If you're pregnant or breastfeeding and worried that what you eat could predispose your baby to allergies, cut your guilt trip short. Your food choices -- whether you have a family history of allergies or not -- may have no effect on your child's risk of developing food allergies, asthma, or eczema, according to a recent report published in Pediatrics.
It may not even be helpful to put off offering him certain allergenic foods (like eggs) after introducing other foods at 4 to 6 months. "There may be another study around the corner that suggests otherwise, but the research right now doesn't strongly support delaying these foods," says Scott Sicherer, M.D., coauthor of the report and author of Understanding and Managing Your Child's Food Allergies.
What experts do know: If allergies run in your family, breastfeeding exclusively for the first four to six months may decrease your baby's risk of developing food allergies. And if your child is showing signs of a problem (hives, eczema, or vomiting), let the pediatrician know -- you may need to adjust your child's diet or your own.