SpoonfulOne: What Parents Need to Know
By: Jessica Huhn
SpoonfulOne: What Parents Need to Know
By: Jessica Huhn
What is SpoonfulOne? What does it do? What are the pros and cons of using it to help prevent food allergies? Here's what families need to know about SpoonfulOne.
Landmark clinical studies (LEAP, EAT, PETIT) show that introducing allergy-causing foods to your baby early and often, starting as early as 4-6 months of age, can help prevent food allergies. One option parents may be thinking about using to introduce these foods is SpoonfulOne.
But here's what parents need to know about SpoonfulOne first:
- SpoonfulOne is only for babies already eating solid food
- SpoonfulOne contains additives babies don't need, like sugar and salt
- SpoonfulOne doesn't follow the safe, effective dosing that landmark studies (LEAP, EAT, PETIT) recommend
- SpoonfulOne introduces multiple allergy-causing foods all at once, violating AAP guidelines
- SpoonfulOne is expensive: it costs twice as much as Ready, Set, Food!
What is SpoonfulOne?
SpoonfulOne makes a system of products meant to help prevent food allergies in babies, by introducing them to common allergy-causing foods early and often.
Dr. Kari Nadeau's goal was to make the allergy protection system that introduced babies to the most allergens, and that covered the foods responsible for 90% of food allergies.
She noticed that only 7% of people who develop food allergies are allergic to just peanut (most develop an allergy to a food other than peanut, or become allergic to peanut and at least one other food).
So, she developed the SpoonfulOne system, which contains the 9 most common allergy-causing food groups:
- Tree nuts (cashew, pecan, pistachio, walnut, hazelnut, almond)
- Fish (salmon, cod)
- Shellfish (shrimp)
SpoonfulOne makes 3 types of products that introduce these 9 food groups:
Mix-ins: A powder that mixes with baby's puree. It's designed for babies to start as early as 4-6 months, but only if they're reliably eating solid food.
Puffs: Soft puffs for babies "accustomed to solid foods," and 6 months of age or older.
Oat Crackers: Harder, cookie-like oat crackers for infants and toddlers over one year of age, and well-accustomed to solids.
What do parents need to know about SpoonfulOne?
SpoonfulOne is only for babies eating solids
SpoonfulOne's powder is designed for babies to start as early as 4-6 months of age. But like all SpoonfulOne products, it's designed only for babies who are already eating solids reliably. Also, the puffs and oat crackers are designed for even older babies who are "accustomed to eating solids."
When it comes to introducing allergy-causing foods for prevention, earlier is better. Waiting until your baby is used to solids may be too late. NIH and AAP guidelines recommend starting to feed baby allergy-causing foods when they are 4-6 months old. However, many babies aren't ready for solids at such an early age.
Most parents will have to wait until their baby is over 6 months old if they want to introduce SpoonfulOne. This is likely already too late to help prevent food allergies, as Lead Investigator of the landmark LEAP study Dr. Gideon Lack states.
“SpoonfulOne is a mixture of real foods that doesn't dissolve in liquid. Therefore, it may clog bottles or restrict natural flow. Instead, stir SpoonfulOne into foods like oatmeal, yogurt, mashed avocado, or soft scrambled eggs. SpoonfulOne was designed to go into a number of liquids, smoothies, cereals (like rice cereal), and other baby foods. That said, when using a bottle for optimal flow we recommend using a Y-cut nipple which is made for faster flow. However, if your baby is not using a fast flow nipple, then we'd recommend that as your child transitions into solid foods including our Mix-in into purees and first foods." - SpoonfulOne
SpoonfulOne contains additives like sugar and salt
All three SpoonfulOne products contain up to 2g of added sugar (oat crackers) per serving, used to mask flavors that babies might not enjoy. In fact, sugar is one of the two top ingredients in their oat crackers and mix-ins. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding foods with added sugar for babies under 2. And many infants are already eating foods with added sugar, which can form unhealthy habits later in life.
All three products also contain added salt, another ingredient that babies don't need.
Plus, all three products contain unknown "natural flavors," and at least one other additive (the puffs and oat crackers contain multiple other additives).
SpoonfulOne doesn't follow evidence-based dosing
Early and sustained allergen introduction is backed by landmark clinical studies (LEAP, EAT, PETIT). The new medical guidelines for introducing allergy-causing foods are based on these studies. But SpoonfulOne doesn't follow the doses used in these studies, or recommended by the guidelines.
Their powder introduces up to 93% less peanut, egg, and milk than the doses shown to be effective in the studies. So, your child likely won't eat enough of each food for introduction to be effective if you use SpoonfulOne.
(Plus, the landmark studies only covered peanut, egg, and milk, so there isn't enough known about safe and effective doses of the other 6 food groups in SpoonfulOne.)
SpoonfulOne introduces multiple allergy-causing foods all at once
SpoonfulOne also doesn't follow doctors' advice on introducing one food at a time, and on gradually introducing allergy-causing foods.
Leading pediatricians recommend introducing one new allergy-causing food at a time, and waiting 2-5 days in between introducing each new food. This way, you can tell how your baby is reacting to each new food. But SpoonfulOne introduces multiple major allergy-causing foods all at once. This violates AAP guidelines and makes it hard to figure out how baby is handling each of the new allergenic foods.
Also, the PETIT study and leading pediatricians recommend starting with a small amount of each allergy-causing food and gradually increasing to the full dose, for the safest and most effective approach. But SpoonfulOne gives its full dose right away, so it doesn't follow this gradual approach.
SpoonfulOne is quite expensive
SpoonfulOne is more than twice as expensive as Ready, Set, Food!
As of June 2020, a 6-month supply of SpoonfulOne Mix-Ins, Puffs, or Oat Crackers costs $2.12 per serving ($59.50/month for 28 packets/month).
Meanwhile, a 6-month supply of Ready, Set, Food! costs $0.97 per serving ($29/month for 30 packets/month).
Looking for an alternative to SpoonfulOne that doesn't contain added sugar, and that's fully based on landmark studies and clinical guidelines?
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.