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Decreasing the Risk of Food Allergies

These instructions for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) patients minimize the chances of developing food allergies.

Patient instructions:

Giving many different foods to your child when they are young can reduce their risk of developing food allergies in the future. Don’t delay, reduce the risk!

  • Start introducing solid foods around 4-6 months of age, or when safe and appropriate for your child’s development and feeding abilities. 

  • Begin with pureed fruits and vegetables or cereal grains.

  • Introduce one new food at a time. 

  • Once your baby is tolerating a few solid foods, offer them foods that commonly cause allergies:

    • Eggs

    • Milk products (for example: yogurt, cheese)

    • Peanuts

    • Tree nuts (for example: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews) 

    • Wheat 

    • Fish, shellfish

    • Soy products

    • Sesame (for example: tahini, hummus)

  • Introduce new foods in a way that is safe and appropriate for your child’s development and feeding abilities.

    • For example, do not give your baby peanuts, since they can choke on them. Instead, try giving your baby peanut puffs or mixing a teaspoon of peanut butter with their infant cereal.

  • Feed your infant new foods only when they are healthy. Do not try new foods when they have a cold, vomiting, diarrhea, or other illness.

  • Give the first feeding at home, not at a day care facility or restaurant.

  • Make sure at least one adult will be able to focus their attention on the baby.

  • Make sure that you will be able to spend about 2 hours with your baby after the feeding.

  • Watch them for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, swelling, or breathing problems. 

Contact your CHOP healthcare provider with questions or concerns.

In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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