Food Allergies Can Be Preventable

Food Allergies Can Be Preventable

Renske Gosselink

Today in America, 85% of babies will develop food allergies. That’s more than people with blue eyes! Allergies can be to milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, or a whole lot of other things. How do we go back to having fun with the first tastes of food? Here are steps you can take to help reduce the chance of food allergies.

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Talk to Your Doctor

One of the biggest risk factors for food allergies is family history. If this is you, start the discussion with your pediatrician early. Studies show that for high risk babies, introducing foods closer to 4 months may be better than waiting until 6 months. Your doctor can look for early signs, and guide you in the what and when of introducing foods. 

Use Emollients, Watch for Eczema

Eczema is a chronic skin condition of dry, red, itchy patches of skin. Eczema usually shows up when baby is between 3 and 6 months old as redness on cheeks, inside elbows, and behind knees. Babies with eczema have a much higher risk of food allergies. If you see signs of eczema on your baby, speak to your pediatrician. Studies show you may even be able to prevent eczema by using emollients with your baby’s bath and massage routine. 

Feed Baby Peanuts Tree Nuts and Eggs Early and Often

Food allergies are scary but there are steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk and make feeding baby fun again.

There is a growing body of literature that shows food allergies may be prevented by introducing those same foods starting between 4 and 6 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests giving peanuts the same time baby is starting solid foods. The LEAP study showed a greater than 80% reduction in peanut allergies in high risk infants, and the EAT study has shown protective effects of including eggs, dairy, and other foods early.


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