Frequently Asked Questions | Ready, Set, Food!
What does early allergen introduction mean for my baby? What can I do to help prevent food allergies? How frequently do I need to feed these foods?
Is Ready, Set, Food! a food allergy treatment?
Ready, Set, Food! aims to prevent food allergies before they develop - it is not a treatment for existing food allergies. If your child has an allergy to peanut, egg, or milk, any products containing these (such as Ready, Set, Food!) must be strictly avoided.
Why start as early as 4 months old?
Experts now believe that the window of opportunity to expose your baby to food allergens is around 4-6 months of age, and possibly earlier. However, many infants are not ready to eat solid food until after 6 months. Ready, Set, Food! allows you to start early while your baby is still drinking breastmilk or formula.
How late is too late to start early introduction?
In the clinical trials they started as late as 11 months and still found a reduction in food allergies, so while it's better to start at an earlier age we recommend starting ASAP as long as your baby is under 1 year of age.
I’m nervous about starting allergenic foods. Why is Ready, Set, Food! a safe approach for my baby?
Our system provides the most gentle and methodical approach to exposing your baby to allergenic foods. Ready, Set, Food! introduces one food at a time, gradually, and starting with a very small amount of the allergenic protein. In fact, our starting amounts are significantly less than what families typically first feed their infants, equivalent to <1 teaspoon of yogurt, 1/8th teaspoon of peanut butter, or 1/250th of an egg.
Do I still need to introduce potential allergens if I consistently ate milk, egg, and peanut during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Currently scientists do not believe that specific maternal diets during pregnancy or breastfeeding reduce the risk of food allergies, but this area is still being studied. Therefore, according to the current guidelines, infants still need early and sustained allergen introduction to be a part of their feeding routine regardless of mom's diet.
How long do I need to keep exposing my baby to these foods?
Experts agree that allergenic foods should be given on a regular and consistent basis. Exposure should be continued for several months, based on results from the landmark medical studies. We recommend using Ready, Set, Food! for at least 6 months, or until your baby is regularly eating peanut, egg, and milk.
What does early allergen introduction mean to my baby?
Evidence has shown that there is no reason to delay the introduction of allergenic foods like peanut, egg, and cow’s milk to infants beyond 4 to 6 months of age. In fact, delaying the introduction of these foods may increase your baby’s risk of developing allergies. Therefore, early and sustained introduction of allergenic foods can help prevent food allergies.
My baby has eczema. Is Ready, Set, Food! right for him/her?
Infants with eczema have a higher risk of developing food allergies and studies have found that early allergen introduction is particularly important for this group of children. If your infant’s eczema is severe, however, current national guidelines suggest allergy testing prior to starting allergen exposure. As with any feeding decision, please discuss with your pediatrician.
What can I do to help prevent food allergies?
Landmark studies have led to updated guidelines by the top national and international pediatric and allergy societies. It is now recommended that some allergenic foods be introduced to your baby between 4 to 6 months of age and continued at a regular frequency.
Can Ready, Set, Food! be used for infants with food intolerance?
There is a difference between food allergies and food intolerance, but both can impact the way you feed your baby. If you suspect your child has a food intolerance, please consult with your pediatrician on how and when to start Ready, Set, Food!
Can Ready, Set Food! be used for older children?
We recommend starting Ready, Set, Food! before the age of one (and as early as four months) for the best results. We want to give your baby the best head-start on living allergy-free. If your infant is over the age of one, please discuss with your pediatrician.
Can my baby use this product if they have a parent or sibling with food allergy?
Yes. Ready, Set, Food! comes in sealed packets of powder that are poured directly into your baby’s bottle. This significantly reduces the chance of exposing other members of your family to the allergens. While current guidelines do not recommend routine screening of family members, please ask your doctor if you have questions prior to starting allergen introduction.
Why recommend early and sustained introduction for all children and not exclusively those at risk?
All babies are at risk for developing food allergies. While those with a family history or eczema are at a higher risk, studies show that over 50% of all food allergies occur in children with no direct family history of food allergy. As the immune system develops, parents only get one chance for creating a positive response to allergenic foods.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy?
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to a food can range from mild to severe and typically occur within minutes of ingestion. Examples include hives, swelling, skin redness, vomiting, coughing, or shortness of breath.
Could my child have a reaction to Ready, Set, Food!?
For many babies, Ready, Set, Food! will be their first exposure to food other than breast-milk or formula. We are confident our system is the most safe and methodical approach, but in rare cases reactions may occur, as with any new feeding. If your child experiences any of the symptoms above, discontinue Ready, Set, Food! and consult your pediatrician.