By Allergen Bureau

Australian caregivers already introduce allergens early

Current guidelines recommend introducing solid foods to infants between four to six months of age and introducing the common food allergens by 12 months of age to minimise risk of developing childhood food allergy. Australian researchers have looked at whether regular SMS messaging supports parents and caregivers to introduce allergens early.

In a randomised controlled trial, caregivers of infants younger than six months old and not already on solids were allocated into two groups. One group received SMS messages monthly until the infants were aged 1 year, whereas the other group did not receive any SMS messages. Questionnaires were completed by all caregivers at the commencement and conclusion of the trial.

Contrary to the authors’ expectations, most children in the trial were introduced to allergens before one year, and SMS messaging did not promote the earlier introduction of allergens or frequency of consumption.

This finding indicates most Australian caregivers were already aware of the importance of early allergen introduction. However, some parents were concerned about early adverse reactions to food, highlighting the need for timely advice to prevent unnecessary dietary avoidance.

Reference: Netting et al. 2022. Journal of Paediatric Allergy and immunology. DOI: