(HealthDay News) – The delay of solid foods until ≥17 weeks of age and continued breastfeeding when cow’s milk protein is introduced to infants’ diets correlate with a reduced likelihood of food allergies, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in Pediatrics.
Kate E.C. Grimshaw, PhD, RD, from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed information from food diaries kept by the mothers of 41 infants diagnosed with food allergy by the age of 2 years (according to double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge) and 82 age-matched controls. The authors sought to address questions related to breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and allergy development.
The researchers found that infants who were diagnosed with early food allergies (by age 2 years) were introduced to solids earlier (≤16 weeks of age). Furthermore, those with food allergy by age 2 were less likely to be receiving breast milk when cow’s milk protein was initially introduced into their diet.
“This study supports the current American Academy of Pediatrics’ allergy prevention recommendations and the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition recommendations on complementary feeding to not introduce solids before 4–6 months of age,” the authors write. “It also supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ breastfeeding recommendations that breastfeeding should continue while solids are introduced into the diet.”
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the nutrition and pharmaceutical industries.