Guide to Infant Food Allergy Prevention | Ready, Set, Food!
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  • Our Guide to the Latest Research on Infant Food Allergy Prevention

    By: Annie Bunje

Our Guide to the Latest Research on Infant Food Allergy Prevention

By: Annie Bunje

Our Guide to the Latest Research on Infant Food Allergy Prevention

By: Annie Bunje

Learn how applying research from the latest infant food allergy studies can help reduce your children's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%.

 

With food allergies on the rise, it’s exciting that parents now have new ways to try to prevent food allergies. But with all of this new research on food allergy prevention, it can be overwhelming for parents of infants to know exactly what the recent groundbreaking studies mean for their families. That’s why we put together this guide, so that parents can walk away armed with knowledge about these landmark studies and help reduce their children's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%.

 

What Parents Need To Know

L E A P study 80% reduction in peanut allergies peanut Learning Early About Peanut allergy Starting at 4 months of age Duration of exposure 4 years 6g peanut protein per week Over 600 children between 4 and 11 months of age at high risk for peanut allergy were randomized to either consume or avoid peanut until age 5 in order to compare the incidence of peanut allergy between the two groups.  Children in the peanut consumption arm of the trial ate a peanut-containing snack-food at least three times each week, while children in the peanut avoidance arm did not ingest peanut-containing foods.E A T study 67% reduction in peanut, egg, & milk allergies peanut egg milk Enquiring About Tolerance Starting at 3 months of age Duration of exposure 3 months 3g peanut, egg, milk protein per week 1,300 3-month-old babies that represented the general population (no risk factors) were randomized to either consume or avoid peanut, cooked egg, cow's milk, sesame, white fish, and wheat until age 3, in order to measure early introduction's effectiveness on various potential food allergens. Measurement occurred every 3 months.  43% of parents could not adhere to study protocol; top reasons cited were reduced maternal quality of life and difficulty getting the child to eat the foods consistently.  Children in the early introduction arm of the trial ate each food 3 times each week, while children in the avoidance arm did not eat any of the foods.P E T I T study 79% reduction in egg allergies egg Prevention of Egg Allergy in High-Risk Infants with Eczema Starting at 4 months of age Duration of exposure 6 months 0.88g egg protein per week 147 children between 4 and 5 months of age with atopic dermatitis (eczema) were randomized to either consume or avoid egg for 6 months, in order to determine if step-wise (low to high dose) early allergen introduction is an effective method of lowering the risk of food allergy development. Throughout the study, mothers continued to breastfeed.  Children in the egg consumption arm of the trial ate egg powder mixed with squash 3 times a week, while the placebo group avoided egg entirely.LEAP - A highly significant reduction in peanut allergy as a result of early peanut introduction 9.1% of children aged 4-11 months were excluded due to a likelihood of already having peanut allergy, indicating that for some babies, starting at 4-11 months of age is already too late  EAT -  Early introduction did not negatively impact breastfeeding practices Study participants could only achieve ~50% compliance with protocol, suggesting that sustaining introduction can be difficult to achieve at such an early age  PETIT -  Importance of stepwise introduction (starting with a low dose, ramping up to a higher dose) as a safer method for egg introduction All participants had eczema, emphasizing the importance of early allergen introduction for all babies, even those with eczema


So What Does This Mean For Families with Infants?  

The science is clear: you can help reduce your infant's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80% through early and sustained allergen introduction. But how can families achieve this? Here are our 5 tips for how you can safely and effectively follow the guidance from these landmark studies:

  1. For Infants with Eczema: Infants with eczema are at 4x higher risk for developing food allergies (assuming no other risk factors like family history), therefore, early allergen introduction is strongly recommended. However, please consult with your pediatrician if your child has severe eczema, as an allergy screening may be required first.

  2. Don’t Delay, Start at 4-11 Months of Age: There is a critical immunologic window during which food allergies can be prevented, so it's ideal for parents to begin early allergen introduction starting at 4-11 months of age. Findings from multiple studies suggest that delaying introduction may put your child at a higher risk for developing a food allergy.

  3. Stepwise Introduction: Maximize safety with a stepwise approach (as shown in the PETIT study) - starting off with a low dose and gradually increasing to a higher maintenance dose.

  4. Introduce Peanut, Egg, and Milk for Best Results: Not only do these represent the most common childhood food allergies, but studies indicate that with early introduction, there can be a significant reduction in the development of an allergy to these foods.

  5. Sustain Exposure for Several Months: The results from the landmark studies were achieved through sustained exposure, meaning that participants were exposed to allergenic foods multiple times a week for several consecutive months.

Learn more about the landmark studies mentioned above on our Science page and subscribe to our allergist-developed system that makes it easy to follow the new guidelines! 

 

 

 

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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.

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