New research may change the advice given to mothers regarding infants and food allergies. In August 2000, the AAP stated mothers should avoid certain foods like cow’s milk, eggs, and nuts while breast-feeding. It also released a schedule for introducing these foods into a child’s diet.
However, the January 2008 issue of the journal, Pediatrics, printed a report suggesting a revision of these recommendations. It stated there is no reliable evidence that women who avoid certain foods during pregnancy or breast-feeding lower their child’s risk of having a food allergy, and there is no evidence that delaying the introduction of solid foods like fish, peanut butter or eggs beyond six months prevents food allergies.
For now, the only credible advice on reducing an infant’s risk of allergies is to breast feed. There is ample evidence that infants who are breastfed exclusively for four months reduce their risk of rashes and allergies to cow’s milk even in families with a history of such allergies. There is also some evidence that feeding hypoallergenic formulas to susceptible babies can help if they are not solely breastfed.