Baby Food Allergies: Identifying and Preventing Them

Introduction

When you start giving your baby solids, it is a significant achievement for all parents. When starting your baby on solids, the most important thing is to know which foods can cause allergies. A rash or irritable baby can be a sign of an allergy in your baby.

However, talk to your child’s doctor to know the leading cause of an allergy, and they might give you a food allergen testing to identify any root causes or problems related to baby foods.

Give your child mashed food, or if you wish, you can also follow baby-led weaning, which is not the traditional way of starting your baby on solids; if you want to, start by giving your child one type of food a day if it is causing allergies or not.

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If you don’t see any changes in your baby such as an allergy or rashes, then that food is safe for your baby however if a rash occurs or your baby is irritable, then go to a doctor.

Foods That Might Cause Allergies

You will want to look out for any allergic reaction in your baby. As there are more than 160 allergenic foods, certain foods have more chances of causing an allergy than others. We have made a list of some foods that can cause allergies. Let us look at them below:

  • Eggs
  • Cow Milk
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat

New studies show that you can give your child foods that might cause allergies as soon as they are ready for solids. As previous studies suggested, giving your child’s allergic foods once they are older has no significant value, and you can give them once you start solids to understand which food might cause an allergy. Do get a food allergen testing done if you see any change in your child.

Symptoms of a Food Allergy

Allergy symptoms appear in your child right away, or it might take an hour or two, but you will see a change in your child. When you introduce a new food to your baby, keep an eye for the symptoms listed below:

  • Face, lip, or tongue swelling
  • Welts or hives
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Difficult breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coughing or wheezing

Some severe food allergies can be fatal, so make sure to call an emergency as soon as you see your child having difficulty breathing and hearing a wheezing sound when they breathe.

Mild Allergies

If you see a symptom of mild allergies in your child, please let your doctor know. Your doctor might refer you to an allergist who will do a physical exam and run some tests. The allergist might give you some tests, including:

Skin Test

Your child will be given a particular allergic food whose liquid extract will be applied to the back of the child’s forearm. The allergist will then prick that place and see if any rash appears in 15 minutes. If there’s a rash, your child might be allergic to that food.

Blood Test

To check the blood for any antibodies to specific foods.

Tips to Avoid Allergies

Doctors now recommend giving your child allergic foods earlier as compared to later. Introducing allergenic foods at an early age help the child to develop lees allergies later on in life.

Breastfeeding your child for the first 4-6 months of his or her life is the best way to help them avoid any allergies. If for some reason, breastfeeding is not possible, then you can give your child formula.

Before you start fresh milk, ask your doctor first since breastmilk or formula is higher in nutrition and the best milk for your baby in the initial months.

Introduce your child to peanuts between the ages of 4-6 months, as now doctors recommend it. Children who are allergic to peanuts are also usually allergic to eggs.

Wait till your child is nine months to one year before introducing honey, as it can cause botulism. Gradually start giving your child allergic foods between 6-9 months to see which food might cause an allergy.

Conclusion

Baby food allergies are prevalent in infants. Some children are allergic to nuts, which is the most common form of allergies, while some children are lactose intolerant, and cow milk doesn’t suit them.

However, mostly a child’s allergies end as they grow older but if your child doesn’t grow out of allergies, make sure to visit your doctor, who will guide you on what steps to take and how to deal with their allergies.