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ASCIA Guidelines - Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention

pdfASCIA Guidelines Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention 2020109.65 KB

Key recommendations


ASCIA has developed these guidelines to outline practices that may help reduce the risk of infants developing allergies, particularly early onset allergic diseases such as eczema and food allergy.

These guidelines are based on current published evidence, including information published after 2010. The revised recommendations listed above are based on a consensus agreement by participants in the Infant Feeding Summit hosted by the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) in May 2016. Minor updates have been made in 2020 to link to relevant websites and to be consistent with statements in other ASCIA documents.

The reasons for the continued rise in allergic diseases, such as food allergy, eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever) are complex and not well understood. Although infants with a family history of allergic disease are at higher risk of allergies, infants with no family history can also develop allergies. Therefore, these guidelines are relevant for all families, including those in which siblings or parents already have food allergies or other allergic conditions.

If your infant already has an allergic disease (such as severe eczema or food allergy), you should discuss what specific measures might be useful with your doctor.

Maternal diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and infant formula

When your infant is ready, at around six months, but not before four months, start to introduce a variety of solid foods, starting with iron rich foods, while continuing breastfeeding 

Some infants will develop food allergies. If there is any allergic reaction to any food, stop giving that food and seek medical advice from a doctor with experience in food allergy.

Other measures

Levels of evidence - What does low, moderate and high evidence mean?

Researchers usually grade evidence from research studies to help them understand the importance of the study findings. Generally, this is based upon the study design, size and overall quality of the study:


These guidelines have been developed by the ASCIA Paediatric and Dietitian Committees, and reviewed by the ASCIA membership, with significant input from the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR), a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in 2016. Minor updates have been made in 2020 to link to relevant websites and to be consistent with statements in other ASCIA documents.

The reference list for this document is available at

Further information

ASCIA infant feeding and allergy prevention information:

Nip allergies in the Bub program for food allergy prevention:

Support for patients, consumers and carers:

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia or call 1300 728 000

Allergy New Zealand


© ASCIA 2020

ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology and allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand. 

ASCIA information is reviewed by ASCIA members and represents available published literature at the time of review. The content of this document is not intended to replace professional medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner. Development of this document is not funded by any commercial sources and is not influenced by commercial organisations.

Content updated November 2020