If you’re surprised about the new infant allergen introduction recommendations, you’re not alone. These guidelines have totally flipped since my son was a baby just nine years ago!
It can be scary to think of feeding a young baby the top allergenic foods like dairy, peanuts, and eggs. And that’s where food allergy prevention programs come in. These systems eliminate the fear and confusion, while taking the guesswork out of introducing new foods to baby.
But which food allergy prevention program is best? I’ve got the scoop. In this post, you’ll find:
- A quick recap on what food allergy prevention programs are
- A review of the top food allergy prevention programs
- Plus, some bonus tips for preventing food allergies
What is a Food Allergy Prevention Program?
In the past, experts said parents should hold off on introducing the most common allergens (e.g. eggs, dairy, and peanut butter) until baby’s first birthday.
But the latest research shows something totally different: that early and consistent introduction is the key to informing your child’s immune system and preventing food allergies.
A food allergy prevention program is a simple, convenient way to introduce potential food allergens to your baby.
Why not just give your baby eggs or mix some peanut butter into a puree?
Experts recommend beginning these programs as early as four to six months of age—an age that’s way too early to give baby a scrambled egg or a big spoon of peanut butter.
So instead, these programs help you introduce the allergens gradually and safely.
The Best Food Allergy Prevention Program Overall: Ready, Set, Food!
The Best Food Allergy Prevention Program Overall Ready, Set, Food! – Food Allergy Prevention Which Program Is Best post by Mama Natural
Let’s get right to the winner. My favorite food allergy prevention program is Ready, Set, Food!
You can check out my comprehensive Ready, Set, Food! review, but the premise of this program is very simple: You mix the pre-measured packets into a bottle (or even a puree) and feed it to your baby. It’s that simple.
Ready, Set, Food! Stage 1 Packets
The program exposes your baby gradually so not to overwhelm his or her system, with the amount of allergens contained in each packet increasing at a slow and steady rate over the course of six months.
Why Ready, Set, Food! is the Mama Natural favorite:
- The science behind the program is solid
- It’s founded by parents and healthcare professionals—the best of both worlds!
- The pre-measured packet system is convenient and clearly marks how much allergen is being introduced
- The dosing system is based on substantial clinical trials
- It’s the only multi-allergen system with a slow-and-steady ramp up introduction period, which allows for a gentle and safe introduction
- Because the “food” is presented in a powdered form, there is no choking risk, making it ideal even for babies who have no teeth or cannot chew solids
- It includes only organic, non-GMO ingredients, with no fillers or sugars
- Packages are affordable—as low as $33 per month
The only real downside to Ready, Set, Food! is that it does not introduce all eight of the most common allergens including things like soy and tree nuts. Rather, this program focuses on the three most common:
- cow’s milk
The good news? Together, these three allergens account for 80% of all food allergies.
Check out Ready, Set, Food! here.
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The Best Food Allergy Prevention Program for Peanuts: Hello Peanut
The Best Food Allergy Prevention Program for Peanuts Hello Peanut – Food Allergy Prevention Which Program Is Best post by Mama Natural
If peanut allergies run in your family, you might be most concerned with introducing this food. The Hello Peanut program focuses just on early peanut introduction.
Though Hello Peanut ramps up full exposure to peanut faster than other programs, the packaging is very clear about exactly how many milligrams of peanut is in each serving.
Unfortunately, even though Hello Peanut also uses a powder system, it cannot be mixed into a bottle—the powder is thicker and may clog the nipple. This means Hello Peanut must be delayed until baby is old enough to eat purees or smoothies, typically around six months.
A monthly package runs about $40-50 with eight packets per package.
Hello-Peanut-Food Allergy Prevention Program Reviews Which Program is Your Best Bet baby post by Mama Natural
The Most Convenient Food Allergy Prevention Program: Inspired Start
The Most Convenient Food Allergy Prevention Program Inspired Start – Food Allergy Prevention Which Program Is Best post by Mama Natural
Inspired Start is perhaps the most convenient food allergy prevention program, because it delivers eight potential allergens (peanut, egg, tree nut, soy, wheat, sesame, shrimp, cod) through purees served in pre-packaged food pouches suitable for babies six months and older.
Combinations include things like apple and peanut, pear and egg, and mango and cod.
Unfortunately, they do not specify how much of each allergen is included per packet.
A month’s worth of pouches cost anywhere from $60-$120.
Inspired-Start-Food Allergy Prevention Program Reviews Which Program is Your Best Bet baby post by Mama Natural
The Most Comprehensive Allergy Prevention Program: SpoonfulOne
The Most Comprehensive Allergy Prevention Program Spoonful One – Food Allergy Prevention Which Program Is Best post by Mama Natural
Developed by a Stanford pediatrician, SpoonfulOne has a blend of sixteen potential allergens: peanuts, milk, shellﬁsh, tree nuts, egg, ﬁsh, grains, soy, and sesame. The included tree nuts are almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
I love that the amount of allergens covered is so comprehensive, especially since tree nut allergies are one of the fastest growing food allergies in kids. (source)
That said, this goes against guidelines by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, which recommend only introducing one allergen at a time, 3 to 5 days apart. (source)
At $70+ per month (depending on whether you order puffs or powder), it’s a relatively expensive system. Still, the cost is a bit more justifiable given the amount of allergies covered.
Spoonful-One-Food Allergy Prevention Program Reviews Which Program is Your Best Bet baby post by Mama Natural
The Most Cost-Effective Allergen System: Lil Mixins
Lil Mixins – Food Allergy Prevention Program Reviews Which Program is Your Best Bet post by Mama Natural
Think of Lil Mixins as the bulk option. You purchase a jar (either peanut or egg) and measure out your own servings each day and combine the powder with solid food or milk. Each jar contains about 40 servings and costs $20 for the peanut variety and $35 for the egg. Because each container lasts for about three months, this program only costs about $7-12 per month.
Lil-Mixins-Food Allergy Prevention Program Reviews Which Program is Your Best Bet baby post by Mama Natural
Another Interesting Option… Bamba
Bamba – Food Allergy Prevention Which Program Is Best post by Mama Natural_2
Interestingly, Israel has one of the lowest rates of peanut allergies in the world. Why? Experts say this could be attributed to a very popular childhood snack in Israel called Bamba.
The Osem Bamba Peanut Snack is like a cheese puff, but made with peanuts instead of other flours. This theory really supports the latest findings that early and sustained introduction of allergenic foods can help prevent food allergies. (source)
But let’s be real here. Bamba is an ultra processed food, and not something we recommend making a regular part of your kids’ diet (let alone your baby’s!). It’s expensive, too: A 12-pack costs about $20.
At a Glance
Food Allergy Prevention Program Reviews Which Program is Your Best Bet baby post by Mama Natural
Choosing the Right Allergy Prevention Program for You
Although Ready, Set, Food! gets the Mama Natural seal of approval, it’s important to choose what works best for you. Each program has its own set of pros and cons, and you ultimately have to choose based on your needs.