Starting early allergen introduction with your little one
So, you’ve determined your baby is ready to start solids. Yay! Next up: navigating early allergen introduction.
The majority of babies can start peanut foods and other common food allergens as soon as they’ve started other solid foods. If your baby is high-risk (severe eczema and/or egg allergy), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends evaluation by a doctor, and possible allergy testing, first. Regardless of risk level, you can always talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions about whether your baby is ready for early allergen introduction!
The LEAP Study, led by Mission MightyMe co-founder and global food allergy prevention expert Dr. Gideon Lack, showed that most peanut allergies are preventable if peanut foods are introduced in the first year of life and eaten regularly until age 5.*
It depends on each baby’s development, but our peanut puffs and nut butter 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.
*Important: Never feed your baby a food they are already allergic to, except under the supervision of a physician.
Be prepared: Know the signs of an allergic reaction
Got the green light from your pediatrician to introduce allergens? You go, mama! We know it can also be stressful and scary at times – which is why we’re here to help you feel more prepared.
Allergic reactions are a common concern. However, they are rare, and the first year of life is the safest time to introduce potential allergens, as reactions are milder in infants.† It’s important to know the signs of an allergic reaction, and what to do if one occurs. Let’s learn more about the signs.
Mild to Moderate Symptoms
Mild to moderate symptoms may include itching, sneezing, hives, rashes, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain.
If two or more body systems are affected, however (e.g., vomiting/stomach and hives/skin), it is considered severe.
Severe symptoms may include trouble swallowing or breathing, loss of consciousness and a weak pulse among others.
Severe symptoms can be a sign of life-threatening anaphylaxis and require immediate treatment with epinephrine.
In the case of severe symptoms, administer an EpiPen if available and go to the nearest Emergency Room.
If your child has an allergic reaction to any food, stop feeding the food and consult a physician.
Note that redness around the mouth is often caused by skin irritation, but is sometimes mistaken for a food allergy.
If you suspect your child has a food allergy, it’s important to avoid that food, but seek evaluation by an allergist to be sure. Unnecessarily avoiding certain foods may increase the risk of a food allergy developing.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is another great resource for educational information about food allergies.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts of introducing allergens at home. By incorporating into little diets early, you’re setting your kiddo up for a mighty future!
Ready to introduce and include nuts in your little one’s diet? Check out the full Early Allergen Introduction Guide here.
*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.
†2018 Study by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago