Daniel Zakowski is going to change the way you look at feeding your baby. Why? Because avoidance of certain foods such as peanuts, eggs and milk could be increasing your baby’s risk of developing food allergies. I KNOW! So, what if I told you that you could prevent 80% of food allergies by introducing your baby to these allergenic foods earlier and more often. Daniel dives deeper into this topic as this is the statistic that started it all for Ready, Set, Food! A lot of knowledge is going to be dropped on you in this episode that could potentially be life-changing for you and your little one. Ready, Set, Push Play!
Daniel is the CEO and co-founder of Ready, Set, Food! A system, developed by an allergist-mom, that introduces your baby to peanut, egg and milk reducing their risk of food allergies by up to 80%. Ready, Set, Food! is an organic, non-GMO and all-natural daily dietary supplement that you add to breastmilk, formula or mix in with food. It’s a guided system made from just the right amount of real, whole foods. They want to spread the word to all parents that babies aren't born with allergies and that they can make a difference in reducing their baby's risk of food allergies.
Daniel’s nephew is one of the many kids that suffer from food allergies in America. His brother-in-law is a doctor and read about clinical trials that were showing that you can prevent 80% of food allergies, such as peanut, egg and milk, just by having the child eat the food early and regularly. So, Daniel and his brother-in-law were really excited that there was something they could do to help minimize his nephew’s risk of getting these food allergies.
The only problem was that Daniel’s nephew wasn’t a big eater… they would try to give this four-month-old these allergenic foods, but he wasn’t interested in eating it. They waited a few months until he was seven-months-old to try again, but he ended up developing a number of different food allergies.
It was so frustrating to Daniel knowing that the science is there saying they had an 80% chance to prevent these food allergies, but no way to expose him to these foods at an early age. This gap between science and a child’s ability to eat food is what motivated Daniel to create Ready, Set, Food!
INCREASE SEEN IN CHILDREN WITH FOOD ALLERGIES
Those no peanut signs are becoming more frequent these days… and why is that? Daniel explains that part of the problem is that the medical community still doesn’t understand the biological mechanism that causes food allergies. So, what ends up happening (and what has happened) is that they look at the evidence they have and they make their best guess on how to treat it.
In the past, there wasn’t a whole lot of clinical trials that were done on food allergies because they hadn’t been that much of a problem. Then, in the ’80s and ’90s, the detection of food allergies started to increase a little bit.
“Doctors didn’t have a lot of evidence on what to do about it. But it seems like babies are delicate and peanuts seemed dangerous, so it would be better to keep those allergenic foods away from your baby.” – Daniel Zakowski
The pediatric community in the late ’90s started recommending avoidance. But what they found out later after newer clinical trials is that avoidance actually causes these food allergies. So, the recommendation for avoidance is part of what has caused this dramatic increase in children’s food allergies.
After years of not enough evidence and uncertainty, Daniel wants to spread the message (that has been proven in multiple, multiple trials and is supported by all the new guidelines) that exposing your child to these allergenic foods earlier and in small doses can actually prevent 80% food allergies from ever developing.
LINK BETWEEN ECZEMA + FOOD ALLERGIES
An important misconception is that food allergies or eating certain foods cause eczema. Now, it can cause an eczema flare-up, but it’s not going to be the cause of your baby having eczema.
The reason that there’s a link between eczema and food allergies is because food allergies are a large aspect of our environment. Daniel says that the biggest reason doctors believe we get food allergies is through something called the dual-allergen hypothesis.
What that means is that if we get exposed to food proteins through our skin, that increases our sensitivity to those allergenic foods. If we get exposed to those foods by eating them, then it decreases our sensitivity.
Because biologically by eating the food, that’s the way of telling our bodies to adapt the food. And things that enter your body + your bloodstream through your skin are generally things you’re not supposed to be eating, so your body has built up this ability to react negatively to those things that enter through your skin.
It’s not that eczema directly causes food allergies, it’s that it physically affects the barrier of your skin in a way that makes it easier for the allergenic proteins to enter your skin. That increases sensitivity just because exposure to your skin increases sensitivities.
For example, even with babies that don’t have eczema that parents feeding those foods in the house generate the protein in the air that can be on the baby’s skin and that may lead to increases in food sensitization.
They found that something that can be effective in preventing food allergies with babies with eczema is coating them with cream or Vaseline because it creates a barrier that stops those allergenic proteins from getting into their skin.
SHOULD YOU EAT ALLERGENIC FOODS DURING PREGNANCY?
Daniel explained that the newest guidelines from the American Academy Pediatrics say that you shouldn’t avoid anything while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding unless you see a reaction or talk to your doctor about it.
People believe that it should help to eat it, but it has not been shown conclusively to prevent food allergies. The reason they believe that it has not been shown to be effective is that everyone’s body is different. That being said, it’s good to give you + your baby exposure to as much as possible and as early as possible.
MENTIONED IN EPISODE
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