A Consensus Approach to the Primary Prevention of Food Allergy Through Nutrition: Guidance from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; and the Canadian Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021 Jan;9(1):22-43.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2020.11.002. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Recently published data from high-impact randomized controlled trials indicate the strong potential of strategies to prevent the development of food allergy in high-risk individuals, but guidance in the United States at present is limited to a policy for only the prevention of peanut allergy, despite other data being available and several other countries advocating early egg and peanut introduction. Eczema is considered the highest risk factor for developing IgE-mediated food allergy, but children without risk factors still develop food allergy. To prevent peanut and/or egg allergy, both peanut and egg should be introduced around 6 months of life, but not before 4 months. Screening before introduction is not required, but may be preferred by some families. Other allergens should be introduced around this time as well. Upon introducing complementary foods, infants should be fed a diverse diet, because this may help foster prevention of food allergy. There is no protective benefit from the use of hydrolyzed formula in the first year of life against food allergy or food sensitization. Maternal exclusion of common allergens during pregnancy and/or lactation as a means to prevent food allergy is not recommended. Although exclusive breast-feeding is universally recommended for all mothers, there is no specific association between exclusive breast-feeding and the primary prevention of any specific food allergy.

Keywords: Breast-feeding; Cost-effectiveness; Diet diversity; Early introduction; Eczema; Egg allergy; Food allergy; Hydrolyzed formula; Peanut allergy; Primary prevention; Risk; Screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Arachis
  • Asthma*
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Consensus
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary Prevention
  • United States


  • Allergens