Newborn care

Ask Dr. Dina: Can my diet decrease the odds of my baby developing a food allergy?

Paediatrician Dina Kulik discusses best practices when it comes to avoiding food allergies.

Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

If I avoid wheat and nuts while breastfeeding, will that decrease my baby’s risk of developing an allergy?

There’s a common misconception that pregnant and breastfeeding moms should avoid eating allergens, such as peanuts and egg, lest their kids develop allergies. Science does not back this up. Recent studies have failed to show a reduction in food allergies when mothers avoided certain foods during pregnancy—even when there was a family history of allergies. In fact, some studies show that introducing allergens into a child’s diet early can actually lessen the risk of allergies. Since not all babies are ready for solid food at the same time, it’s best to talk with your doctor first.

Dina Kulik is a paediatrician and emergency room doctor in Toronto and mom to three boys, who are five, three and 17 months. Send her your kids’ health questions at

Read More:
Pregnancy food guide: Truth about what you can eat (+ cheat sheet)
The pregnancy diet: 5 must-have foods
Study: Most siblings of food-allergic kids don’t also develop the food allergy

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