My Food Allergy Prevention Plan for My Newborn
Learn more about the latest research on preventing food allergies for infants and how you can help reduce your child's risk of developing a food allergy by up to 80%.
I am blessed with three children. My youngest is 3 weeks old. I have been much more relaxed and calm with my newborn in many ways. In fact, we only did any sort of “nesting” --purchased diapers, assembled her crib and decided on a name--the day before my planned c-section date.
But in a very specific and determined fashion, I have been planning how I would raise this baby the minute I knew I was pregnant. This is because my second child has significant food allergies (to eggs, milk, and peanuts). I am still not sure why my son suffers from food allergies. We have no family history and I ate all of the foods he is allergic to throughout my pregnancy and while nursing him. What I have come to learn is that food allergies are on the rise, with 1 in 13 children suffering from food allergies. Studies also show that I am more likely to have a food allergic child given that I had a cesarean section.
Since this experience, I decided I would be much more mindful and systematic about the way I was going to approach my daughter with respect to food allergy prevention. After many discussions with pediatric allergists, dermatologists, pediatricians, immunologists, other seasoned food allergy parents, as well as online research, and allergy seminars, I have come up with a food allergy prevention plan for my newborn daughter. I am determined to prevent food allergies with the latest research and the information currently available:
- Daily sun exposure: I take daily walks or find time to have sun exposure for my daughter each day for Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” as it is produced in the body from sunshine on the skin. Recent research indicates that vitamin D can protect against food allergies.
- Vitamin D Supplement: In addition to sun exposure, to ensure she is getting enough Vitamin D, each evening we additionally give our newborn Vitamin D through a syringe.
- Probiotics: Since 2 weeks old, we have given our daughter a probiotic each evening through a syringe. My daughter was born via cesarean section, and based on recent research, may not have been exposed to enough good bacteria when she was born, and more likely to have food allergies as a result.
- Sealing my baby’s dry skin daily with emollient product: I have been coating my baby’s skin every night since she was 2 weeks old with an emollient product, based on the dual allergen exposure hypothesis. I cover her face, hands, feet, and any dry spots. Specifically, we are using Vaniply, especially because this product does not have lanolin which has been linked to children with eczema developing contact dermatitis.
- Early food exposure in a bottle: The conclusions of the landmark LEAP Study, EAT Study and PETIT Study show that food allergies can be prevented in babies up to 80% of the time with daily and consistent exposure to milk, egg, and peanut. I will mix Ready, Set, Food! in her bottle when she turns 4 months old because it directly follows the conclusions and results from these three studies to help reduce the risk of developing food allergies for my daughter by up to 80%.
Research shows that a majority of children with food allergies actually do not have direct family members with a food allergy. Based on this information it is clear that environmental factors play a strong role in the development of allergies. Knowing this, I am trying to modify my baby’s environment and take as many preventative measures as I can. I know I do not have a magic wand that can guarantee success, but I do know that I am doing everything I can with all of the tools, research, and knowledge at my disposal to prevent food allergies.
My baby is now one year old! We followed through on the food allergy prevention plan. My daughter started showing signs of eczema at 3 months old (just like her older brother!). We started Ready, Set, Food! at 4 months. I am thrilled to share she frequently eats every food, especially the top allergens.
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.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.