Early introduction

Recommendations for the introduction of common allergens to infants has changed over the last few years as research has emerged on ways to help prevent the development of food allergy in babies.

Asian baby boy eating blend food on a high chair

Helping to prevent the development of food allergy in infants

Recommendations for the introduction of common allergens to infants has changed over the last few years as research has emerged on ways to help prevent the development of food allergy in babies.

In 2019, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) released updated recommendations on the specific timing of early introduction of allergenic foods for high-risk infants. The new guidance is to actively offer non-choking forms of foods containing common allergens (e.g. peanuts, egg) around 6 months of age, but not before 4 months, as this can be effective in preventing food allergy in some high-risk infants.

This represents a dramatic shift from previous advice to parents and caregivers regarding the introduction of common allergens in a child’s diet.

Infants who are not considered high risk should start to receive complementary foods when they are around 6 months of age and show signs of developmental readiness.

Please scroll below for information on the introduction of allergenic foods to babies. You will find recorded webinars for parents and healthcare professionals, a frequently asked questions document for parents, and other resources for families and healthcare professionals.


Canadian Paediatric Society’s updated guidance on the early introduction of allergens to babies

In 2019, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) released updated recommendations on the specific timing of early introduction of allergenic foods for high-risk infants. These recommendations provide consistent guidance to families around how they can potentially help prevent food allergy in their children.

For parents: Recorded webinar on the updated guidance on the early introduction of allergens

We hosted a webinar in April 2019 on the CPS’ updated recommendations on the early introduction of allergenic foods for high-risk infants.

The webinar was presented by Canadian paediatric allergist Dr. Elissa Abrams who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of Manitoba; and a co-author of the newly released CPS practice point on the introduction of allergenic foods. She is also Vice Chair of the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Section of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; and President of the Allergy Section of the CPS.

You can view a recording of the webinar below, which includes a question and answer period.

Parent resource: Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a detailed FAQ document for parents on early introduction. These FAQs are based on the CPS’ updated recommendations on the specific timing of early introduction of allergenic foods for high-risk infants, and reviewed by Canadian allergists. Please click on the document to view.

For healthcare professionals: Recorded webinar on the early introduction of allergens and food allergy prevention

We hosted a webinar tailored for healthcare professionals in June 2019 on the CPS’ updated recommendations on the early introduction of allergenic foods for high-risk infants.

This webinar is presented by Canadian pediatric allergist Dr. Edmond Chan who is a UBC Clinical Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Allergy & Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital; and a co-author of the newly released CPS practice point on the introduction of allergenic foods.

You can view a recording of the webinar below, which includes a question and answer period.

Healthcare professionals:

Visit our section created exclusively for you. You’ll find patient information sheets on food allergy-related topics, additional medically-reviewed materials, and more.


Recipe options for home feeding infants at low risk

Here are four recipe options for the home feeding of peanut protein to babies at low risk of an allergic reaction to peanut. View the recipes.

Source: NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) guidelines

The NIAID guidelines for the introduction of peanut to babies were released in 2017. Please refer to the CPS’ recommendations on the specific timing of early introduction of allergenic foods for high-risk infants released this year.