In the past, food allergies were considered rare. However, there has been a huge increase (50%) in the number of people who have food allergies between 1997 and 2011. In fact, 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies and 1 in every 13 children has a severe food allergy. Each year over 200,000 people (in the U.S) require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.
These are very scary statistics. Parents with kids who have food allergies must modify their lives and the lives of their families to accommodate their children. They are also constantly worried about their child suffering from anaphylactic shock because of eating the wrong food. All of this makes them desperate to find a way to prevent food allergies in their other children.
Research has emerged to help prevent children from developing food allergies. A study done by Dr. Gideon Lack and Dr. George Du Toit uncovered an interesting insight. They observed Israeli children and discovered that they had a significantly lower percentage of children who were allergic to peanuts. In Israel, children eat a snack called Bamba from a very early age (a peanut-butter flavored snack). Based on this, they concluded that the early introduction of allergens to babies can lower their chances of developing food allergies later in life. An early introduction to allergens is especially true for kids who are at high risk of developing allergies (if a sibling or parent has a food allergy). Some studies have shown that introducing a baby to allergens at an early age can reduce their chances of developing food allergies by up to 80%.
When should we introduce allergy food to a baby?
The best time to introduce allergens to a baby is when they start eating solid foods (around 6 months old, but not before 4 months). It is also recommended that you introduce your baby to allergy foods before they are 1 year old because studies have shown that at that age, the chances of them developing allergies increases.
How to introduce allergy foods?
It is important to start with one allergen at a time. If your baby has an allergic reaction it will be easier to identify.
Early introduction & Covid-19
Families with babies who have a higher risk of food allergies have been concerned about introducing allergens to their children during the Covid-19 pandemic, in fear that if the child has an allergic reaction and must go to the hospital, then they might catch the Coronavirus.
However, despite the pandemic, most health professionals still recommended introducing children to allergen from a young age because it greatly reduces the chance of them developing allergies later in life.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.
We are so lucky we found this company to help us while our son was traveling. They provided allergy-safe baked goods and delivered them to his hotel so he could have bread and pastries on his month-long Israel trip. It was very easy ordering and communicating his needs. I would definitely use the food allergy concierge again the next time he travels to Israel.