Eating during pregnancy

Dr. JJ Levenstein shares latest recommendation on the benefits of eating peanuts during pregnancy.

In 2017, a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel released recommendations about the early introduction of peanut foods as a means to prevent peanut allergy.1 In spite of the evidence, some parents are still anxious about introducing peanut protein to their children, particularly those with a family history of food allergies.2 Health professionals like you are key to helping overcome parents’ hesitancy in order to effectively implement the new recommendations.

More than 99 percent of Americans can enjoy peanuts without any issue, and according to the NIAID Expert Panel, peanut allergies affect just 0.6 percent of us – and fall behind milk and eggs in children and behind shellfish among adults in prevalence.3

Areas that may be of interest to healthcare professionals include:

Proper diagnosis and management of food allergies are critical. The Academy of Nutrition Dietetics offers online training in food allergy and how you can help your clients manage theirs.

The National Institutes of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an expert panel to consider the state of the science of food allergies in an effort to assess the current research and identify opportunities to fill gaps. The experts identified key areas including diagnosis, education, and prevalence as some of the areas where additional resources should be directed.4

1.Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, Assa’ad A, Baker J, Beck, LA, et al. Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: Report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2017:1-8.

2. Bégin, P., Graham, F., Killer, K., Paradis, J., Paradis, L., & Roches, A. D. (2016). Introduction of peanuts in younger siblings of children with peanut allergy: A prospective, double-blinded assessment of risk, of diagnostic tests, and an analysis of patient preferences. Allergy.