Proactive Puff Q&A MightyMe Co-founder Catherine Mitchell Jaxon
Q: Hey Catherine! Can you tell us about the Proactive Nut Butter Puffs?
A: Mission MightyMe Nut Butter Puffs are the first and only baby-friendly puff to contain peanuts and multiple tree nuts, making it simple for parents to include a wide variety of nuts in little diets early and often, as pediatric guidelines now recommend.
As a food allergy family, this is the exact product we were looking for to easily include nuts in our youngest child’s diet, in hopes of helping him avoid a food allergy like his older sister has!
Q: What led you to develop Proactive Nut Butter Puffs?
A: When our oldest was a baby, we followed the old guidelines and avoided nuts and other allergens in infancy – she later developed a severe allergy to most nuts. So when our youngest child started solids, we followed the latest research , and included nuts and other common food allergens in his diet to avoid another allergy in our family. It worked, but it was a huge challenge, and we knew there had to be a simpler (and tastier!) way to follow the latest allergy prevention guidelines. So we teamed up with the very pediatric allergist who led the research, Dr. Gideon Lack, to create a solution. Working closely with Dr. Lack, we developed a puff made from 5 different nuts, to make it simple and yummy to safely include a variety of nuts in little diets, early and often.
Q: Why Puffs?
A: Nuts are a choking hazard for babies, and we wanted to make allergen inclusion stress-free and mess-free for parents. So, we turned peanuts, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds into little melt-in-mouth puffs that babies (and big kids!) love.
This is the exact product we dreamed up when our third child was born. I was reading about how Dr. Lack’s research (the LEAP Study) was changing pediatric feeding guidelines around the globe to recommend introducing allergens in infancy, rather than avoiding them; and yet, we couldn’t find a baby-friendly product that made it easy to follow those guidelines. Our baby loved puffs at the time, but I didn’t love that they were mostly rice with no nutritional value. I kept saying “someone needs to invent a nut-based puff to make this easy.” When nobody did, my husband JJ and I decided we would!
It’s been a three-year R&D process and a true labor of love. We are so thrilled with the final product. When I gave the first batch to our “baby” – who is now 6 – and watch him gobble it up, I couldn’t help but cry, just thinking about all the other families this product would help.
Q: How is this product different from traditional baby puffs?
A: In addition to providing a safe way to follow recommendations for early allergen introduction, our puffs are simply more nutritional than most. Proactive Nut Butter Puffs are more than 50% nuts, whereas the majority of baby puffs are 98% rice with just a few powder ingredients (thrown in for marketing), that actually make up less than 2% of the ingredients. Check the label on those broccoli and spinach puffs, and you’ll see that the broccoli and spinach powder are among the last ingredients – and usually less than 2% of the product. So many puffs also list cane sugar as one of the first ingredients!
We wanted to create a clean-label pantry staple that actually did something for kids, and an easy upgrade for parents who are already buying puffs as a distraction snack, but want to swap them out for a functional puff with a purpose.
Q: What’s unique about the Nut Butter Puff?
A: There’s nothing like it on the market. This is the first-ever baby friendly puff to pack 5 nuts into one puff. It’s backed by the science of the LEAP and EAT studies, and developed in accordance with Dr. Lack’s research.
Until now, the only other ways to safely get tree nuts in a baby’s diet have been either grinding all the nuts up yourself, diluting smooth tree nut butter with hot water (which is expensive and can be hard to find) or adding tree nut powder to purees.
We wanted to create a solution that was so delicious and enjoyable that it would naturally become a part of the routine, as opposed to something that felt clinical and medicinal. Powders and nut butters are also messy! We wanted to create a nut-based snack that didn’t leave residue all over sticky hands and surfaces, so we made a neat little puff that creates less mess, and less stress!
Q: When can babies try Proactive Puffs?
A: It depends on each baby’s development, but our puffs are made for babies starting solids and up. Depending on your baby’s developmental stage, they can be softened with water or breast milk, crumbled into any puree or enjoyed as an on-the-go snack. They dissolve quickly for babies and also taste delicious for big kids, so they can grow with your kiddos. The LEAP Study showed the importance of consistently consuming peanut protein until age 5 to ensure lasting protection, so we created a product babies and big kids would both enjoy.
Q: What are the ingredients of Proactive Nut Butter Puffs?
A: As always, we only use ingredients that are simple, all-natural, non-GMO and organic wherever possible. Our Proactive Nut Butter Puffs are made with Organic Rice Flour, Ground Hazelnuts, Organic Ground Cashews, Almond Flour, Organic Peanut Oil, Walnut Flour, Organic Peanut Flour, Organic Coconut Nectar, Cashew Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Ground Cinnamon, Sea Salt. We’re just as proud of what we left out of our puffs. You won’t find any cane sugar, corn, palm oil, preservatives or anything artificial!
Q: How much nut protein is in Proactive Nut Butter Puffs?
A: Our Proactive Nut Butter Puffs are carefully crafted to contain equal parts protein from peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts. Two pouches per week delivers 10 grams of nut protein or 2 grams per nut, to match the protein levels shown to be protective for the foods used in Dr. Lack’s randomized controlled trial, the EAT Study.
Q: How do I know if my baby is ready for allergen introduction?
A: The USDA says most babies can start peanut foods and other common food allergens around 6 months, after starting other solid foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends high-risk babies (with severe eczema and/or egg allergy) start peanut foods even earlier - between 4-6 months - but only after evaluation by a doctor and possible allergy testing. You can always talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions about early allergen introduction.
Importantly, if a child is already allergic to any food, that food must be avoided entirely. We know this can feel daunting, so we created a simple, easy to follow Early Allergen Introduction Guide as a resource for caregivers!
Q: What are the official health guidelines on early allergen introduction?
A: Based on the findings of the LEAP Study, the National Institutes of Health and The American Academy of Pediatrics released clinical guidelines encouraging parents to introduce baby-friendly peanut foods in infancy, depending on each child’s risk factor for allergies. Japan, Canada and Australia have also introduced similar guidelines based on the LEAP Study results. The 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recommend introducing all common food allergens once babies start solids, and keeping them in the diet regularly. Parents can read more about the guidelines in our Learning Center.
Q: What is most exciting about this product?
A: This product helps families get proactive about food allergy prevention, and that’s a big step towards ending the food allergy epidemic. Research has shown that early introduction of potential food allergens around 6 months, and regular consumption, is the most effective way to prevent food allergies. Mass adoption of this practice has the potential to dramatically decrease the burden of food allergies, however, we need consumer products on the market that make early allergen introduction easy and accessible. This product brings us a step closer to our goal of ending the food allergy epidemic, so all kids can reach their mighty potential!
Ready to introduce Peanuts and Tree Nuts to your little one, and keep them in their diets regularly? Shop Mission MightyMe Proactive Puffs with Purpose!