When it comes to feeding babies, all parents want to get it right. This is especially true when those parents are trying to introduce foods to their babies to prevent the development of food allergies like peanut allergy. Can food allergies like nut allergies be prevented? If so, does preventing nut allergies have to be complicated?
Sometimes, food allergies can be prevented.
The LEAP and LEAP On studies, led by Dr. Gideon Lack, showed that peanut allergy can be prevented when peanut protein is incorporated into babies' diets from a young age, as early as four months. In this research, these were babies who were at high risk of developing peanut allergy. Those babies who consumed at least two grams of peanut protein per week until their fifth birthdays were significantly less likely to develop peanut allergy than high-risk babies who strictly avoided peanut.
Preventing food allergies doesn't have to be complicated.
Since 2017, the NIAID and non-government, academic medical organizations recommended peanuts be introduced to high-risk babies as early as 4 months of age. Other common allergens have also been recommended for early introduction. Kids who participate in early introduction are those who have been deemed by their physicians to be tolerant to that food (i.e. NOT allergic). The goal of incorporating peanut into these kids diets is to grow the tolerance those children already have. That said, these recommendations have not been universally adopted.
The lack of universal adoption of early introduction likely is due in part to the difficulty in feeding babies some allergens, such as peanuts and tree nuts. These are choking hazards so cannot be given in their most basic form. This leaves diluting sticky nut butters with water as one way to provides babies these foods. Given the logistics of feeding babies these foods, companies have been developing safe, fun, healthy, nutritious ways to feed babies and young children nut protein. The goal: preventing nut allergies. One of those companies is Mission MightyMe.
A company on a Mission – Mission MightyMe
Mission MightyMe is a food company that began as an idea of Catherine and J.J. Jaxon – the parents of three, the oldest of whom has food allergy. Catherine and J.J. wanted to do everything they could to prevent their two younger children from developing food allergies. They stayed up-to-date on the most recent research and immediately adopted the LEAP study findings. But they found it difficult due to the lack of products available. The main peanut-containing, baby-friendly-texture food at that time was Bamba. Catherine and J.J. wanted an organic, lower-sodium option, and they wanted to de-medicalize the process. Reminder: kids who participate in early introduction are those who have been deemed by their physicians to be tolerant – NOT allergic – to that food. To create a nutritious, age-appropriate, evidence-based food, they collaborated with Dr. Gideon Lack and FARE-founder Todd Slotkin, and Mission MightyMe was born.
Tune in to this episode to learn about preventing nut allergies, one puff at a time!
BONUS: Use discount code KIDDO20 to save 20% on your order from Mission MightyMe!
Thanks for reading this post “Preventing nut allergies, one puff at a time.” Do you have any questions about food allergies? Reach out to me! And be sure to check out my other blog posts and podcast episodes about all things food allergy. Thanks for reading!
– Dr. Hoyt
P.S. Food allergy testing can be super confusing, so I've created this awesome ebook to clarify the facts from the fiction! Get your copy today!
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A note from Dr. Hoyt
I have talked about a non-profit…
Pam and I volunteer with the non-profit The Teal Schoolhouse. Its primary program is Code Ana. Code Ana equips schools for medical emergencies like anaphylaxis.
Code Ana’s Online Epinephrine Training Program helps support that goal. Through this program, you will educate yourself while you support this important mission!
A medical emergency response plan is important for everyone at any school. Code Ana's program Med-E Ready is a comprehensive approach to school-focused medical preparedness. This program guides schools through the process of creating a medical emergency response plan. A response team is also developed! This is one of the most important components of a school's food allergy policy!
Does your kiddo’s school have Code Ana?
You've just read our post “Preventing nut allergies, one puff at a time.” Remember, Dr. Hoyt is an allergist, but she isn't your allergist, so talk with your allergist about what you've just learned!