Now that randomized controlled trials have proven that when babies at high risk of food allergy are given peanut-containing foods early (beginning at around six months of age) they’re up to 80 percent less likely to become allergic to peanut, a number of companies are trying to capitalize on that discovery (and, perhaps, parents’ fears), by producing and marketing products based on this concept.
Sounds straightforward enough, right? As it turns out, however, that’s not the case. For instance, the website copy for some of these commercial offerings implies that these findings can be generalized to other common allergenic foods, while some experts argue we don’t yet have enough evidence to determine whether that’s true. And that’s just the start.
So what else do you need to know before you decide to whether to purchase one of these products? To find out, read my latest Today’s Parent story: Can Feeding Your Baby These Products Actually Prevent Food Allergy?
I owe a debt of thanks to the two sources who so kindly shared their time and expertise:
- Dr. Elissa Abrams, an assistant professor in the section of allergy and immunology in the department of paediatrics at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
- Dr. Edmond Chan, head of the division of allergy and immunology at Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital.