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

Moms on Call has partnered with Mission MightyMe to bring you helpful tips for including allergens in your baby’s diet! In this blog we’ll answer common questions when introducing allergens and view the guide at a glance.

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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Transitioning to the 4-6 Month Routine Without Starting Solids

Transitioning to the 4-6 Month Routine Without Starting Solids

As a new parent, it can be challenging to know when and how to transition your baby to a new feeding routine. You may be wondering if it’s possible to move to the 4-6 month routine without starting solids, and the answer is yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. How to transition to the 4-6 month routine without starting solids First, it’s essential to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and their ability to stay up for about 2 hours from the start of a feed until naptime. If your baby is not showing signs of hunger at the 3-hour mark and is able to handle about 2 hours of awake time, then it may be time to transition to the 4-6 month routine. This routine means increasing the time between feedings from 3 hours to 4 hours and increasing their awake time.  As you transition to the 4-6 month routine, you may need to offer a “snack feed” at the listed “solid” feeding times. This helps your baby gradually adjust to the new routine. Remember to use your 15-minute grace period on either side of the times listed during this transition. Signs to look for when transitioning to the 4-6 month routine It’s important to note that there is no set timeline for introducing solids. Instead, look for signs that your baby is ready, such as: Good head control Sitting with minimal support Showing interest in what you’re eating. These typically occur around the 4-6 month mark. If you find that your little one is in-between routines, it may be helpful to get connected with one of our Premier Moms On Call Consultants. These consultants can provide personalized guidance and support to help you navigate the in-between phases and ensure your baby’s feeding routine is appropriate for their age and developmental stage. In summary, transitioning to the 4-6 month feeding routine without introducing solids is possible! Remember to look for signs that your baby is ready for solids and seek help from a professional if needed. With the right support, you can ensure your baby is getting the nutrition they need while establishing a healthy feeding routine that works for the whole family. Finally, when you do decide that you are ready to introduce solids, be sure to download our Baby Food Introduction Calendar. It will remove the guesswork and walk you through solid food introduction day-by-day.
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Favorite Feeding Products for Introducing Solids

Favorite Feeding Products for Introducing Solids

Between 4 and 6 months of age, your little one will be ready to start expanding their palates with solid foods. The thing that I love most about the process of introducing solids is seeing their little personalities shine! Will they go crazy for sweet potatoes? Give green beans a hard no? Kick their feet and clap their hands when they see an avocado? Learning their likes and dislikes, and their reactions to them, is so much fun!  You’ll be amazed at how quickly they move from being fed purees to feeding themselves finger foods! Beyond food, you don’t need much to foster this progression but there are a handful of things that I’ve used over and over again during the journey from purees to table food. Favorite Feeding Products for Introducing Solids These are listed in the order that you’ll use them. Long handled silicone spoons – You’ll want a few of these. They love having a spoon to hold themselves while you’re feeding them too!Suction bowls – These stay put even through the toughest attempts to throw them on the floor.Waterproof bibs – I like the smock style better than silicone as I have found that silicone can irritate the skin on their necks, but find what works best for you! This version with sleeves is great too.If you will be making baby food: Food processor or immersion blender (Making food is much easier than you may think! Check out the easy recipes in our Solid Food Progression Extras and this tutorial for baby food ice cubes)If you’ll be buying some or all of your food: Yumi is organic, clean and delivered to your door. (Use code MOMSONCALL for up to $50 off your first order.)Silicone food storage bags that you can also use to steam veggiesSeat that reclines slightly for while they are still working on head control (I liked using a bouncer and floor seat)Sippy cups – Try several different kinds to find what works for you!High chair – There are so many options! I like the ones that clip on to the counter or standalone ones with minimal design and removable trays.Silicone suction placemat for the counter if you’re using a clip-on high chair and/or for eating outSoft tips for food pouches that prevents them from squeezing everything outSnack cupsKitchen shears for cutting foods into bite-sized pieces (so much easier than using a knife!)Utensils to help them start learning Suction plateOpen mouth cups (with lids and without)Bento-box style lunch boxesPlastic cups with lids and straws (great for playdates with several toddlers!) I used all of these products in conjunction with Moms on Call’s Baby Food Introduction Calender that gave me a day-by-day plan for what foods to try, when and how much. I also found these posts to be helpful: Introducing Solids, Including Peanuts and Other Potential Allergens with Mission Mighty Me, Solid Foods Can Be Fun, Fun Finger Mushable Foods Finally, don’t stress about amounts! I spent too much time trying to force food on my oldest kid. I learned my lesson when I filled him up on sweet potatoes and they promptly came right back up and all over me…right before I had to leave for a wedding.  Introducing solids was so much less stressful and more fun with my second two kids when I let go, followed their cues and didn’t worry about whether they had one bite or ten!
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