Early Allergen Guide

Early Allergen Guide: Introducing Allergens in Your Baby's Diet

Introducing common food allergens to a baby can feel overwhelming and maybe even a little scary.

We've partnered with Mission MightyMe to bring you the facts and give you a step-by-step guide for the introduction. Because not only can there be life-long benefits to early allergen introduction, but feeding babies should be fun and stress-free!

Early Allergen Guide, at a Glance:

  • Did you know that most peanut allergies are preventable?
    • Groundbreaking research has shown us that most peanut allergies are preventable if peanut foods are introduced in the first year of life and eaten regularly.
    • Dr. Gideon Lack, Global food Allergy prevention expert and Co-Founder at Mission MightyMe, led the LEAP Study. You can read more about this study and its findings here.
  • How do you know if your baby is ready for solids?
    • This can depend on their development, but most babies are ready for solids between 4-6 months of age.
    • Here are some signs we look for to begin:
      • Baby is able to control their head and neck.
      • Baby can sit up with or without support.
      • Baby is showing interest in food and reaching for it.
      • Baby is bringing objects to their mouth.
      • Baby is losing the "tongue thrust reflex" that pushes food out of the mouth.
  • How can you be sure baby is ready for Early Allergen Introduction?
    • The majority of babies can begin peanut foods and other common allergens as soon as they've begun other solid foods.
    • Please note: If your baby is high-risk (severe eczema and/or egg allergy), the AAP recommends evaluation by a doctor, and possible allergy testing, first.
  • What are the signs of an allergic reaction, and how can you respond?
    • Allergic reactions are a common concern. However, they are rare. Here we briefly discuss the mild to moderate symptoms as well as severe symptoms and how to respond.
      • Mild to Moderate Symptoms: This may include itching, sneezing, hives, rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or even stomach pain.
        • If two or more body systems are present (e.g., vomiting/stomach & hives/skin), it is considered high risk.
      • Severe Symptoms: This may include trouble swallowing or breathing, loss of consciousness, and a weak pulse.
        • 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.
  • What are some do's and don'ts for early allergen introduction?
    • DO: Start with other solids first!
      • We recommend introducing commonly allergenic foods after your little one has successfully eaten other solid foods like cereals, veggies, or meat purees!
    • DON'T: Introduce multiple allergens at one time.
      • This way, if there is any sign of a reaction, you will know which food caused it.
    • DO: Start Small!
      • Begin with a small amount of the allergen and monitor your baby.
    • DON'T: Use whole nuts or nut butter.
      • These are common choking risks to babies and toddlers. Prep soft foods that are easily dissolved with saliva.
    • DO: Download the Early Allergen Introduction guide for more Do's and Don'ts to Early Introduction.
  • What is a baby-friendly way to introduce a top allergen?
    • In the guide, Mission MightyMe shares baby-friendly ways to introduce the 9 most common allergens, including; peanut, egg, tree nut, dairy, soy, sesame, wheat, & fish/shellfish.
    • How can peanuts be introduced to a baby?
      • Mission MightyMe has created the "Proactive Peanut Puff."
        • This peanut puff is made from smooth peanut butter diluted with warm water and cooled.
  • How can you diversify a baby's diet?
    • Once you have introduced each allergen separately, you can begin integrating them into your weekly meal planning. This way baby gets all the benefits of early allergen introduction and a diverse diet!
  • What's Next?
    • HAVE FUN!
    • Here's a note from Laura Hunter, LPN, and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN, Co-Founders here at Moms on Call.
      • "The important thing to remember when starting solids is to HAVE FUN! We want a low-stress environment for both your baby AND you! Introduce your baby to a wonderful variety of tastes and textures by adding a new baby food about every 3 days. Look out; they make faces, and they spit! Don't get discouraged. They will get it. Let the messy taste testing begin!”

Download the Early Allergen Introduction Food Guide Here!

You've got this!

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