Can A Spoonful Of This Powder Help Prevent Children’s Food Allergies? – Fast Company

San Francisco-based Before Brands is taking a cue from the Mary Poppins guidebook with its new product SpoonfulOne Daily Food Mix-in, a daily dietary supplement powder made to train a child’s body to get accustomed to foods responsible for 90% of food allergies. With one spoon a day, babies as young as 4-6 months get an introduction to proteins found in peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, shellfish, cashews, sesame, and more. Parents simply sign up for a subscription of packets, which they can mix into liquids, pureed fruits and vegetables, or cereal.

“Proactive is better than reactive,” cofounder (and mom) Ashley Dombkowski, tells Fast Company of her mission to reduce allergies prior to development. “And our product was designed to be the most carefully selected, most inclusive set of proteins ever developed for this.”

Dombkowski, who previously served as chief business officer at 23andMe, feels strongly about the medical community’s commitment to preventable diseases. In 2015, she partnered with Stanford pediatrician and allergy expert Kari Nadeau to start Before Brands in hopes of finding a convenient solution for the nation’s allergy epidemic. Food Allergy & Research Education, a nonprofit dedicated to food allergies, estimates that nearly 6 million children under the age of 18 possess a food allergy; that’s one in 13 kids, and about two in every class.

And it’s not just the feared mighty peanut: Roughly 30% of children are allergic to multiple foods, reports the journal Pediatrics. Meanwhile, two thirds of American kids have no parent with food allergies.

“When I was a kid growing up, we didn’t really ever hear about food allergies,” says Dombkowski, pointing to the rapidly growing phenomenon that has in many ways stifled children’s nutrition. On the more recognizable end, children are armed with EpiPens, fearful of a potentially life-threatening episode. But on a daily level, there’s the social isolation of having to sit at a different lunch table, the disappointment of avoiding sleepovers, and the anxiety of consuming unfamiliar foods.


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