As a pregnant mama, you’ve got a lot of concerns floating around your brain.
The new person growing inside is going to launch your life in a TOTALLY different direction and it can be hard to picture what that will look like, especially without a previous point of reference.
While there are hundreds of things on the Figure Out After Baby Arrives List (*cough* breastfeeding *cough*) there is one thing you should figure out NOW, while you’re still sleeping through the night and your brain is functioning at near-normal levels.
What’s the “one thing?”
Betcha can’t guess!
*reads the title again*
Food Allergies are NO FUN
Nearly 6 million children have pulled the Allergy Gene Card in the United States. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but there is a chance your cute little fetal potato may join them.
The trouble with food allergies is that the response can vary not only from person to person, but from exposure to exposure. On the best side of a food allergy reaction, you can expect to find your child covered by a rash that he’s constantly scratching (sometimes until bleeding). He’s cranky and fights like crazy when you try to slather on a soothing ointment. (Which makes no sense, but that’s a toddler for you.)
On the worst side of a food allergy reaction, you can expect to make some pretty drastic life changes:
- You have to carefully think and bake ahead, bringing special treats and cupcakes to birthdays, class field trips, picnics, etc.—to make sure he doesn’t accidentally eat the allergen—all to help your little man feel a part of the fun.
- You have to carefully research and choose your restaurant options. No more spontaneous “let’s eat there!”
- In some of the more serious allergen cases, you may have to avoid some venues like baseball stadiums or airplanes entirely.
So, in other words, your “normal parenting” tasks double.
Right now, pregnant mama, you are about to enter a literal “once in a lifetime” allergen window of opportunity. It’s my job to make sure you don’t miss it.
The New Recommendations for
Handling Food Allergies in Babies
When my kids were little, the accepted stance on preventing food allergies in babies was to hold off on giving them ANY allergen foods until they were past the first birthday (or age 3 in regards to peanuts). That stance was tossed out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) after several studies (like this one on peanuts and this one on eggs) actually showed the opposite was true.
Now, the AAP is encouraging parents to follow these food allergy recommendations instead:
Recommendation #1: For Babies with No Eczema or Food Allergy History
If your baby doesn’t show any signs of eczema and neither you or your spouse have a family history of food allergies, the AAP is recommend parents freely add a little peanut butter into their child’s diet in the same way that you introduce other new foods. The easiest way to do this, with the least amount of risk of choking on the thick substance, is to use a finely ground powder like Lil Mixins.
Recommendation #2: For Babies with Mild to Moderate Eczema
If you notice your newborn has a strange red rash around his skin folds or around his face, the AAP recommends introducing, slowly, peanuts and other allergens at around 5-6 months. Add 1 teaspoon of Lil Mixins to breastmilk, formula, or mixed into a cereal three times a week on a regular basis.
Recommendation #3: For Babies with Severe Eczema and a Family History of Serious Allergies
For this last category, the AAP recommends having your pediatrician do a specific allergen test for peanuts and egg inside the doctor’s office and then starting to introduce these allergens under his supervision at around 4 to 6 months old.
Let a Veteran Food-Allergy-Mama Help:
The Lil Mixins Story
Most of you reading this are going to land in the #1 or #2 group of recommendations: you should start carefully introducing a little peanut into your baby’s diet at around 4-6 months.
But how do you do that? Whipping up a PB&J is probably not a good idea. (Correct. That’s a bad idea.)
Lil Mixins is the brain child of Meenal Lele, a chemical engineer who’s firstborn suffered from a serious peanut allergy. When she started implementing the recommendations made by the Leap Study, she realized how difficult it was to introduce nuts to her second child without endangering her first.
So Meenal started using her scientific background to network with other food scientists and create a new allergen solution with these goals in mind:
- It needed to be affordable. No expensive monthly subscription plans you forget to cancel.
- It needed to be easy. Ain’t nobody got time to wash, blend, freeze, and thaw three times a week!
- It needed to be high-quality and free of all additives. Just pure peanuts. (Or eggs, or tree nuts.)
- It needed to be cost-effective. One jar should be able to last from infancy until baby is ready for that giant PB&J.
Does it meet those goals? Well, Meenal gave out free bottles to our Mighty Moms subscribers and so I could ask them! Here’s what they said:
Do Your Future Self a Favor
I can guarantee a few things in life, and this just happens to be one of them: You are going to be EXHAUSTED after the baby arrives.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have “plenty of time” before your baby is going to be ready to eat solids and start allergen introductions.
Think back to 4 months ago. See how time has flown? Well, it goes ninety-million times faster when you’re a new parent. You think you’ve got all this time…and all the sudden the pediatrician is giving your baby his 4-month shots and asking what your solid food plan was.
Do your future self a favor and pick up a Lil Mixins bottle right now. That way, when the big day has arrived and you’re ready to start your anti-allergen campaign, your go-to weapon is ready and waiting.
Food Allergies in Babies: Early Introduction is Key
When it comes to food allergies in babies, early introduction is key.
Don’t find yourself with “buy Lil Mixins” on your To-Do List for the next six months, only to realize the allergen window has slammed shut and you’re left crossing your fingers, just HOPING the Allergen Gene skipped town.
Jump ahead and get your bottle on the shelf, ready for the perfect time to help your baby’s system learn how to handle the most common food allergens.
Years from now, when you watch your little man happily digging into the peanut butter and chocolate birthday cake at his best friend’s party, you’ll be so glad you did!
Have You Read These Yet?
- You Need to Try These Surprisingly Fun Newborn Activities
- How to Get a Free Breast Pump (Yes. I’m Totally Serious.)
- Everything a New Mama Warrior Needs to Know About Baby Care
- 15 Things You Should Expect When Maternity Leave Ends
- What You Really Need in Your Baby’s Medicine Cabinet
This post was sponsored by Lil Mixins, who paid me for the time it took to write this article and also generously provided readers with free bottles to review. Meenal was particularly amazing in sharing her scientific research, giving me so many articles and medical papers, I had to create a separate file just for them! (By the way, if you’re interested in those studies, contact me here and I’ll send them over!)
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Facts and Statistics. FoodAllergy.org
Food Allergies: Babies at High Risk. AAP.org
Early Introduction of Allergenic Foods May Prevent Food Allergy in Children. AAP.org
New Guidelines Detail Use of ‘Infant Safe’ Peanut to Prevent Allergy. AAP.org
A Clinical Trial Investigating How Best to Prevent Peanut Allergy. LeapStudy.com
Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at MightyMoms.club and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She’s a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, has been a featured parenting expert writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, Cafe Mom, and others. If it’s 2am and you’re desperate to read SOMETHING, check out her deepest darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn’t be allowed to blog.