Food Allergy Awareness Week: From Support to Prevention

Every 3 Minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room. Living with a food allergy is scary. But what if one day we lived in a world where food allergies were a thing of the past, and sending kids to school with peanut butter sandwiches was the norm (again)?

While there's more work to be done, the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study transformed the guidance about when to introduce peanut foods to children, especially those at high risk for food allergies. The study demonstrated that for infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy, a population at high risk of developing peanut allergy, beginning consumption of peanut-containing foods in infancy (between 4 and 10 months of age) reduced the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age by more than 80 percent. This landmark study has changed the way the medical community, and parents think about introducing allergens, especially peanut.

 "We used to think feeding common allergenic foods increased a child's chances of becoming allergic to that food," says Dr. Ron Sunog pediatrician and Medical Advisor to Puffworks. "But this advice didn't prevent infants from developing a food allergy, and it actually appears to have increased the prevalence of them, " continues Dr. Ron Sunog. "While the LEAP study focused on peanut, there's no evidence to support delaying the introduction of top allergens." 

Our Puffworks baby Organic Peanut Butter Puffs are a safe and easy way to introduce peanut protein to your baby. They’re the perfect size for your baby to pick up and self-feed for baby-led weaning have no added sugar, minimal sodium and they dissolve easily in your baby’s mouth. The best part? They are made with simple organic ingredients: peanut butter, corn and a dash of salt. 

Puffworks baby peanut puffs for early peanut intro
Katie Ferraro, a Registered Dietitian specializing in baby-led weaning and a mom of seven, believes babies who are 6 months+ showing the other signs of readiness to feed can and should be given the opportunity to try a variety of foods, including the potentially allergenic foods, like peanut or almond (a type of tree nut). If you're unsure of how to start this journey, head over to her Baby-Led Weaning Made Easy podcast or learn more about her 100 First Foods™ Approach to BLW here. We've also linked to her podcast episodes around introducing and feeding allergenic foods below. 

Last year, we also launched Puffworks baby Organic Almond Butter Puffs to help provide a simple stress- and mess-free way to introduce almond. You can dive deeper into introducing almond and other tree nuts in Katie's Baby-Lead Weaning Made Easy episode: Tree Nuts: How to Introduce Your Baby to this Potentially Allergenic Food

While prevention is at the heart of our mission, we also empathize and sympathize with individuals suffering from food allergies. If you are struggling with food allergies or know someone who is and want to learn more about advocacy, treatments or studies, FARE is kicking off their #TealTakeover this week timed with Food Allergy Awareness Week. For more information on how you can get involved this week (and anytime!) click here 

Katie Ferraro's Baby-Led Weaning Made Easy Allergen-Specific Episodes:

How to Introduce Allergenic Foods to Your Baby

Peanut: How to Introduce Your Baby to this Potentially Allergenic Food

Tree Nuts: How to Introduce Your Baby to this Potentially Allergenic Food

 Photo credit: Katie Ferraro; feeding Puffworks baby Peanut Puffs to her twins.