The USDA Dietary Guideline Report recommends that "introducing peanut and egg in an age-appropriate form, in the first year of life (after age 4 months) may reduce the risk of food allergy to these foods"
Additionally, the landmark clinical trials (LEAP, EAT, PETIT) on early allergen introduction which influenced the other medical guideline recommendations such as the AAP and NIH, focused primarily on peanuts, eggs, and milk. Other food allergies such as shellfish typically develop as an adult.
Although more than 170 foods have been identified as triggers of food allergies, the FDA classifies 8 foods as the major food allergens in the US. Those 8 foods are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish (such as shrimp), fish, wheat, and soy. From the top 8 foods, only milk, egg, and peanut make up 80% of food allergies found in children, which is why we chose to focus on the introduction of peanuts, eggs, and milk for Ready, Set, Food!.
Living with a food allergy can cause social exclusion for children, leaving them to feel left behind. Egg and cow's milk have the biggest impact on a child's quality of life as they are the hardest to avoid. For example, when attending children's birthday parties, cake and ice cream are typically served and kids with these food allergies will miss out on sweet treats and birthday fun.
You can learn more about food allergy trends here in our free eBook.