Food allergies in babies are a cause of concern among parents. While you cannot find the foods that cause allergies in your little one right away, the process is gradual, so that the way your baby reacts to certain foods raises red flags on its own.
It is always ideal to make close notes to any kinds of foods that cause sudden symptoms of allergy in your baby. Most parents who are anxious about the process at the commencement of solid food to their baby tend to eventually settle down after few months.
While food allergies can be identified, addressed and tackled, a lot goes into the entire process of evaluation. It is helpful to follow certain parameters while introducing newer foods to your toddler. There are various factors that have be weighed and considered before ruling out that your baby is indeed allergic to a certain food group or food.
What Are Food Allergens?
Foods that cause allergic reaction in children are called food allergens. There are more than 160 specific kinds of food allergens as per the latest study. While some foods are more allergenic than the others, identifying the main food groups with the most possible food allergens helps filter the suspects better.
The following foods can turn out to be the possible common baby food allergies:
- Shell Fish
- Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Apricots etc.)
- Dairy products (Milk, Cheese, etc.)
- Fruit (Pineapple, Banana, etc.)
[ Read: Soy Allergy In Babies ]
What Are The Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Babies?
Babies tend to exhibit immediate reaction at the onset of an allergy caused by certain foods. You will see most of the below symptoms in your baby if he is allergic to some foods:
- Swelling of face, tongue or lips
- Skin rash
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of consciousness
It is important to make note of the exact reaction towards food so that you can list the same with your baby’s pediatrician.
[ Read: Hives In Babies ]
Measures To Tackle Food Allergens:
In order to identify the key foods that cause allergy in your baby, you can resort to taking some useful and preventive measures to address the possibilities and existence of food allergies.
Here are some important pointers to be borne in mind while introducing different food groups in your baby’s diet:
1. Introduce Foods Gradually:
Once your baby moves on to solid foods, do not rush indulging your little one. Most parents do this out of sheer excitement of their infant reaching a milestone.
- Introduce different kinds of foods to your baby in a gradual manner, checking if your baby is comfortable with the same.
- The process will take time, but you will be able to identify the key food allergens better this way.
2. Maintain A Timeline:
Always follow a viable time interval between introducing one food to another.
- Wait and watch as too how your baby responds to a certain food before you proceed on to the next.
- It is recommended that you wait for three to five days and observe your baby’s reaction to a specific food group.
- You can add the new food group after being certain that your baby is good to go with the previous foods introduced.
- This way, your baby will also enjoy the different flavors being introduced.
[ Read: Peanut Allergy In Babies ]
3. Do Not Force Your Baby:
There is a thin line of difference between your baby acting fussy with food and reacting to an allergy.
- Sometimes your baby may refuse a certain food without showing any symptom of an allergy.
- It is advisable not to coerce your child when that happens.
- Try and introduce the same food after a time gap and you will be surprised to see the acceptance levels.
4. Wait For The Appropriate Time:
Doctors suggest that parents should introduce the foods that can be possibly allergenic after their babies reach certain age.
- For example, try introducing foods like peanuts and walnuts after your baby completes 3 years of age.
- It is advisable to talk to your baby’s pediatrician to identify and understand the ways to deal with food allergens specific to your child.
5. Allergenic Foods:
Once there is a confirmation of the foods that your baby is allergic to, experts suggest that the same foods can be tried and introduced to children once they are 9 to 10 years of age.
- By this time, your child’s digestive system would have reached a certain threshold to withstand reactions.
- Sometimes, your little one may not experience any allergy at all after reaching that age group.
- It is important to strictly stay away from the food allergens till such time.
[ Read: Wheat Allergy In Babies ]
6. Family History Of Food Allergies:
You have to pay close attention to any family history of food allergies that exist.
- It is likely that your baby might be allergic to the same because of the genetic predisposition.
- Check the possible foods that anyone in the family has been allergic to while introducing the same to the baby.
- In case there is a strong reaction to the same, it is advisable to stop adding the food to your baby’s diet for some time.
What To Do In Case Of A Food Allergy In Babies?
It is recommended to call your baby’s pediatrician as soon as there is a sudden reaction to certain foods. Rush your baby to the nearest hospital when the following symptoms are cited in your little one:
- Fainting fits
- Breathing issues
Recommended Age Restrictions For Food Allergens:
The American Academy Of Pediatrics and Health Bodies all over the world recommend certain age limitations on introducing the proven food allergens to the babies. It is useful to go through the same:
- Eggs – After 2 years
- Peanuts – After 3 years
- Cow’s Milk – After 1 Year
- Honey – After 1 Year (possibility of infant botulism)
[ Read: Egg Allergy In Baby ]
It is important to be mindful about the known food allergens and the possible foods that your baby might be allergic to. The seriousness of an allergy caused by food can be mild to serious, but anything and everything has to be brought to the attention of your baby’s pediatrician.
Your child’s doctor will most likely set an action plan after evaluating the health of your baby and the nature of the allergy caused. Paying extreme attention to the instructions will benefit the well-being of your baby.
Do share your experiences with baby food allergies with other parents in the comment section below.
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