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How to Introduce Common Food Allergens to Kids

Thank you to SpoonfulOne for sponsoring this post.

Now that Matt and I are about to become parents, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to news and updates related to babies and kids. Being a dietitian and having a particular interest in food and nutrition, one of the hot topics I’ve been following recently in particular is allergy development, and potential ways to proactively train your child’s system with the foods responsible for most food allergies. Neither Matt nor I have any food allergies, but 2/3 of children with allergies have no parents with allergies, so clearly it’s something we should still be paying attention to.

The more research that I’ve done, the more I have discovered that avoiding a potential allergen for too long can actually increase the risk that your child will develop allergies. In fact, research shows that avoiding a potentially allergenic food like peanuts increased the risk five to one that the child would develop an allergy to that food. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Other research shows that healthy babies can (and should) start eating allergenic foods as early as 4 to 6 months. (Sources: 1, 2) In addition to being at increased risk of allergies, a child who lacks early dietary diversity also has an increased risk of asthma and atopic dermatitis. (Sources: 1, 2)

So, I knew that I wanted to introduce common foods that could potentially become allergens to our child early on, but I wasn’t sure what that approach would look like or how I would do it until I learned about SpoonfulOne.

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

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SpoonfulOne is a supplemental food powder that gently introduces your child’s immune system to micro-servings of proteins from the 16 foods that account for 90% of food allergies in children today: peanut, tree nuts, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and sesame. It basically gradually trains their immune system daily, beginning as soon as solid foods are introduced (again, generally 4 to 6 months of age). Fascinating, huh?

I wasn’t sure it was legit until I did more research on the company and its founder, Dr. Kari Nadeau. She is the director of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research and does clinical research on the interaction of genetics and environment in the development of food allergies. If anyone is qualified to develop this product, I’d say she is. In addition to being one of the nation’s foremost experts in allergies, she is also a pediatrician and mother of five.

SpoonfulOne is packaged in pre-measured single-serve daily packets that are convenient and portable, and have a neutral taste so they can easily be mixed into any food your child likes. It contains no preservatives, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes – and includes a pediatrician-recommended dose of Vitamin D for immune balance. It has been proven safe for introduction and regular long-term use at home by infants in an independent nationwide study.

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Check out their website for more details and/or to order, if you’re interested! And check out my Instagram and Facebook page today to enter to win some free product!

If you’re a parent, what has your approach been with your child in terms of introducing allergens?

If you’re a soon-to-be parent like us, what do you think your approach will be?

Comments

  1. 1

    I am sharing this next week and think it’s a great option for families particularly concerned with allergies. I am glad the world is doing lots of research on this topic and getting creative with solutions!

    • 2

      Agreed! It’s such a fascinating area of research… it was really interesting to read up on it even more for this blog post! Good timing so we are ready for when our little one starts eating… I’m definitely going to give her SpoonfulOne!

  2. 3
    Kristen Pierce says:

    As a scientist, I think it is important that you present the entire story, including the disclaimer from the Spoonful One website.
    “* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study. If your infant has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.”

    While I do believe the hygiene hypothesis and believe that children need to be exposed to antigens early (you won’t find antibacterial soap in our house), both my sister and I exposed our kids early to the most common food allergens, yet each of us has a child with an anaphylactic allergy (one of my sons has is allergic to shellfish, and one of her sons is allergic to both dairy and shellfish).

    • 4

      Thank you for sharing this Kristen! I’m sorry to hear your son and nephew both have anaphylactic allergies – I can imagine that would be really scary.

  3. 5

    I am a huge fan of SpoonfulOne!! Can’t wait for our little girls to be here (hopefully they get to meet one day and be friends too;)! Watching my dad with severe food allergies has made me so motivated to do what I can to introduce common food allergens early and often!

  4. 7
    Shannon Kiely says:

    Well I like the idea of spoonful one and when if I am ever blessed with children I will expose early to everything, but my main concern is it is all allergens at once. So if a reaction occurs you have no idea to which one.

  5. 9
    Roadrunner says:

    Really interesting, Anne, thanks! Fascinating stuff.

  6. 10

    this was a really interesting post!
    we waited to introduce allergens until closer to 9 months and 12 months +. i was so scared about it, and then when i gave liv peanut butter, we were at the park across from the hospital. i went home and told tom about it, and he was like, “oh i gave her peanut butter a few weeks ago.”

  7. 12

    i loved this post! very interested in the topic for some reason…even though it has nothing to do w/ my life whatsoever, haha, but i think its really interesting! great info.

  8. 14
    TrackBuddy says:

    My older daughter has a peanut allergy. What is VERY important to know is that pediatricians, as wonderful as they are (and ours is the best!) are NOT experts on food allergies. After my daughter’s allergy manifested we took her to the pediatrician, got a blood test, but then, unfortunately, did not get the correct advice as far as how heightened our level of concern should be. We only learned later (from a friend whose older son has severe food allergies) that we should go straight to a pediatric allergist. When we did, we received very, very different advice. This was not just a nuance here – this was a night and day different approach to having epi-pens on hand everywhere, etc.

    So – hopefully my suggestion here isn’t needed for you or any other parents reading this – but if it is, feel free to learn from my experience vs. the hard way (as we did) that if any allergies manifest, do NOT go to the pediatrician under the assumption that they are experts on allergies. Go straight to the allergist and make sure you are getting your child the most accurate care in this particular medical area.

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