Guest blog by Meenal Lele
So we prepared ourselves to introduce tree nuts into the solid foods he was just starting to eat. I had purchased a ¼ pound of walnuts from our local market... and then I sat and stared at the walnuts. How the heck was I supposed to do this?
Finely chopped walnuts are still too big. Was he supposed to eat one walnut? More? Less?
It was so hard, I almost didn’t do it. But I did, because I had learned there are two BIG problems with waiting to feed your child nuts.
Number One - After decades of telling parents to wait, pediatricians reversed their recommendations and now tell parents to feed your baby allergens early and often. Several studies looking specifically at the effects of early introduction of peanuts (LEAP study), baked eggs (PETIT study), and all foods (EAT study) consistently showed that when babies make allergens a routine part of their diet, food allergies are far less likely to develop.
Number Two - The risk of a severe allergic reaction only increases as babies grow into their toddler years. Coughing and wheezing, which is considered a severe reaction, almost never happens in allergic reactions involving babies. In 3 year olds, coughing and wheezing occurs 20% of the time.
Like me, tree nut allergy parents would give anything to go back and cut the chance of this life in half. And they wish they found out their child had a tree nut allergy through hives rather than a frantic rush to the ER.
That’s why, for tree nut allergy parents having another child, or those who have friends with a new baby, we have to pass on the word about early introduction and the easiest way to do it - Lil Mixins.
Lil Mixins takes four tree nuts - pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts - and dehydrates and grinds them until they make a smooth powder. The powdered nuts stir into any baby puree, or can be added onto soft foods. It’s so simple to use, and a single jar has 4 months (!) of servings.
Eating those 4 nuts has been shown to create a tolerance to all 8 major tree nuts. For those with a tree nut allergic child in the house, Lil Mixins can also be purchased in single-serve packets to minimize contamination of the kitchen.
Early introduction is not fool-proof allergy prevention. Early, sustained exposure to tree nuts has been shown to stop nearly 60% of tree nut allergies before they start. It only works if parents are consistent, include all the foods in a baby-safe form, and if the baby eats enough tree nut in each sitting (about 2g of tree nut protein, or one serving of Lil Mixins).
All of that may be overwhelming for any parent. Lil Mixins is so easy to use, parents can actually do it.