Modifying the infant's diet to prevent food allergy

Arch Dis Child. 2017 Feb;102(2):179-186. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2015-309770. Epub 2016 Aug 16.


Recommendations and guidelines on the prevention of food allergy have changed in recent decades. The aim of this review of the current evidence and ongoing studies is to provide a comprehensive and up to date picture of prevention of food allergy for healthcare professionals. The review was undertaken as part of the European Union funded Integrated Approaches to Food Allergy and Allergen Management (iFAAM) study. This is a wide ranging project bringing together expertise across the breadth of food allergy research. Specifically, the review discusses dietary manipulation in food allergy prevention, and covers the possible preventive strategies of allergen avoidance, early allergen introduction, general nutrition and supplements, as well as other strategies, such as prebiotics and probiotics. The review concludes that despite agreement that allergen avoidance strategies should not be undertaken for allergy prevention, there is currently no consensus regarding what actions should be recommended beyond exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6 months of life. Recent and upcoming trial results, which are detailed in this review, should help inform the debate and add clarity to the topic.

Keywords: Allergy; Infant Feeding; Nutrition; prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Diet Therapy / methods*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / adverse effects
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula*
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Prebiotics / administration & dosage
  • Primary Prevention
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Allergens
  • Antioxidants
  • Micronutrients
  • Prebiotics
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Immunoglobulin E