• Change a Child’s Trajectory: Champion Early Food Introduction

    Information provided by the National Peanut Board

    National Peanut Board

    If one conversation with new parents had the potential to save them thousands of dollars each year, expand their options for affordable and nutrient-dense foods, and take the anxiety out of every meal and snack time, you would agree it is a discussion worth having. And you would be right.

    Evidence continues to grow for introducing peanut foods to infants as early as four to six months of age. The groundbreaking Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) Study,1 in which peanut allergy development in high-risk infants was reduced by up to 86 percent, led to addendum guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)2 and endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).3 In late 2020, Dietary Guidelines for Americans went further by encouraging parents to introduce peanut foods to all children by age one.4

    The good news is parents are getting the message about the importance and urgency of introducing peanut foods early. According to a survey of parents conducted in spring 2022,* more than three-quarters of respondents said they are at least somewhat familiar with the recommendations. Unfortunately, the study also showed many will not take the next step—feeding peanut-containing foods appropriately to their infants—unless they gain confirmation and support from their physician.

    Over the past two decades, America’s peanut farmers have contributed more than $33 million to peanut allergy research, education, and outreach through the National Peanut Board. Since 2017, the board has worked with food allergy experts, advocacy groups, and others to ensure you and others who care for infants have the information and resources needed to make early introduction the standard of care. Here are a few resources with valuable information for you and the families you care for:

    • FamilyDoctor.org offers families trusted advice from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Articles provide information to patients about peanut allergies and prevention with topics such as Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis, Anaphylaxis, Food Allergies, and Growing Up Healthy: Importance of Starting Good Nutrition Early.

    • PreventPeanutAllergies.org provides videos, testimonials, tips, and downloadable materials you can share with families in your practice. Check out the “For Providers” section for links to the most important, impactful studies behind current recommendations.

        o The site also links to webinars and continuing education opportunities, including a free online course developed by the AAP called “Peanut Allergy Prevention Through Early Introduction.” This course is available for credit for physicians and others who work with new parents. It addresses the most common barriers to early peanut feeding and answers parents’ most challenging questions.

    Do you have questions or ideas to share? Email the group at prevention@preventpeanutallergies.org.

    *Dynata Study of 1,502 parents about early feeding and peanut allergy prevention, conducted February 25 to March 5, 2022. Commissioned by the National Peanut Board.

    References

    1. Du Toit G, Roberts G, Sayre PH, et al. Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015;372:803-813.

    2. Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel. 2017. Accessed August 22, 2022. https://www.niaid.nih.gov/sites/default/files/addendum-peanut-allergy-prevention-guidelines.pdf

    3. American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP clinical report highlights early introduction of peanut-based foods to prevent allergies. March 18, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2022. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Early-Introduction-of-Peanut-based-Foods-to-Prevent-Allergies.aspx

    4. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th ed. December 2020. Accessed August 22, 2022. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans-2020-2025.pdf

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