Evaluation of the Introduction of Allergen Containing Foods: Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016


Guidelines on early introduction of allergen-containing foods are evolving; however, little national data exist defining current allergen feeding practices.


To investigate consumption rates of foods containing egg and peanut among infants and toddlers prior to guideline changes in 2017.


The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016 was conducted nationally among 3235 caregivers with a child under 4 years-of-age. 24-hr dietary recalls were reviewed for peanut or egg ingredients. Participants were categorized as “consuming peanut or egg-containing foods” or “not consuming peanut or egg containing foods”. Data on physician-diagnosed food allergies and avoidance were collected.


Consumption rates of peanut- and/or egg-containing foods were low. For the age group of 4-5.9 months, 0.3% reported peanut consumption, and 2.4% reported egg consumption. For 6-8.9 months, 0.9% reported eating peanut-containing foods and 13.0% egg, and at 9-11.9 months, 5.5% were consuming peanut-containing foods, and 33.2% egg-containing foods. Peanut or egg ingredients were identified in the diet of children whose caregivers reported avoidance.


Prior to publication of the 2017 Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy, there were low rates of reported peanut consumption across the study population with < 1% of any age group prior to 9 months-of-age and < 6% in any age group prior to 12 months-of-age consuming peanut, on the 24-hour recall day. Reported egg consumption was also low and increased with age. These results serve as an important baseline comparison for future studies evaluating the implementation and impact of early peanut and egg introduction.

Groetch M, Czerkies L, Quann E, Boccella J, Hampton J, Anater A, Nowak-Wegrzyn A. Evaluation of the Introduction of Allergen Containing Foods: Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2021 Feb 6:S1081-1206(21)00101-0. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2021.02.003. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33561539