Health

Want to prevent food allergies? A new study may have the answer

New recommendations have come out around when to feed babies peanuts and eggs to help prevent allergies from developing, even if the baby is at a higher risk of developing dangerous allergies.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) have published a report in the Medical Journal of Australia updating their previous recommendations that were published in 2016.

Want to prevent food allergies? A new study may have the answer

Feeding babies eggs and peanuts can prevent allergies, says a new report

In the new report, ASCIA recommends introducing solid foods to babies at six months, and introducing peanuts and eggs before they hit 12 months, but not before four months.

They continue by recommending that once these foods have been introduced into baby’s diet they should continue to be a regular inclusion in the diet, ideally twice weekly, to allow for the tolerance not to be lost.

Previous guidelines had recommendations that children not be fed these allergenic foods in early childhood.

According to lead author Dr Preeti Joshi, who is based out of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, there is “moderate evidence” to suggest allowing infants under 12 months of age to eat peanuts as part of their diet could actually reduce the chance of an allergy developing.

“We acknowledge that there is a cultural fear of peanut introduction,” Dr Joshi wrote.

“This does need to be balanced by a practical approach whereby infants have access to the introduction of peanut in a timely fashion.

“It is somewhat reassuring that there have been no reports of fatalities to peanut under 12 months of age anywhere in the world, even in countries that have practised early introduction of peanut, for example, Israel, for many years.”

If parents are particularly concerned about the introduction of peanuts or eggs, especially if their child has experienced severe eczema or similar, Dr Joshi recommends they discuss the option of introduction with their child’s doctor first.

Food allergies in the family? Check out our simple ingredient swaps here. 

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