New guidelines that are out amid rising rates of children’s food allergies reverses what had been the previous recommendation, now advising that the most allergenic foods, such as peanuts, eggs, milk, soy and shellfish, should be introduced to babies at ages four to six months as a way to prevent food allergies. The guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology comes as new scientific data suggests that early introduction of highly allergenic foods may reduce children’s risk for developing food allergies. Back in 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised delaying milk until high-risk kids were one year old; eggs until they were two, and peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, and fish until they were three. But in 2008, the AAP said there was little evidence delaying allergenic foods prevents food allergies, however it didn’t offer any guidelines on when to introduce those foods.
- Up to six million children in the U.S. have food allergies, and the rate has increased by nearly 20 percent since 1997 for unknown reasons.
- About 90 percent of food allergies are triggered by just eight foods: milk; soy; wheat; peanuts; tree nuts; shellfish; eggs; and fish.