New AAP Guidelines: Infant Food Allergy Prevention | Ready, Set, Food!
Item
Quantity
Price
  • The AAP’s New Guidelines for Infant Food Allergy Prevention: What Families Need to Know

    By: Jessica Huhn

The AAP’s New Guidelines for Infant Food Allergy Prevention: What Families Need to Know

By: Jessica Huhn

The AAP’s New Guidelines for Infant Food Allergy Prevention: What Families Need to Know

By: Jessica Huhn

Learn more about how the new food allergy prevention guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help you reduce your baby’s food allergy risk.


On March 18, 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines for preventing childhood food allergies and other allergic conditions, such as eczema. These guidelines are based on a review of all current evidence from clinical studies, including the recent landmark LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) and EAT (Enquiring About Tolerance) studies on food allergy prevention. Most notably, the new guidelines recommend introducing your baby to allergenic foods as early as 4 to 6 months of age, to help reduce their risk of developing food allergies.


“After a thorough review of the latest research on allergy prevention, the AAP issued updated guidance that reinforces that there is no reason for parents to delay allergen introduction, explains Board-certified Allergist Katie Marks-Cogan, M.D. “In fact, parents should introduce allergens as early as 4-6 months according to the AAP and recent landmark studies. In addition, the AAP simplifies the advice for prevention by recommending early allergen introduction as the first line of defense against food allergies, even for breastfed or hydrolyzed formula-fed infants.”  


Here are the key points that your family should take away from the guidelines, to help give your baby the best defense against food allergies:


What Families Need To Know
    1. Early Allergen Introduction Starting At 4-6 Months

    According to the AAP guidelines, introducing your baby to allergenic foods as early as 4-6 months of age may help prevent them from developing food allergies. The AAP guidelines mainly focus on findings from the LEAP study:


      • In the LEAP study, over 600 infants at high risk for peanut allergy were randomly assigned to either consume peanut protein regularly as early as 4 months of age, or avoid peanut protein until 5 years of age.

      • The study showed an 80% reduction in peanut allergy in the group of children who consumed peanut protein early and often.

      Thus, there is strong evidence that introducing allergens like peanut to babies at high risk for peanut allergy, starting as early as 4-6 months, may help reduce the risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%.


      1. Infants At High Risk For Food Allergies


      The AAP defined the following groups as high risk for developing peanut allergies (in accordance with the guidelines developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)), specifically infants with:


        • At least one close relative who has an allergic condition
        • Severe eczema
        • Egg allergy

      Infants at high risk for peanut allergy should be introduced to peanut starting between 4 and 6 months of age. Parents of infants with severe eczema should consult their pediatrician before introducing peanuts or other allergens, to determine if allergy testing is required.


      Infants at low to moderate risk for peanut allergy (no close family allergy history and mild, moderate, or no eczema) should consume peanut within their first year of life.



      1. Breastfeeding

      The latest guidance from the AAP reinforces that there is no conclusive evidence to prove that breastfeeding alone can help prevent food allergies.

      Also, there is no evidence that excluding foods from a pregnant or breastfeeding mother’s diet can protect her baby from developing a food allergy. Therefore, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not restrict their diet in an attempt to prevent their babies from developing food allergies.

      The AAP recommends early and sustained allergen introduction, regardless of a mother’s diet while pregnant and/or breastfeeding.


      1. Eczema

      Babies exclusively breastfed for at least 3-4 months may be less likely to develop eczema in their first two years of life.

        • Eczema is the strongest risk factor for developing a childhood food allergy. Up to 67% of infants with severe eczema, and 25% of infants with mild eczema, will develop a food allergy.
        • Families should still supplement breastfeeding with early, sustained allergen introduction, since breastfeeding alone is not enough to prevent food allergies.

      1. Hydrolyzed Infant Formula

      There is not enough conclusive evidence to prove that hydrolyzed formula may help prevent food allergies or eczema. So, babies who consume hydrolyzed formula also need to consume allergenic foods early and often.

      What is hydrolyzed formula? Extensively hydrolyzed formula is designed for babies with a milk allergy or intolerance. The milk protein is broken down into small enough pieces that baby’s immune system will not recognize and react to it.



      Key Takeaways From The Guidelines


      1. The AAP guidelines recommend early, “purposeful” introduction of allergens to help reduce your baby’s food allergy risk.
      2. Introduce foods like peanut, egg, and milk when baby is 4-11 months old, regardless of baby’s risk for food allergies.
      3. Families with infants at high risk for peanut allergies (due to family allergy history and/or severe eczema) should introduce peanuts into their baby’s diet at 4-6 months.
      4. Breastfeeding alone is not enough to prevent food allergies, although it may help prevent eczema.
      5. Feeding your baby hydrolyzed formula will not reduce your baby’s food allergy risk.

      How To Follow the New Guidelines on Prevention


      Although the AAP recommends introducing allergens as early as 4-6 months, many babies are not developmentally ready for solid foods at this age. Also, many mothers choose to breastfeed exclusively until their baby is at least 6 months of age (in accordance with AAP breastfeeding recommendations).  


      But you don’t have to wait until your baby is ready for solids to introduce allergenic foods. Ready, Set, Food! easily mixes with breastmilk or formula, and introduces peanut, egg, and milk to your infant in pre-measured doses, based directly on the amounts used in the recent landmark studies, including the LEAP study. So, our evidence-based system makes it easy to follow the AAP's allergen introduction recommendations even if your baby is not ready for solid foods.


      Ready, Set, Food! can help you follow the new guidelines on infant food allergy prevention and reduce your baby's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%. Join us in our mission to give families everywhere a lifetime free of food allergies!


        

        

       


      ----------------------------------

      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.

      Related articles: