viral "How to Calm a Crying Baby" video with almost 30M views, recommends Ready. Set. Food! to his patients.
We spoke with Robert Hamilton, M.D., to discuss common questions about early allergen introduction and why he recommends Ready. Set. Food! to his patients.
When should I introduce allergenic foods to my baby?
The typical recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics is to begin food at about 6 months of age. I normally begin with foods like cereals, fruits, and vegetables, and then I finally get to the allergenic proteins such as milk, peanut, and egg at about 9 months of age. The good news about Ready. Set. Food! is that you can actually begin to introduce the proteins of eggs, peanuts, and milk much earlier on and I typically begin to do that at about 4 months of age.
Isn't it recommended to wait until 6 months to start solids?
Studies show that earlier introduction of allergens at about 4 months of age (which by the way is totally safe to do) actually benefits the child more than delaying. I am now recommending Ready. Set. Food! to children as early as 4 months of age and they are tolerating it beautifully.
How long do I need to continue exposure to allergenic foods?
It should be an ongoing maintenance. Studies show that early introduction of course is good, but the real key is maintaining that stimulation or exposure over time. I typically tell parents to keep going until the child is able to eat the food itself, for example peanuts or peanut butter, regularly.
My older child has a food allergy. Should I still introduce allergens to my younger child?
Yes, you should. Every individual has their own allergies and just because one sibling has an allergy doesn't necessarily mean the other will have one as well. Even though I take this into consideration, I go ahead and introduce allergens like peanut early.
What about babies with eczema or asthma?
If you have a child who presents with significant eczema (itchiness in the skin, lesions in the skin) that is a real issue that we need to consider. If the child has asthma, we also have to be a little more cautious in the introduction of any kind of potential allergenic protein.
Why do you recommend Ready. Set. Food!?
When I first became aware of the Ready. Set. Food! product, I became a big fan simply because there's nothing more problematic than to have a two or three year old child that has significant allergies, and especially to peanuts, eggs, and milk, which are the three most common childhood allergens. The ability to introduce these allergens at 4 months of age, maintain that for a relatively short period of time, - that is compelling. I now recommend starting children on Ready. Set. Food! as early as 4 months of age and I think this is going to make a real difference. I think this is a real game changer in the pediatric world.
What have you been up to since your viral "How To Calm a Crying Baby" video?
About the author:
Although most famous for his viral phenomenon "How to Calm a Crying Baby" that garnered over 28M views, Robert Hamilton, M.D. is a distinguished and respected pediatrician at Pacific Ocean Pediatrics with over 30 years of experience. In addition to his practice, he has also been active in overseas humanitarian medical missions. In 1998, he founded Lighthouse Medical Missions and has led 22 medical mission teams to Africa. Dr. Hamilton and his wife, Leslie, are the proud parents of six children and seven grandchildren. Dr. Hamilton is a member of the scientific advisory board for Ready. Set. Food!
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