Once Is Not Enough: The Importance of Sustaining Allergen Exposure for Preventing Childhood Food Allergies

Learn why sustaining introduction to allergens for several months is so important for reducing your baby's risk of developing food allergies.

It’s a common misconception that introducing allergenic foods to your infant once or a few times will effectively reduce their risk of developing food allergies. Unfortunately, like anything parenting-related, it’s not that easy. Feeding your baby allergenic foods only once or twice has not been shown to reduce the risk of developing a food allergy sometime in the future. In fact, the landmark LEAP study had regular feeding up to 5 years of age!

The Importance Of Sustaining Exposure

“Recent studies show us that oral tolerance requires repeated exposure. In fact, there is no evidence that introducing allergenic foods only once is effective,” explains Katie Marks-Cogan, M.D., a Board Certified Allergist and Chief Allergist at Ready. Set. Food!

“There is no evidence that introducing allergenic foods only once is effective.”

What Parents Need To Know:

In order to help reduce your child’s risk of developing a food allergy, according to the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI) Guidelines, parents must follow early and sustained allergen exposure by:

  • Introducing allergenic foods as early as 4-6 months
  • Sustaining exposure until it's part of your baby's regular diet
  • Remember: early introduction alone does not prevent food allergies
  • Early and often: provides the best protection against food allergies

Introduce Allergens Safely and Easily with Ready. Set. Food!

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.