Food Allergy Prevention Guidelines You Can't Ignore: Leading Doctors Recommend Early Allergen Introduction

Leading medical societies around the world have issued new guidelines in support of early and sustained allergen introduction.

There has been a breakthrough in our understanding of childhood food allergy. Recent science has shown that early and sustained allergen introduction can significantly reduce the chances of a child developing a food allergy. And that’s why leading medical societies from all over the world have now issued new guidelines in support of early and sustained allergen introduction.  

With several guidelines written by various leading experts around the world, here’s a quick summary and roundup with what parents need to know:

  • It’s important to start allergen introduction as early as 4 months of age
  • Once isn’t enough, you have to continue feeding the allergen frequently
  • While all allergens are important, peanut and egg are the biggest focus 

Our Overview of the Guidelines

Here's a quick overview of the guidelines and their recommendations for early allergen introduction:

Early Allergen Introduction Guidelines: What Medical Organizations Around the World Are Saying



USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020

"Introducing peanut-containing foods in the first year reduces the risk that an infant will develop a food allergy to peanuts"

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), 2020

"To prevent peanut and/or egg allergy, peanut and egg should be introduced around 6 months of life"

National Institutes of Health (NIH), January 2017

“Recent scientific research has demonstrated that introducing peanut-containing foods into the diet during infancy can prevent the development of peanut allergy.”

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), January 2017

The guidelines now recommend that children at high risk should be introduced to peanuts early in life, instead of avoiding all peanut-containing foods.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), January 2017

“Early introduction of peanut will result in the prevention of peanut allergy in a large number of infants.”

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), September 2017  

“Introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age.”

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), April 2019

There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods, including peanuts, eggs, and fish, beyond 4 to 6 months prevents atopic disease. There is now evidence that early introduction of peanuts may prevent peanut allergy.”

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI), 2018

"In babies at higher risk of food allergy, studies have shown that starting egg and peanut earlier - from 4 months of age - can help prevent food allergy to egg and peanut."

European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), 2020

“The most effective age to introduce egg and peanut is from 4-6 months of life.”

Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI), 2020

"To prevent peanut and/or egg allergy, peanut and egg should be introduced around 6 months of life"

Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS), January 2019

“There is emerging evidence that early food introduction, between 4 to 6 months of age, may have a role in preventing food allergy, particularly for egg and peanut, in high-risk infants.”

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), 2016

“All infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg, dairy and wheat products in the first year of life. This includes infants at high risk of allergy.”


What is Early and Sustained Allergen Introduction?

Thanks to landmark clinical trials on food allergy prevention, we now know that babies need to be exposed to multiple allergenic foods, on a regular basis, and starting at an early age to help reduce their risk of developing a food allergy.

  1. Starting Early: Based on the research, health organizations from around the world are recommending allergen introduction as early as 4-11 months of age.

  2. Keep Going for Several Months: Feeding your baby allergenic foods once or twice has not been shown to reduce the risk of developing a food allergy sometime in the future. Therefore, as important as starting early is continuing to expose your baby to allergenic foods multiple times a week over many months. 


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.

About Annie Bunje: Annie Bunje is Marketing Director for Ready, Set, Food!