Paediatrics and Child Health (Canada)
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Allergic conditions in children are a prevalent health concern in Canada. The burden of disease and the societal costs of proper diagnosis and management are considerable, making the primary prevention of allergic conditions a desirable health care objective. This position statement reviews current evidence on dietary exposures and allergy prevention in infants at high risk for developing allergic conditions. It revisits previous dietary recommendations for pregnancy, breastfeeding and formula feeding, and provides an approach for introducing solid foods to high-risk infants. While there is no evidence that delaying the introduction of any specific food beyond six months of age helps to prevent allergy, the protective effect of early introduction of potentially allergenic foods (at four to six months of age) remains under investigation. Recent research appears to suggest that regularly ingesting a new, potentially allergenic food may be as important as when that food is first introduced. © Canadian Paediatric Society 2013.