Until nearly two decades ago, the food pattern for children was quite different from now. In 2000, parents were told to save cow’s milk until their child was one, egg until their child was two, and nuts and fish until the age of three. However, today, the advice is quite different, hammered home by new guidelines.
According to US experts, babies should be fed with peanuts, fish, and egg as early as four months. The new relaxed guidelines, published are the result of a 20-year change of heart among American pediatricians when it comes to allergenic ingredients.
After nearly two decades, the experts say the earlier the better: more and more research suggests that earlier exposure could be just the thing to drive down the number of kids who react to foods.
In 2001, 5.3 percent of US adults had a diagnosed food allergy. That percentage has increased to 6.5 percent in 2010, and again to 10.8 percent in 2016.
Most of those (90 percent) are triggered by eight food groups: cow milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
But there are another 170, more or less, reported to cause allergic reactions – and that list is growing.
‘It’s clear that sometimes nutrition can play a key role in preventing or minimizing allergies that can be concerning – or even deadly – for some children.’
Co-author Dr. Scott Sicherer, MD, added: ‘There is no reason to delay giving your baby foods that are thought of as allergens like peanut products, eggs or fish.
‘These foods can be added to the diet early, just like foods that are not common allergens, like rice, fruits or vegetables.’