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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?

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.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date Reviewed: Apr 10, 2018

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