New food allergy prevention | On Health

Allergenic foods should be introduced into a healthy infant’s diet before 1 year.

  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 4:08pm
  • Opinion
Dr. Danette Glassy

Dr. Danette Glassy

By Dr. Danette Glassy

Mercer Island Pediatrics

Over the last couple decades there has been a dramatic rise in the number of children with food allergies, including deadly anaphylaxis. In an effort to prevent the development of these allergies, the common recommendation was to delay introduction of the most allergenic foods until a child was much older, even up to 3 years old. But the more we all avoided giving these foods to babies and young children, the higher the rate of food allergies.

As early as 2008 research suggested that this approach did not prevent food allergies and maybe even contributed to the development of food allergies. Continued research and analysis confirmed this information.

Since 2013, the new recommendation is that allergenic foods such as peanuts and other nuts, dairy, soy, eggs and fish should be introduced into a healthy infant’s diet before 1 year of age. A more recent study found a 60 percent reduction in food allergies when these foods were introduced by 10 months of age and were given three or more times per week. This applies to healthy, normal babies. An infant who already is showing signs of atopy (allergy-like illnesses) like eczema or asthma may need a different plan. And of course, infants should not be given complimentary foods that need to be chewed. Complimentary foods always need to be soft, small and easily break apart, melt or be smooth to prevent choking.

A great recap of this and more is available at Starting Solid Foods at www.healthychildren.org.

It’s always wise to be cautious, but to have a toddler happily singing the Wiggles’ song “Peanut Butter,” carefully add these allergy foods early.

Dr. Danette Glassy, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician at Mercer Island Pediatrics, providing a medical home for her patients for over 20 years. She is also an active child advocate working to improve the health and well-being of children and their families across the country. In this column she shares information of interest to families and caregivers as their child’s primary advocate. Information is her own view and not medical advice.

More in Opinion

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 17

Prop. 1; cartoonist; free speech; school shootings

OPINION: A tribute to a neighbor I never knew

Local columnist reflects on recent news of Paul Allen’s death

When we ban books | Windows and Mirrors

What message does it send when certain stories are censored?

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 3, 2018

Opioid support; breast cancer; aggressive driving

The default in our own stories | Editorial

Senior editor Samantha Pak reflects on what representation in media means to her.

No excuse for fake news rhetoric | Editorial

Journalists are being tossed into the anti-media waters being chummed by the president and others.

Vote no on levy lid lift | Letter

Until our city government demonstrates fiscal responsibility and accountability, please vote “no.”

Betsy Zuber
How seniors can avoid being scammed | Guest Column

Hang up immediately, get caller ID, or get more information.

Cindy Goodwin
How should I cope with my child’s sudden bedtime anxiety? | YFS Advice

At the end of the day someone is sleeping on the floor and obviously this isn’t sustainable.

Mercer Island should stop squeezing more out of taxpayers | Letter

We shouldn’t be comparing our city to other cities that are more profligate than us.