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An Easy Approach to Early Food Allergen Introduction with Dr. Katie Marks Cogan

You've heard about “early food allergen introduction…”

Early food allergen introduction is important to help prevent babies from developing food allergies. While it is not 100% effective, it has been shown to help significantly decrease the risk of food allergies. It works by teaching the baby's immune system to grow tolerance to a food from a young age. In children who are at risk of developing food allergies, the absence of a food tends to tell the body “if and when you see this food, attack it.” Allergists still don't know why exactly some children develop food allergies, especially those without risk factors, but it happens.


So how do you actually do early introduction?

Early food allergen introduction is the intentional, regular incorporation of common allergens into the baby's diet in developmentally appropriate ways. For example, a baby should never have a peanut because it's a choking hazard. But you can thin peanut butter with breast milk or water to create a tasty food that is developmentally appropriate and contains a common allergen. When babies get older, they can have peanut puffs. Once a baby is given the food and tolerates it, that allergen should be included in the baby's diet three times per week.


Early food allergen introduction is doable!

Early food allergen introduction is doable!

“But it's kinda hard to do early food allergen introduction!”

Yes, introducing a food and keeping it in a baby's diet can be challenging, especially with foods like eggs when a baby isn't ready to eat scrambled eggs or products that contain baked egg. Plus, it takes time to make sure each allergen is staying in the diet. This is why Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan, board-certified allergist and a mom, created Ready, Set, Food! On this episode of the podcast, Dr. Alice Hoyt interview Dr. Marks-Cogan, and they discuss:

  1. Why Dr. Marks-Cogan created Ready, Set, Food!

  2. The science behind early introduction of common food allergens

  3. What foods should be introduced early

Don't miss this episode!


Plus, here's the video!




Get your food allergy questions answered!

We hope you enjoy the podcast “An Easy Approach to Early Food Allergen Introduction with Dr. Katie Marks Cogan.” Do you have any questions about food allergies? Sign up for our newsletter where you can submit your questions and stay up-to-date on all things food allergy and YOUR kiddo!


Are you in need of an allergist in your area? Check out these allergist finder tools:

AAAAI Allergist Finder: https://allergist.aaaai.org/find/ ACAAI Allergist Finder: https://acaai.org/locate-an-allergist OIT Allergist Finder: https://fastoit.org/find-oit-allergists/

A note from Dr. Hoyt

I have talked about a non-profit…

Pam and I volunteer with the non-profit The Teal Schoolhouse. Its primary program is Code Ana. Code Ana equips schools for medical emergencies like anaphylaxis.

Code Ana’s Online Epinephrine Training Program helps support that goal. Through this program, you will educate yourself while you support this important mission!

A medical emergency response plan is important for everyone at any school. Code Ana's program Med-E Ready is a comprehensive approach to school-focused medical preparedness. This program guides schools through the process of creating a medical emergency response plan. A response team is also developed! This is one of the most important components of a school's food allergy policy!

Does your kiddo’s school have Code Ana?

You've just read our post “An Easy Approach to Early Food Allergen Introduction with Dr. Katie Marks Cogan.”

Remember, Dr. Hoyt is an allergist, but she isn't your allergist, so talk with your allergist about what you've just learned!

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