4 Essential Tips for Introducing Your Baby to Different Allergens

4 Essential Tips for Introducing Your Baby to Different Allergens

by Aire Reese

February 25, 2021   |   4 min read

Smiling mother serving food to childrenHave you checked out Lark Adventurewear? We make premium bamboo essentials for kids 0-8 years from our special Softek™ fabric. Super-Soft, Breathable and Stain Resistant.

One of the nicest things about bamboo baby clothes is their hypoallergenic quality. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for foods like eggs, dairy, and wheat. As a result, the idea of introducing these common food allergens can be stressful and intimidating for many parents. 

As food allergies in children continue to grow, it’s understandable that parents are worried that their own infants suffer from one. To help reduce the risk of developing food allergies, infants can benefit from early and regular dietary exposure to these foods. In our latest blog post, board-certified allergist Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan guides parents through introducing these allergens to their children. 

How to Introduce Allergenic Foods to Your Children

person feeding baby food

As a board-certified allergist, Dr. Marks-Cogan has seen firsthand how families struggle with food allergies. Thankfully, findings from recent landmark studies have shown that you can reduce your baby’s risk of developing food allergies by feeding them allergenic foods early and consistently, starting between 4 and 11 months of age. But early, sustained allergen introduction can be difficult. Many 4-11-month-olds are picky eaters, making it challenging for parents to follow the guidelines. In addition, most infants are not developmentally ready for solid foods as early as 4 months. 

Dr. Marks-Cogan offers helpful tips for parents attempting to navigate the murky waters of allergen introduction. Check out her top 4 tips for parents now!

1. Start allergen introduction even if there is no history of allergens in your family

Did you know that 1 out of 13 children suffer from a food allergy? Over half of these children don’t have any history of food allergies in their families. To make things worse, many of these allergies are life-threatening. 


Since all babies are at risk for developing a food allergy, regardless of their family history, all parents should make note of the new health guidelines for early, sustained allergen introduction. We’ll go through them throughout the rest of the article. That said, parents of infants with severe eczema need to consult with their pediatrician to determine if they need to put their little one through an allergy screening first. In the meantime, try keeping kiddos with sensitive skin comfortable with bamboo baby pajamas, clothes, and crib sheets.

2. Start between 4 and 11 months of age

Scientists believe that babies’ immune systems develop either a positive or negative response to food proteins between 4-11 months of age. This presents a critical immune window for allergy prevention.  

If your baby eats allergenic foods consistently during this window, they’ll be less likely to develop a food allergy. In fact, studies suggest that delaying allergen introduction may put your child at a greater risk for developing a food allergy. When you introduce these foods, you will need to monitor for any signs of a reaction for at least 2 hours.

3. Consistently feed your baby allergenic foods

A baby’s immune system needs sustained oral exposure to foods in order to develop a positive response to them. So, if you feed your baby allergenic foods only once or twice, that won’t be enough to reduce their risk of developing a food allergy. Instead, make sure to offer your baby allergenic foods multiple times a week for several months. In numerous landmark studies, infants consumed allergenic foods 2-7 times a week for 3-6+ months or more.

4. Don’t give up!

There are bound to be hiccups and mishaps during this process. Maybe your little one isn’t in the mood for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or they are just outright refusing to eat these new foods. But persistence will be key during this trying process. So don’t give up!

Ready, Set, Food!

ready, set, food ad

Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan worked with a team of physicians, leading allergy experts, and parents to create Ready, Set, Food!, a groundbreaking system that can help reduce your baby’s risk of developing a food allergy by up to 80%. Their daily guided system is:

  • Evidence-Based: Follows the precise dosing used in landmark food allergy prevention studies. As a result, you can rest assured that your baby is consuming the right amounts of allergens.
  • Simple: Dissolves into breastmilk, formula, or puree, making allergen introduction easy even if your baby is not developmentally ready for solid food.
  • All-Natural: Contains only organic, non-GMO peanut, egg, and milk, with no added sugar or artificial additives.
  • Gentle: Slowly increases the allergen amount over time, and introduces one new food at a time, for maximum safety based on study recommendations and pediatric guidelines
  • Efficient: Can help reduce the risk of developing peanut, egg, and milk allergies by up to 80%.
  • Recommended by Experts: 200+ pediatricians and allergists recommend Ready, Set, Food!

Meet Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan

dr katie marks-cogan speaking at seminar

Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan is board certified in Allergy/Immunology and Internal Medicine. She treats patients of all ages at her private practice in Southern California. She received her M.D. with honors from the University of Maryland School of Medicine before completing her residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern and fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP). Dr. Marks-Cogan currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, 3-year-old son, and 9-month-old daughter where she enjoys hiking, building LEGO castles with her kids, and cooking with her family. She is the chief allergist for Ready, Set, Food!


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