Soy is a very common ingredient used in baby food that can often be very confusing. The biggest source of confusion erupts when soy is used in baby formula.
Some babies are lactose intolerant. Such babies exhibit “colic” symptoms or vomits immediately after being fed a bottle. Pediatricians suggest soy milk as a substitute for these babies. Most times, babies put on soy formula are able to feed on the formula milk without suffering from any side effects. But how would you determine if your baby is not allergic to soy too?
Soy As Baby Food:
Here is a little first –soy guide for your baby:
- Soy is derived from soybeans, and is an integral part of cuisines around the world.
- Soybeans cultivated for centuries are considered a rich source of protein, calcium and iron.
- It has been a reliable and nutritious substitute for millions of babies, who either do not have access to breast milk and/or were allergic to dairy milk.
- It is also offered when your baby takes different types of other foods.
- But in general, it is better not to use soy as the first food.
[ Read: Peanut Allergy In Babies ]
Symptoms Of Soy Allergy In Babies:
It is important to diagnose soy allergy in babies at a very early stage. Here are some of the symptoms you should look for:
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Oral allergy syndrome
- Red spots
- Low blood pressure
- Swollen, watery, itchy eyes
If you find any one or more of the symptoms of allergy in your baby, make sure to get in touch with your pediatrician and ask for the Allergen Elimination Diet. Also, if you are breastfeeding and rely on a diet rich in soy products, you may have to cut down on the overall soy consumption for a few weeks.
[ Read: Skin Allergy In Infants ]
How To Manage Serious Reactions?
When you are armed with proper knowledge, you need not panic if your child suffers from severe allergic reactions. Here is what you should do:
- In case your baby has been diagnosed with severe allergic conditions, you may be asked to carry auto injector epinephrine to deal with emergencies.
- This injector comes in a container that you can carry anywhere. It is very simple to use and you can also ask your doctor to help you show how to use it.
- You must have easy access to epinephrine and know how to use it.
- You must always carry over-the-counter medicines like antihistamine to deal with mild allergy attacks.
[ Read: First Aid For Baby ]
If Your Baby Attends A Nursery Or Crèche:
Inform the staff about your child’s allergy and keep an action plan ready. Your baby’s playschool or crèche staff must have access to the rescue medicines all the time.
- In case of serious allergic symptoms such as swelling of the throat or mouth or difficulty in breathing, inform the staff to inject epinephrine immediately.
- Also alert them to call you, or contact you or your partner immediately.
- Thereafter, you must call the emergency and bring your child under medical supervision.
Allergy-Free Safety For Your Baby:
When your baby is diagnosed with soy allergy, you need to follow the safety guidelines laid down by the pediatricians.
- Baked foods, infant formulas and Asian foods contain soy. Keep checklists of foods containing soy that you want to avoid.
- Read labels before you buy the packaged foods. Look for the ingredient “soy” and if you find it in the list of contents, avoid the food.
- It is also important to learn the names of ingredients that mean soy. The foods that you are thinking to be “safe” might just turn out to be “unsafe”, as companies change production locations, processes and ingredients.
- You must inform everyone in your family who prepares food for your child about her soy allergy. As much as possible, do not let your child eat outside your cooking.
- As your child grows, teach her to look out for the potentially allergic foods.
[ Read: Formula Milk Allergy In Babies ]
Soy allergy is neither a disease, nor a serious lifestyle-altering condition, so do not worry if you find your baby allergic to soy formula. Just practicing a few cautious steps and of course, teaching your family and then eventually your child also to do so, is enough to tackle this problem.
We’d love to hear from you! Share with other parents what you do to protect your child from soy allergies.
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