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Baby ban on eggs and peanuts until six months

Tuesday January 9th, 2018

Babies should not be fed hen’s eggs or peanuts between four and six months of age, a UK government body review has concluded.

The advisers, in a report published yesterday, suggest parents should aim to introduce eggs and peanuts after the age of six months to prevent the development of allergy.

A review by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (SACN-COT) has concluded that there were insufficient data to support a so-called “window of opportunity” for the introduction of peanut before six months of age.

It also said that hen’s egg should not be introduced to the diet before six months because evidence that it might be beneficial was limited.

A joint statement from SACN-COT said that the government should continue to recommend exclusive breastfeeding for around the first six months of life.

However, it added: “Reasonable data exist to demonstrate that the deliberate exclusion or delayed introduction of peanut or hen’s egg beyond six to 12 months of age may increase the risk of allergy to the same foods.

“Advice on complementary feeding should state that foods containing peanut and hen’s egg need not be differentiated from other complementary foods.”

It adds: “The deliberate exclusion of peanut or hen’s egg beyond six to twelve months of age may increase the risk of allergy to the same foods. Once introduced, and where tolerated, these foods should be part of the infant’s usual diet, to suit both the individual child and family.

“Once introduced, and where tolerated, these foods should be part of the infant’s usual diet. However, if initial exposure is not continued as part of the infant’s usual diet, it may increase the risk of sensitisation and subsequent food allergy.”

SACN-COT said that families with a history of early-onset eczema or suspected food allergy should seek medical advice before introducing the peanut or hen’s egg.

[Report - pdf]

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Diet & Food | UK News

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