According to a recent review paper, you should feed your kids allergenic foods to shield them from allergies. A group of Canadian researchers found that exposure to highly allergenic foods such as peanuts may protect children from food allergies later on.
The study, which was published Oct. 19 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests that babies of ages ranging from four to six months should get accustomed with raw milk, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, eggs, wheat, and soy.
Experts recommend parents to keep giving small kids these allergenic foods to get their bodies used to them and prevent them from developing severe allergies as they grow up. Study authors hope that the new approach may solve the allergy epidemic that has stricken the industrialized world.
Past guidelines advised parents to introduce these foods in their infants’ diets when kids reached 12 months or even 36 months. Studies that backed these recommendations had assumed that if parents allowed their kids’ immune systems and gut bacteria to develop, the chances of developing allergies were slimmer.
But rather than seeing allergies decrease, doctors saw the phenomenon reach epidemic proportions.
Dr. Elissa Abrams, one of the lead authors of the study and allergy researcher at the University of Manitoba in Canada, explained that in the U.K. authorities saw peanut allergy rate skyrocket by 300 percent when parents were recommended not to give their babies the food.
Other studies showed that exposing kids to highly allergenic foods later did not prevent allergies. Instead it boosted the number of allergic kids in the Western world. In Canada, the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends that parents give their babies these foods at the age of four to 11 months.
Parents are also recommended to talk to an allergy expert before making any changes in their kids’ diets if they have a family history of food allergies. According to recent surveys, one in 12 household reported at least one case of food allergy.
Dr. Abrams explained that recent research showed kids may become allergic through their skin if they are exposed to highly allergenic foods which they weren’t accustomed to previously. Children that have eczemas or other skin lesions are a high risk group in this particular case.
Dr. Abrams also explained that recent research forced medical professionals to change their view on food allergies and allergy prevention in early years. While past recommendations advised parents to wait until they introduced allergenic items into their kids‘ diets, current guidelines say that there is no need to wait.
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