This is a common misconception. In the past, doctors recommended delaying allergen introduction, but this approach was not based on any research or scientific evidence. The 2020 USDA Dietary Guideline Reports recommends that early allergen introduction for allergens, such as peanuts and eggs, begins for all children starting as early as 4 months of age. New medical research studying the early introduction of allergenic foods (such as milk) has radically changed the previous guideline recommendations. The AAP updated their report in March 2019 to recommend that parents introduce their babies to allergenic foods starting as early as 4 - 6 months old. This approach can reduce a baby's risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%.
When asked, around 70% of pediatricians reported needing additional peanut allergy prevention guideline training. The recent study also revealed that less than a third of doctors are fully following the NIAID Peanut Allergy Prevention guidelines, you can read more about the study findings on our blog. Stay informed and discuss with your pediatrician about starting allergen introduction early with the new guidelines in mind, here are some helpful questions to discuss during your visit.