Position Statement - Commercial Infant Feeding Products Containing Multiple Common Food Allergens

pdfASCIA HP Infant Feeding Products 202192.9 KB 

Infant feeding products that contain multiple common food allergens are commercially available for online purchase. These products are designed to be added to infant food, or mixed into breast milk, to aid with the inclusion of common food allergens in the infant’s diet.

Key Points:

  1. To be consistent with ASCIA Guidelines, commercial infant feeding products containing multiple common food allergens should NOT be used for introduction of common food allergens.
  2. If parents in Australia and New Zealand choose to use these products, they should ONLY be used as a convenience product once all of the most common food allergens have already been introduced.
  3. ASCIA recommends feeding infants a variety of solid foods, as part of family meals to provide a nutritional and diverse diet. Using convenience products can be costly, unnecessary and lacking in nutritional value.

ASCIA Guidelines for Infant feeding and Allergy Prevention state:

  • When your infant is ready, at around six months, but not before four months, start to introduce a variety of solid foods, starting with iron rich foods, while continuing breastfeeding. All infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg, dairy and wheat products in the first year of life. There is published evidence that this can protect against food allergy developing.
  • Only introduce one new common food allergen at each meal, so that the problem food can be identified if there is an allergic reaction. The most common food allergens are cow’s milk (dairy), egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish (crustaceans).
  • Unless there is an allergic reaction to the common food allergen, continue to give the food to your baby regularly (at least twice weekly), as part of a varied diet. Trying a food and then not giving it regularly to your infant may result in a food allergy developing.

ASCIA has the following concerns about infant feeding products containing multiple food allergens:

  • These products are promoted as a way to introduce multiple common food allergens at the same time, on some international websites and webinars. This is inconsistent with ASCIA Guidelines and the Australian government funded food allergy prevention program Nip Allergies in the Bub.
  • If these products are used for the first introduction of food allergens, this may increase the risk of some infants developing food allergy. For example, if an infant has an allergic reaction to a product containing multiple common food allergens, they will need to avoid all of the common food allergens in the product that they do not already eat regularly in other forms, whilst waiting for assessment by a paediatric clinical immunology/allergy specialist. As wait lists for these specialists in Australia and New Zealand can be long, this will delay the introduction of multiple foods or cause breaks in exposure to common food allergens, which may increase the risk of developing food allergy.
  • These products are not regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and there is currently no evidence that proves they are effective in preventing food allergy. It is not yet known if they contain sufficient amounts of common food allergens to create tolerance and prevent food allergy, or to maintain tolerance once introduced. Randomised controlled trials for infant feeding and allergy prevention worldwide have used whole foods that contain larger amounts of the food allergens.

Further information: www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/infant-feeding-allergy-prevention

© ASCIA 2021

ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand

Mod ASCIA Member
Donate to AIFA
go to NAS website
About ASCIA

ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology and allergy in Australia and New Zealand
ASCIA promotes and advances the study and knowledge of allergy and other immune diseases

Quick Links

About ASCIA

ASCIA is a registered trademark of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. All content is subject to copyright for the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Read more...

The content for the website is developed and approved by ASCIA Committee and ASCIA Working Party Members. Read more...

Disclaimer I Privacy

The ASCIA website is intended for use by ASCIA members, health professionals and the general public. The content provided is for education, communication and information purposes only and is not intended to replace or constitute medical advice or treatments. Read more...

ASCIA respects your privacy. Read our privacy policy here...

Sponsors | Advertising

ASCIA does not endorse products from sponsoring organisations, nor is it influenced by sponsoring organisations with regard to the content of education programs and websites. 

The ASCIA website does not accept advertising. Any link to a third-party website does not imply any endorsement by ASCIA.

Accreditiation

healthdirect

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.