Catherine Mitchell Jaxon is a food allergy parent and the co-founder of Mission MightyMe- a revolutionary new food company on a mission to end the food allergy epidemic, by making it deliciously simple to follow new pediatric guidelines for including peanuts and other potentially allergenic foods in infant diets. Catherine and her husband JJ founded the company with world-renowned pediatric allergist Dr. Gideon Lack, as well as FARE co-founder, Todd Slotkin. Dr. Lack's groundbreaking randomized controlled trials (LEAP, LEAP-ON and EAT) found that most peanut allergies could be prevented by starting peanut foods in the first year of life - a discovery that changed pediatric feeding guidelines around the globe. The Jaxons tried early introduction with their infant son, in hopes of preventing him from developing a food allergy like his older sister did. However, it was a challenge because nuts and nut butters are a choking hazard for babies and the entire baby food industry is allergen-free. So they partnered with Dr. Lack to develop a line of foods that make early allergen introduction easy and enjoyable, and make children's lives better in the process. Prior to founding MightyMe, Catherine was an award-winning journalist with CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN Presents Documentaries. Website: http://www.missionmightyme.com This podcast is brought to you by Emory Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness. To learn more about our work, please visit https://bit.ly/EmoryLM
In this episode, we talk to Catherine Mitchell Jaxon, a food allergy parent and one of the founders of Mission MightyMe. Mission MightyMe is a revolutionary food company on a mission to end the food allergy epidemic, by making it deliciously simple for parents to follow new pediatric guidelines for including peanuts and other common food allergens in infant diets. The company was co-founded by world-renowned pediatric allergist Dr. Gideon Lack, whose groundbreaking research proved that most peanut allergies can be prevented. Dr. Lack founded the company with pioneering food allergy advocate Todd Slotkin (co-founder of FARE/Food Allergy Research & Education) and food allergy parents, Catherine and JJ Jaxon, whose personal struggle with food allergy prevention inspired the company.
Food allergies are a huge public health problem impacting 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. In the last two decades, the rate of food allergies in children has increased by more than 50% and the rate of nut allergies has tripled. Experts now believe feeding guidelines issued twenty years ago, advising parents to avoid feeding babies potentially allergenic foods like peanuts, may be partially responsible. When these foods were removed from infant diets, food allergy rates skyrocketed.
In 2015 however, everything changed, thanks to a landmark clinical trial (the Learning Early About Peanut study), led by Mission MightyMe Co-Founder Dr. Gideon Lack. The LEAP Study showed that more than 80% of peanut allergies can be prevented by regularly including peanut in babies’ diets, starting in the first year of life. The LEAP Study findings were groundbreaking. Children who completely avoided peanut until age five were over 5x more likely to develop a peanut allergy than children who consistently consumed peanut, starting in the first year of life until age 5. This discovery completely upended the old feeding guidelines. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health have now joined dozens of other health organizations around the world in recommending peanut introduction in infancy to prevent peanut allergies.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIAID, said the LEAP Study findings could potentially save “thousands and thousands of kids from peanut allergies.” However, there was still a huge problem – peanuts and peanut butter are choking hazards for infants, and the entire baby food industry is allergen-free. The Jaxons discovered this when trying to include nuts in their infant son’s diet, in hopes of preventing him from developing a nut allergy like his older sister. So they partnered with Dr. Lack to develop a line of foods that makes it easy and enjoyable to include nuts and other common food allergens in infant diets.
The company’s first product launched in April - Proactive Peanut Puffs. The puffs were developed in accordance with the LEAP Study and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, contain the exact amount of recommended peanut protein, use organic, simple ingredients, dissolve quickly for babies, and also taste delicious.
In 2021, Mission MightyMe plans to roll out the first ever multi-nut puff, which turns a collection of tree nuts into a delicious, baby-friendly puffed snack. More product extensions containing other common food allergens are also in development.
The mission is baked into the business model to achieve mass market adoption, but Mission MightyMe also gives back to food allergy prevention research and education to help end the food allergy epidemic and make children’s lives better in the process.
Food Allergy Prevention Research
Pediatric Feeding Guidelines
Instagram: @Mission MightyMe
Facebook: Mission MightyMe
Dr. Lack Video
Why We Started Mission MightyMe Video
You Tube: MMM on YouTube
This podcast is brought to you by Emory Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness. To learn more about our work, please visit