DYK: The 5 Ds of Food Allergy Prevention
By now, you’ve likely heard us say over and over again that leading organizations recommend introducing peanuts and other common food allergens early and often, once a baby starts solid foods.* But have you heard of the 5 “Ds” of food allergies?
The “Ds” include: Dry skin, Dogs, Diet, Dirt, and Vitamin D, which are simple ways to help build up your little one’s immune system at a young age. Early and often exposure to common allergens (what we’re all about!) falls into the “diet” D.
Various research has led to these findings and recommendations:
—Throw Fido a bone: A dog in your family’s home when your children are young could reduce the likelihood of allergies. Might be time to give in to those “puppy, please!” demands.
—Let your LO get dirty: Good dirt can be good for kids! Make mud pies, go all in at the playground and run wild.
—Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Avoid dry skin, which may increase the risk for infants to become sensitized to common allergenic foods (sensitization to food can occur through the skin). Babies with eczema are 6x more likely to develop food allergies later in life – read more about the connection between eczema and food allergies on our blog here.
—Vitamin D-lightful: Infants who are vitamin D deficient were 3x more likely to have an egg allergy and 11x more likely to have a peanut allergy, as well as more likely to have multiple rather than single food allergies. Speak with your pediatrician about safe ways to get vitamin D in your little one.
—Mix it up: Diversify diets from a young age, including early introduction and ongoing inclusion of common allergens in tiny tummies. Plus, common food allergens are some of the most nutrient-dense foods, which means benefits for growing bodies! Check out our Early Allergen Introduction Guide and Early Allergen Introduction Checklist for tasty sample meal plans and easy ways to consistently incorporate common allergens into your little one's diet.
In conclusion: more puppy snuggles, safe sun and mud pies for our little ones? Challenge accepted!
*FDA HEALTH CLAIM: For babies with an increased risk of peanut allergy (babies with severe eczema, egg allergy or both), introducing age-appropriate, peanut-containing foods as early as 4 months may reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy. Caregivers should check with the baby’s healthcare provider before feeding the baby peanut-containing foods.
Mission MightyMe products must be avoided by anyone who has a known or suspected allergy to any of the ingredients. If you have any questions about what you’re feeding your baby, consult your pediatrician.