The way we feed babies has changed dramatically over the past twenty years or so. While not a new approach to the introduction of solid foods, “baby-led weaning” (BLW) has become more mainstream and understood as a beneficial and viable option with evidence-based short- and long-term benefits. Scientific evidence supporting the early introduction of top allergenic foods during infancy for the prevention of food allergies has also grown. In fact, the new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend offering top allergens (egg, peanut, tree nut, cow’s milk, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat) early and often starting at about 6 months of age when babies are showing signs of readiness for complementary foods (in conversation with the pediatrician if babies are at high risk for food allergies).[vii] The good news is that BLW is incredibly compatible with the early introduction of top allergens and can ease the process of offering these foods during infancy.
It’s an exciting time in the world of nutrition! USDA has released the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, our national nutrition guidance document that comes out just once every five years.
Food allergies have become a public health concern, with up to 10.8% of adults and 6-8% of children believed to be food allergic. Health professionals—from family doctors and physician assistants to nurse practitioners and registered dietitians—have an important role to play in reducing the risk of developing food allergies in the next generation.
Food allergies occur in approximately 8% of kids, with peanut allergies reported in 2.2% of US children. Because peanut allergy is outgrown less frequently than other allergies like milk and egg, it has become an increasing public health concern, as well as a source of anxiety and common topic of conversation amongst parents. Surely you may already have felt the “peanut panic” amongst some of your fellow parents, in the media, and even within your own families.
Mission MightyMe co-founders J.J. and Catherine Jaxon are on a mission to help raise up a generation of kids that are free from the burden of food allergies. And they’re doing it with the launch of a peanut puff that makes it easy and “normal” to feed peanuts and other allergenic foods to infants.
Some people may say that peanuts are the “poster child” for food allergies. While less than 1% of Americans (including less than 2% of children) have a peanut allergy, the average American thinks 24% of people do. When you search the phrase “food allergies” online, peanuts are the focus of the majority of results. In the media and in discussions of food allergies in public places like restaurants, schools and airplanes, peanuts are commonly the focus. But is being the poster child always a negative?
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