Feeding the Infant With Possible Food Allergy: What's Best?

Jennifer S. Kim, MD

Disclosures

June 18, 2014

For infants with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis that is difficult to control, referral to an allergist for testing is recommended before introducing highly allergenic foods -- specifically milk, soy, egg, wheat, and peanut. Testing should be limited to these 5 foods, per the NIAID-Sponsored Expert Panel Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States.[13]

Key Messages

  • Complementary foods can be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age.

  • No current data suggest that introduction of cow's-milk protein (except for whole cow's milk), egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish into the diet needs to be delayed beyond 4-6 months of age. Whole cow's milk should be avoided until 12 months of age for nutritional purposes. Therefore, complementary foods may include these highly allergenic foods once a few other complementary foods are tolerated.

  • If a patient has had an allergic reaction to a food, moderate to severe atopic dermatitis that is difficult to control, or an underlying food allergy, referral to an allergist for testing is recommended before introducing highly allergenic foods -- specifically milk, soy, wheat, egg, and peanut.

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