Allergic disease affects up to 25% of the UK population, with the incidence of childhood allergy having risen since the mid 20th century. From mid-gestation until around two years is important for immune system development. During this period it may be influenced by environmental factors including diet. Thus mothers' knowledge of diet during pregnancy and childhood is particularly important for this programmable period. A wide variety of national guidelines by the Food Standards Agency and the British Dietetic Association exist to assist them.1,–⇓4
Aims To evaluate mothers' knowledge of diet in pregnancy and early childhood against the most recent guidelines in this field and their information sources.
Methods A questionnaire was devised, based on current national dietary guidelines about dietary advice during pregnancy and early childhood. Questions focused on peanut1 and caffeine consumption during pregnancy,2 weaning, introducing cow's milk3 and vitamin usage.4
Results 100 women were interviewed in antenatal clinics (50) and general paediatric clinics (50).
Conclusion Many mothers are unaware of the current recommendations for diet in pregnancy and early childhood. This may lead to unnecessary dietary restrictions. Midwives provide the most used dietary information to mothers.