Allergy experts reach agreement about infant feeding guidelines
Paediatricians have agreed that allergenic foods should be introduced as early as 4 months, ending years of conflicting advice about a timeline.
Allergists, paediatricians and lactation experts recently reached an agreement that will now be translated into new guidelines.
Here are 5 key points:
- Solid foods should be introduced from 4-6 months;
- These should include peanut butter, cooked egg, dairy and wheat products;
- The advice applies to all babies, including those at high risk of allergy;
- It's based on research showing that early exposure may reduce the risk of eczema and food allergies; and
- Women are advised against using “hypoallergenic” hydrolysed formulas to prevent allergy because there's no consistent evidence that they have a protective effect.
Last Reviewed: 25/05/2016
Reproduced with kind permission from Medical Observer.
Hydrolysed baby formula is unnecessary for prevention of allergies
There is no convincing evidence to support using hydrolysed formulas to prevent eczema, food allergy, asthma or allergic rhinitis in infants and children.
Early peanut exposure reduces peanut allergy
Early exposure to peanuts in the diet of infants at high risk of allergy has been shown to protect them from developing peanut allergy later on - and this effect continues even if they stop eating peanuts at age 5 for a year.
Can eating eggs help an egg allergy?
Researchers looked at whether the supervised, stepwise introduction of egg in infants with eczema reduced the incidence of egg allergy at one year of age.
Peanut allergy in children
Peanut allergy is the most common serious food allergy in children. About 3 in every 100 infants are allergic to peanuts, and the prevalence seems to be rising.
Treatment for peanut allergy can work when started early
The research field into peanut oral immunotherapy shows that exposure therapy treatment for peanut allergies may work better if given to children earlier.