An Australian Consensus on Infant Feeding Guidelines to Prevent Food Allergy: Outcomes From the Australian Infant Feeding Summit

Merryn J. Netting, Dianne E. Campbell, Jennifer J. Koplin, Kathy M. Beck, Vicki McWilliam, Shyamali C. Dharmage, Mimi L.K. Tang, Anne Louise Ponsonby, Susan L. Prescott, Sandra Vale, Richard K.S. Loh, Maria Makrides, Katrina J. Allen

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Background Infant feeding in the first postnatal year of life has an important role in an infant's risk of developing food allergy. Consumer infant feeding advice is diverse and lacks consistency. Aim The Australian Infant Feeding Summit was held with the aim of achieving national consensus on the wording of guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention. Methods Two meetings were hosted by the Centre for Food and Allergy Research, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, and the Australian National Allergy Strategy. The first meeting of 30 allergy researchers, clinicians, and consumers assessed the evidence. The second consensus meeting involved 46 expert stakeholders including state and federal health care agencies, consumers, and experts in allergy, infant feeding, and population health. Results Partner stakeholders agreed on consensus wording for infant feeding advice: 1. When your infant is ready, at around 6 months, but not before 4 months, start to introduce a variety of solid foods, starting with iron-rich foods, while continuing breast-feeding.2. All infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg, dairy, and wheat products in the first year of life. This includes infants at high risk of allergy.3. Hydrolyzed (partially or extensively) infant formula is not recommended for the prevention of allergic disease.Conclusions Consensus was achieved in a context in which there is a high prevalence of food allergy. Guidelines for other countries are being updated. Provision of consistent wording related to infant feeding to reduce food allergy risk will ensure clear consumer advice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1624
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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