New Guidelines on Food Allergy Prevention

Based on landmark new research on food allergy prevention, leading health organizations from around the world have issued new guidelines recommending early and sustained allergen introduction to prevent severe food allergies in babies.

With several guidelines from various health organizations, here’s a quick summary and chart with what parents need to know:

  • It’s recommended to start allergen introduction starting at 4+ months of age
  • Once isn’t enough, you have to sustain exposure and regularly feed allergens to your baby
  • While many allergens are recommended, peanut and egg are the most consistently recommended

Landmark Clinical Trials

Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP)

Key Outcomes: An 81% reduction of peanut allergy in high-risk infants who consumed the study-recommended amount of peanut protein per week for the suggested time period. Preferred peanut source was Bamba, a snack food manufactured from peanut butter and puffed maize. Smooth peanut butter was provided to infants who did not like Bamba.

Takeaways: LEAP established that sustained introduction of peanut beginning in the first 11 months was highly effective in preventing the development of peanut allergy. A follow-up study (LEAP-ON) later demonstrated that the same infants remained allergy-free through their 4th year of avoiding peanuts.

Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT)

Key Outcomes: A 67% reduction in the prevalence of overall food allergy, 100% reduction in peanut allergy, and 75% reduction in egg allergy in the early introduction group

Takeaways: Early introduction of allergenic foods starting at 3 months compared to starting after 6 months was both safe and demonstrated a significant reduction in food allergy prevalence, suggesting that there are more benefits to introducing allergens earlier rather than later and as early as 3 months. One of the key findings from the study established that early allergen introduction did not negatively impact breastfeeding practices. However, study participants could only achieve 50% compliance with protocol, indicating that early and sustained introduction was difficult to achieve at such a young age.

Prevention of Egg Allergy with Tiny Amount Intake (PETIT)

Key Outcomes: A 79% reduction in egg allergy prevalence among infants with eczema who consumed the study-recommended amount of cooked egg protein per week

Takeaways: Stepwise introduction of egg safely and effectively prevents the development of egg allergies in children.

Delaying introduction of egg may actually
increase the incidence of food allergies.

5 Key Rules For Early Allergen Introduction To Prevent 4 out of 5 Food Allergies:

Start Early:
Studies recommend starting as early as 4-6 months, to align with a critical immune window, giving your infant the best opportunity to develop a positive response to new foods.
Introduce One Food At A Time:
Following pediatric guidelines, only introduce allergenic foods one at a time every few days, to determine how the baby is reacting to each new food. Ready, Set, Food! introduces one new food at a time, in accordance with these guidelines.
Start with a Low Dose, Then Gradually Ramp Up Dosage:
The PETIT study and leading pediatricians recommend this dosing as it maximizes safety and efficacy. Ready, Set, Food! aligns with this guidance, as it starts with a low dose and gradually increases to the full dose.
Continue Multiple Times A Week For Several Months:
Clinical trials exposed infants to allergenic foods 2-7 times a week for 3-6+ months. Families unable to maintain this frequent feeding did not see any benefit of food allergy prevention.
Keep Going, Despite Difficulties:
Many 4-6-month-olds are not ready to eat solid foods regularly and can be picky eaters. Despite these difficulties, continuing allergen introduction is crucial. For long-lasting immunity, research shows that “educating” an infant’s immune system over time is vital to creating tolerance.

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Top Resources for You

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