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Soy Formulas May Not Prevent Infant Allergies

Breast Milk Is Best for High-Risk Infants, Experts Say

Other Recommendations continued...

Among the other recommendations:

  • High-risk mothers-to-be should not eat peanuts or foods containing peanuts during pregnancy. While the evidence linking maternal peanut consumption to infant allergies is not conclusive, the group singled out peanuts as the food most likely to cause problems, and it suggested that lactating mothers avoid them as well.
  • Delay the introduction of solid foods for six months, and delay the introduction of potential problem foods for as long as possible. The AAP recommends delaying the introduction of cow's milk until 12 months of age, eggs until 24 months, and nuts and fish until age 3.
  • Protein hydrolysate formulas should be used in bottle-fed, high-risk infants.

Pediatric allergy expert Mary Fasano, MD, says she recommends hydrolysate formulas for bottle-fed, high-risk infants, even though they have not been proven to prevent allergies or delay their onset. Fasano is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Iowa and a spokeswoman for the AAP.

"The strongest evidence for protection is clearly for breastfeeding, so that will always be my first recommendation," she says. "There just is not a lot of good, strong evidence to show that hydrolysate formulas prevent allergies."

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