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Food Allergy

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Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Introducing Solid Foods to Your Baby

Healthcare experts still do not have enough conclusive evidence to tell pregnant women, nursing mothers, and mothers of infants how to prevent food allergy developing in their children. Be sure to talk with your healthcare professional before changing your diet or your baby’s diet.

Here is what healthcare experts know now about

Pregnancy

  • When you are pregnant, you should eat a balanced diet.
  • If you are allergic to a food, you should avoid it.
  • If you are not allergic to foods―such as egg, tree nuts, peanut, fish, or cow’s milk (all highly allergenic), you should not avoid them because there is no conclusive evidence that avoiding these foods will prevent food allergy developing in your infant.

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Breastfeeding

  • Healthcare experts recommend that mothers feed their babies only breast milk for the first four months of life because of the health benefits of breastfeeding.
  • Mothers who breastfeed do not need to avoid foods that are considered to be highly allergenic because there is no conclusive evidence that avoiding these foods will prevent food allergy from developing in their infants.

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Introducing Solid Foods

  • Healthcare experts in the United States currently suggest that you do not introduce solid food into your baby’s diet until four to six months of age.
  • There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that you should delay the introduction of solid foods beyond four to six months of age.
  • There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that you should delay the introduction of the most common potentially allergenic foods (milk, egg, peanut) beyond four to six months of age. Delay will not prevent your child from developing an allergy.

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Last Updated February 29, 2012

Last Reviewed November 08, 2010