Preventing Food Allergies

What parents need to know/understand: 

1.  Pregnancy:  There is no evidence that eating allergenic foods (like nuts, shellfish, milk, egg, etc.) during pregnancy or breastfeeding will cause or even contribute to a baby developing a food allergy. 

2.  Formula vs. Breastmilk:  There is no evidence that a baby who is exclusively formula fed, exclusively breastfed, or fed a mixture of formula and breastmilk has a greater likelihood of developing a food allergy. 

3.  Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to food allergies, while healthy levels of vitamin D may be protective against food allergies.  

4.  Dry skin: If skin is dry/cracked there’s a chance that allergenic food particles will enter through the skin and may contribute to the development of a food allergy.  Taking care of dry skin with emollients or moisturizers may help decrease the chance of allergenic proteins entering via the skin and thus may be protective against developing a food allergy. 

5.  Dirt/Dog:  Researchers guess that early exposure to particular microorganisms (like germs, bacteria, etc.) may offer protection against the development of allergic diseases like food allergies.  Dog ownership has been linked to a lower risk of asthma and eczema and may be due to dogs bringing microorganisms from outside the home to inside the home.  

6.  Diet: The conclusions of the landmark LEAP Study show that food allergies can be prevented in babies up to 80% of the time if the allergenic food is introduced early and often. Early means around 4-6 months old; often means 2 grams protein 2-3 times per week. 

What's an easy way to introduce peanut, milk, and egg into your baby's diet according to the LEAP guidelines? (as seen on ABC's Shark Tank)

If your baby or someone else in the family already has a food allergy, where can you learn more about food allergy treatment?  (as seen on NPR and the Daily Mail)

All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician or allergist in connection with any questions regarding your baby's health. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant's healthcare provider before feeding foods containing allergens.