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This post was previously published on The Formula Mom’s website.
There are a few big things that have changed since our parents raised our generation, like car seat requirements, baby sleep position recommendations, and most recently, the timeline for introducing common allergens to infants.
While the conventional wisdom used to encourage delaying the introduction of certain foods, like peanut butter and eggs, until toddlerhood, the American Academy of Pediatrics now reports that early introduction of common allergens can reduce the risk of food allergies.
Read on for how Ready, Set, Food! (as featured on Shark Tank), helps parents use a research-backed strategy to reduce the risk of food allergies without stress!
The Science Behind Early Allergen Introduction
After a significant increase in food allergy diagnoses in the 90s and early 2000s, researchers set out to identify potential contributors to food allergies and isolate possible methods for reducing the incidence of food allergies going forward. Three large studies found that early introduction of common food allergens was crucial in the prevention of food allergies:
The LEAP Study looked at exposure to peanuts and found an 80% reduction in peanut allergy diagnoses for participants who:
- Consumed 6g of peanut protein per week
- Beginning at 4 months of age
- Continuing for 4 years
The EAT study looked at exposure to peanut, eggs, and milk and found a 62% reduction in allergy diagnoses for participants who:
- Consumed 3g of egg, milk, and peanut protein per week
- Beginning at 3 months of age
- Continuing through 6 months of age
Lastly, the PETIT study looked at exposure to eggs and found a 79% reduction in egg allergy diagnosis for participants who:
- Consumed .88g of egg protein per week
- Beginning at 4 months of age
- Continuing for 6 months
Given the clear results of these studies, the formal guidance for allergen introduction changed from delayed introduction to early, sustained introduction between 4-6 months of age, and continuing for several months through infancy and early toddlerhood.
The Challenge of Early Introduction for Parents
Starting a baby on solid foods is an anxiety-provoking task for many parents, even without the added pressure of introducing common allergens. A lot of parents have concerns about choking, are unsure about how much food to provide, or don’t know how to balance the introduction of solids with breast or bottle feedings.
Given these stressors, tasking parents to also manage sourcing, measuring, and dosing a number of grams of 9 top allergens daily for months is not realistic! This means that many parents do NOT successfully introduce common allergens at the correct dose and for the duration that is recommended to reduce food allergy risk.
How Ready, Set, Food! Makes Early Allergen Introduction Easy
This is where Ready, Set, Food! comes in! Ready, Set, Food! was founded by two parents (and doctors!), including a mom who is a Board Certified Pediatric and Adult Allergist.
After recognizing both the importance of early allergen introduction and the difficulty for parents to manage this process on their own, they developed the three-stage system for allergen introduction that became Ready, Set, Food!
Ready, Set, Food! is a simple system that ships sachets with appropriately-dosed allergen powders to your door every month that you can tear open and add to your child’s food– either bottles or solids! Just tear, mix, and serve.
With simple daily labels, Ready, Set, Food! takes the guesswork out of allergen introduction by providing increasing doses of common allergens until a maintenance dose is reached.
Given the current guidance for “early and often” exposure, Ready, Set, Food!’s three-stage system provides appropriately-dosed allergen exposure sachets for 1 year after first introduction, or until the infant is regularly consuming these allergens in their diet.
As such, Stage 1 of Ready, Set, Food! introduces peanut, egg, and milk in increasing volumes for infants between 4-6 months for 30 days, Stage 2 maintains and sustains exposure to these three allergens at a consistent dose for infants for 5 months, while stage 3 provides exposure to top 9 allergens for an additional 6 months.
Through this staged process, parents can quickly and easily ensure that they are following the recommendations to reduce the risk of food allergies provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI).
Ready, Set, Food! on Shark Tank
While I always look to medical organizations first for guidance, it’s also worth noting that Ready, Set, Food! also has the backing of Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban. As a food allergy dad, Mr. Cuban understands the scary reality of food allergies and recognized the importance of Ready, Set, Food!’s mission to help reduce the risk of food allergies through early and sustained introduction.
After securing a deal on Shark Tank, Ready, Set, Food! is the nation’s leader in making early allergen introduction safe, easy, and possible for parents.
Get 40% Off Ready, Set, Food!
As someone who was stressed and unsure about how to introduce allergens to my high-risk babies, I wish I would’ve had Ready, Set, Food! to make the process easier! As parents, we’ll do anything to try and make sure our children stay healthy, and introducing allergens early with Ready, Set, Food is a simple and easy way to do just that.
Eager to try Ready, Set, Food!? Use my code MALLORY40 for 40% off your first month!
Ready. Set. Food! recently launched Organic Oat & Fruit bars, too. These provide another safe and tasty option to continue early allergen introduction and promote diet diversity once your baby is ready for solids. The Bars have 8 of the same allergens as their Mix-Ins and Oatmeal— peanut, egg, milk, cashew, almond, walnut, sesame, and soy— in every bite and are available in Peanut Butter Strawberry and Apple Cinnamon flavors.