With a vast potential for benefit, studies show this benefit is likely and of no risk at all, and the analysis overwhelmingly favors a universal recommendation for the early introduction of the Big Eight allergenic foods to infants. It should come as no surprise, then, that despite the measured AAP recommendation, numerous experts and institutions advocate this very approach. Here's what 8 have to say.
There’s now compelling evidence for an early introduction of the Big Eight allergenic foods to infants. Despite a measured AAP recommendation, numerous experts and institutions advocate this “start early” approach.
“My clinical approach has long favored early peanut introduction. For low-risk infants, I encourage homebased introduction of peanut (not as whole nuts).” -George Du Toit, MD, lead LEAP investigator. NEJM online forum; February 25, 2015.
“[S]tudies have very consistently shown that early introduction is the way to go. [N]ow we say, ‘Give foods early.’” -Jonathan Spergel, MD, PhD, chief of the Allergy Section at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In: “Delay food introduction to prevent food allergy? It doesn’t work.” Medscape editorial; May 2015.
“Early introduction in this group [low-risk], though not emphasized in the guidelines, should contribute to lower overall rate of peanut allergy.” -James R. Baker Jr., MD, FARE CEO. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) webinar; January 2017.
“Infants without eczema or any other food allergy aren’t likely to develop an allergy to peanuts. To be on the safe side, it’s still a good idea for them to start eating peanuts from an early age.” -Francis Collins, MD, director, National Institutes of Health. In: “Peanut allergy: early exposure is key to prevention.” NIH Director’s Blog; January 10, 2017.
“Have infants eat allergenic foods early and have them eat these foods often.” -David M. Fleischer, MD, co-author of the Addendum Guidelines. In: “Guidelines for life after LEAP.” Contemporary Pediatrics; April 3, 2017.
“We should uniformly recommend that allergenic solids not be delayed and should be introduced in the first year of life.” -Katie Allen, MD. In: “Results from the LEAP study should be applied to food other than [just] peanut.” Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology meeting; San Francisco, California; November 2016.
“If a family asks how to prevent allergy in their children, our current advice is to introduce the allergenic foods at 4 to 6 months of age.” -Journal of the Canadian Medical Association. In: Abrams A, Becker AB. Food introduction and allergy prevention in infants; November 17, 2015.
“All infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg, dairy, and wheat products in the first year of life. This includes infants at high risk of allergy.” -Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. “ASCIA guidelines: Infant feeding and allergy prevention,” based on current published evidence and the consensus of participants.