Preventing allergies in babies

Preventing allergies in babies

Research shows that giving your baby the common allergy causing foods before they turn one can greatly reduce the risk of them developing an allergy to that food.

Key points to remember about preventing allergies in babies

Baby eating from a bowl

To help prevent food allergy, give your baby the common allergy causing foods before they turn one. See the Australian Prevent Allergies website.

  • research shows that giving your baby the common allergy causing foods before they turn one can greatly reduce the risk of them developing an allergy to that food
  • delaying the introduction of the common allergy causing foods does not prevent food allergy
  • if your baby is allergic to a particular food, do not feed your baby that food
  • if you think your baby has a food allergy, you should seek advice from your family doctor

Why introduce food allergens before my baby turns one?

Research shows that giving your baby the common allergy causing foods before they turn one can greatly reduce the risk of them developing an allergy to that food.

When your baby is ready at around 6 months, but not before 4 months, start to introduce first foods including smooth peanut butter/paste and well-cooked egg. Delaying the introduction of the common allergy causing foods does not prevent food allergy.

Breastfeeding is recommended for the many benefits it provides to both mothers and babies. If breastfeeding, it is important to continue while you introduce solid foods to your baby.

Can you introduce common allergy causing foods to all babies before one?

Yes you can. This advice is for all babies, whether you have a family history of food allergy or not.

If you'd like more detailed information, you could check the guidelines under 'External links and downloads' below. 

Babies with eczema have a higher chance of developing a food allergy so following this advice is even more important.

If your baby is allergic to a particular food, do not feed your baby that food. If you think your baby has a food allergy, you should seek advice from your family doctor. It is important that a doctor confirms any food allergies.

Scroll down the page at the Australian Prevent Allergies website and click on 'Is my child at risk?' - you can answer some questions to find out if your baby is at risk of developing food allergy.

The content on this page is based on content at the Australian Prevent Allergies website. The website is an allergy prevention project supported by the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), the National Allergy Strategy and Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia. The project received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

This page last reviewed 25 January 2019.
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