Allergy Risk Reduction

 

Reducing Food Allergy Risk in Infants

  • Encourage all mothers to eat a healthy diet while pregnant –  they don’t need to avoid foods to prevent food allergy in their baby –  restricting foods could affect the growth of the baby – so follow Canada’s Food Guide and add the extra 2 to 3 food guide servings each day. 

  • Recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months with continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.  Breast milk and a supplement of 400 IU of Vitamin D each day will provide for the infants’ needs. 

  • Breastfeeding for 4 months or longer might help to prevent food allergies in babies who are at increased risk for them.

  • Current research has not shown that avoiding specific foods while breastfeeding prevents allergic conditions in babies.

  • Wait until 6 months of age before starting solid foods.

  •  Iron fortified infant cereals and pureed meats, eggs, legumes and tofu should be introduced first as good sources of iron.

  • Current research shows delaying eggs, fish, and foods that contain peanuts for longer than 6 months does not prevent food allergies in infants. Introduce these foods after 6 months if desired.

  • Continue to add new foods one at a time and wait at least one day before adding another new food in order to watch for any reactions.

  • By one year babies should be eating a variety of healthy foods from the four food groups.

  • Cow’s milk may be introduced by 12 months of age.

 

For more information, see also:

  1. Food Allergy Risk Reduction in Infants and Young Children  - a discussion paper by the Family Health Nutrition Advisory Group (2010) :

http://www.osnpph.on.ca/membership/documents/loadDocument?id=48&download=1#upload/membership/document/allergydiscussionpaper-osnpph-fhnag-nov2010.pdf PDF Document

  1. Health Canada’s Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants from birth to six months (2012):

www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/infant-nourisson/recom/index-eng.php

 

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