New Thoughts on Allergy Safety
You've been carefully monitoring what you and your baby consume to prevent the development of allergies. But experts are now saying you can let your guard down a little. (Yay! One less thing to stress about.) Scott Sicherer, M.D., a pediatric allergist who helped write the new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on food- allergy prevention, explains the changes.
Old Thinking: Breastfeeding moms should avoid eating allergenic foods such as peanut butter and eggs.
New Thinking: There's no clear evidence that what you eat while nursing affects your child's allergy risks.
Old Thinking: Soy-milk formula can prevent allergies.
New Thinking: Soy milk has no benefit when it comes to allergy prevention (and soy protein is itself allergenic). A better choice? Hypoallergenic or hydrolyzed formulas, which, research shows, may offer some protection against allergies, though breastfeeding is still preferred.
Old Thinking: Hold off on giving all tykes allergenic foods (such as nuts, egg whites, wheat, corn, shellfish, and citrus fruits) for at least one year, and possibly three if there's a family history of food allergies.
New Thinking: The only reason to wait beyond the first six months to introduce potential allergens is if there's a family history or your baby has had a previous allergic reaction. (But still watch for choking hazards.)