Introduction of Solids
Avoiding allergenic foods in infancy and allergy
In 2008, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommended early childhood avoidance of highly allergenic foods (milk, egg and peanut) to prevent allergy. We now know that this in fact may increase the risk of allergy. In 2015 the LEAP study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that early exposure (from 4 months) to peanut in high risk infants and then continuation through childhood reduced the risk of peanut allergy by as much as 7-fold. Similar results have been found with egg and milk. There is also no evidence to support maternal dietary restriction in pregnancy or breastfeeding to prevent atopic disease. Therefore, early introduction (4-6 months when infant is developmentally ready) of all foods including allergenic foods is now recommended. Nuts should be introduced in grounded or paste form given the choking hazard.
ASCIA GUIDELINES REGARDING EARLY INTRODUCTION OF SOLIDS
- Introduction of solid foods around 6 months (not before 4 months) and preferably whilst breastfeeding as there is some evidence this is protective against allergies.
- Introduce foods according to what the family usually eats, regardless of whether the food
is considered allergenic or not. Don’t delay introduction of dairy, soy, cooked eggs, peanuts, nuts, wheat or fish.
- In infants with eczema and/or egg allergy, regular peanut intake < 12 months of age can reduce the risk of subsequent peanut allergy.
- Introducing cooked egg into an infant’s diet before 8 months of age, where there is a family history of allergy can reduce the risk of egg allergy.
If your child is experiencing regular symptoms or side effects from allergies, it may be time to seek paediatric specialist care. Make an appointment with Dr Pinzon Charry, call 07 3177 2000 or use the booking form to make an appointment.