I'm Pregnant. Can I Lower My Baby's Food Allergy Risk?
I've heard that if I avoid some foods during my pregnancy, like peanuts, I
can help prevent my child from developing food allergies later. Is this true? – Marlee
At this time, doctors do not recommend avoiding particular foods during pregnancy
to prevent food
allergies. Studies have not shown an effect when mothers avoided foods during
pregnancy, even those with a family history of allergies.
The key to eating
right during pregnancy — and making sure that your baby gets the nutrients
to grow healthy and strong — is to eat foods from the different food groups
(grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, milk, meat, and beans) and to get more nutrient-rich
calories than before. Pregnant women need about 300 extra calories a day, especially
later in pregnancy, when babies grow quickly.
It's also important to avoid certain foods that can be
harmful to a developing baby. Talk to your doctor about what foods are best for you
and your baby.
Studies are ongoing to see if eating particular foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding
could offer some protection from food allergies.