Preventing Food Allergies: A Revolutionary Approach
A Revolutionary Approach to Preventing Food Allergies in Children
By Robin Nixon Pompa, Author of “Allergy-Free Kids: The Science-Based Approach to Preventing Food Allergies”
When my daughter Clara gained a brother, six days after her 2nd birthday, she was still living with egg allergy and life-threatening nut allergies. I knew her condition made my son more susceptible to food allergies of his own, so I made him an appointment within his first few months with my daughter’s pediatric allergist, the acclaimed medical researcher Dr. Gideon Lack.
Dr. Lack briefly examined Grady, confirming he was a normal healthy infant, ready to start exploring food beyond breastmilk. He then started scribbling urgently on his pad a list of all the major food allergens: egg, wheat, dairy, fish, sesame seeds, peanuts and other nuts. The list included the nuts that had the potential to land my daughter in an emergency room.
“Everything listed here”, he said, handing the slip over to me, “needs to be introduced to Grady immediately and then given regularly, at least twice a week, starting now”.
I balked. I was doing everything in my power to keep my daughter’s world free of these nuts and now her doctor was asking me to bring them into our home. Had he forgotten about Clara?
When I expressed my reservations, Dr. Lack nodded but stressed it had to be done. It was the only way to protect Grady from developing his own food allergies.
But, but... had he never seen siblings eat and play together? I was lucky to keep baby food purées off the couch, let alone off one another.
I tried to do most of the nut purée prep for Grady while Clara was asleep, washing the food processor twice after each use and making sure every cloth used to wipe a potentially-nut-containing surface went directly into the washing machine. I’d then feed puréed nut-laden meals to Grady during the few hours a week that Clara was in nursery school. He’d inevitably get it into his hair, clothes, on me, or all three. And so, after scouring the high chair, one or both of us would need to be changed and often bathed as well. And then I’d watch him carefully for the rest of the afternoon, whisking him away from Clara if he spat up at all, which he frequently did. It was a scary and exhausting time.
Today, Clara and Grady have two little brothers who have also benefited from Dr. Lack’s advice to feed them allergens early and often. As a result, all my sons, despite being high risk, are now allergy free.
My youngest one, at just a few months old, has been born into a world where food allergy prevention is immeasurably easier than it was when his older siblings were born. Specialized food products are now coming out that can be cleanly, easily, and regularly offered to babies and toddlers to help prevent food allergy development.
In addition to using the recipes I developed for food allergy prevention that my children still devour on a biweekly basis (which I share in Allergy-Free Kids), I plan to make our lives simpler by regularly supplementing with these new products.
Harnessing recent scientific advances in our understanding of food allergy development, products such as Mission MightyMe will make it deliciously easy for most of us parents to keep our children allergy-free.