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March 6, 2007

Can We Really Prevent Child Food Allergies?

MayoClinic.com published an article regarding the prevention of food allergies in children this week. My question is, can we really do anything to prevent food allergies?

Over the past 10 years, we've learned a lot about food allergies. We've seen studies that show a doubling in the in number of peanut allergies. We've seen research stopped because of people dying in the process. We've seen articles on how to avoid food allergies. Seems to me, we still don't know why food allergies happen or how to keep them from happening.

Still, there may be an advantage to following the advice given by MayoClinic...

Avoid peanuts during pregnancy and while nursing.

Give your child only breast milk for the first 6 months.

Wait until your child is 6 months old to introduce solid foods.

Introduce cow's milk after one year.

Wait to introduce eggs until age 2.

Introduce nuts and seafood at age 3.

Introduce all new foods gradually and one at a time.

Give your child cooked or homogenized foods.

We look at this list and say, "Yep, did that and did that one, too." Still, 2 out of our 4 children have severe food allergies. Hmmm. Same parents, same environment, avoided same foods, yet 2 have the allergies and 2 don't.

Until we get it all figured out, I think the best food allergy avoidance advice is this, "...each child is different — so the best approach is work with your doctor or a pediatric dietician to come up with the best dietary plan for your child."

Posted by David at March 6, 2007 9:20 PM


I agree. Plus sometimes the guilt can drive us crazy if we look back to see what we "should've" done.

Posted by: Ni at March 7, 2007 11:42 AM

David -

Interesting... the one item I don't see on the list is "Avoid genetically engineered foods". The introduction of GE foods coincides with the huge rise in food allergies, is there a connection? We are all eating them without our approval or knowledge. They have not been tested and they are not labeled.

You may not give your kid an egg until they are 2, but some vaccines are grown in GE eggs.

My dietary plan is "Avoid GE foods."!

Posted by: imissemily at March 8, 2007 8:12 AM

I just posted about this on my blog ... we often wondered if we caused the allergy by (unknowingly) eating peanut butter during pregnancy. Great news though ... a new study that seems to exonerate us on the peanut front though my wife's eczema seems to play a role.

Here is the link to the post should you be interested:


Posted by: NoPeanuts at March 22, 2007 9:51 PM