Kids & Company Blog

Exciting research in allergy prevention & early dietary exposure

As parents, there is nothing more important than the safety of our children.  Over time there has been a steady increase in the numbers of children with serious food allergies, which has led to a greater focus and attention from the medical community.  Recently on CBC radio, a guest speaker, Dr. Adelle Atkinson, an allergist and immunologist with the Hospital for Sick Children, spoke about the new recommendations that babies with a high risk of developing allergies should be fed allergy-causing foods.

The segment is titled Sick Kids allergist on new guidelines from Canadian Pediatric Society. Click here to listen to Dr. Adelle Atkinson’s recommendations.  The position which the speaker takes is very thought provoking, and it is certainly worth it to spend seven minutes hearing what she has to offer.

This new research represents a complete paradigm shift in the way in which we think about allergies, and especially in the way we deal with children which have food allergies.  Conventionally, we would have children avoid allergy-causing foods such as peanuts or shellfish during early childhood.  It makes sense because why would we expose our children to foods which are common allergens?  In stark contrast, Dr. Adelle Atkinson recommends that we gradually expose children to these allergy-causing foods before six months of age.  By doing so, Dr. Atkinson argues that we would gradually build up a tolerance in children with food allergies before it is too late for any corrective action.

While I am not recommending that any parents out there try Dr. Atkinson’s suggestions, I think that it is important to generate discussion within this topic, so that a greater societal focus can generate even more ground-breaking ideas and perspectives that will eventually lead us to overcome food allergies in children as well as adults.

While many of our parents are excited to explore the idea of combating their children’s allergies, it is important to consult your child’s pediatrician to ensure the process is approached in the safest way possible.

The Canadian Pediatric Society has also released research on this topic, in an article titled Dietary exposures and allergy prevention in high-risk infants.  This article can be found here.  Details of Dr. Adelle Atkinson’s research could be found within this article as she is one of the many authors.

We are excited to see the direction that the medical community will take in the future to resolve severe food allergies and how they will improve the variety of food exposure for everyone. For now, we are open to new ideas and possibilities for the generations ahead!

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Chef Lisa Ruscica

Chief Food Ambassador


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