Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, hosted a free educational webinar, “Can Parents Prevent Their Babies From Developing Food Allergies,” on January 13, 2015. It featured pediatric allergist Todd Green, MD, FAAAI.
Dr. Green covered issues such as:
The video presentation is below, as well as related resources.
This particular point has been the center of debate for many years. At the heart of the discussion is the desire for parents to decrease the chance that their child will develop food allergies. Older advice suggested avoiding highly allergenic foods during pregnancy and when breastfeeding as a strategy to decrease the risk of food allergies. Unfortunately, this strategy has not been proven effective at reducing food allergies.
“The best advice at this time is to eat a balanced, healthy diet that provides all the nutrition necessary for a pregnant mother and a growing infant,” said David W. Hauswirth, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The authors of the guidelines looked at the available research on this topic and concluded that the best studies and information supported an unrestricted diet. Proper nutrition is of the utmost importance here.
Dr. Hauswirth noted that the follow-up to this is the recommendation that (unless there is a medical reason not to) mothers breastfeed their children exclusively for the first four to six months. In this section of the guidelines, the authors focus on the evidence and infant nutrition.
Read more about the NIAID Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy
In 2015, the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study found that giving peanut-containing foods early to infants may prevent peanut allergy. According to the study, a group of at-risk infants who ate 2 grams of peanut three times a week had significantly less allergy to peanuts at 5 years of age compared with infants who avoided peanut. Other studies had similar results.
A panel of doctors, scientists and public health experts created new guidelines on how to introduce peanut to infants. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released new guidelines in January 2017.
Download our handout Preventing Peanut Allergy: Introduce Peanut Foods Early to Your Baby.
Connect with other parents learning to cope and grow with the same issues as your family:
Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Discuss topics such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, formula-feeding, introducing foods and more.;
Food & Cooking Support
Need food or recipe ideas? Looking for new allergy-friendly foods? This is the place for you.
KFA member Elijah celebrating his first birthday
Medical review January 2015.