What to do for baby food allergies

Your newborn needs only liquid nourishment. The AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby or feeding your baby hypoallergenic formula.

Both milk-based and soy-based baby formulas own been shown to increase the risk of developing food allergies in at-risk babies. If you are unable to breastfeed or if your baby reacts to food proteins in your breast milk, talk to your baby’s pediatrician about the prescription hydrolyzed formula for your baby.

There is no evidence that avoiding certain foods while breastfeeding will prevent food allergies or reduce the risk of your baby developing food allergies.

However, there own been some studies that own found that babies with atopic dermatitis may own fewer flare-ups when their mothers avoid some foods such as eggs and cow’s milk.


How will I know if my kid has a food allergy?

An allergic reaction can consist of 1 or more of the following:

  1. itchy skin or rash
  2. wheezing and shortness of breath
  3. runny or blocked nose
  4. swollen lips and throat
  5. a cough
  6. diarrhoea or vomiting
  7. itchy throat and tongue
  8. sore, red and itchy eyes

In a few cases, foods can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that can be life-threatening.

Get medical advice if you ponder your kid is having an allergic reaction to a specific food.

Don’t be tempted to experiment by cutting out a major food, such as milk, because this could lead to your kid not getting the nutrients they need. Talk to your health visitor or GP, who may refer you to a registered dietitian.


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At Ready, Set, Food!, we’re committed to every aspects of food allergy education, so families can make informed decisions about their children’s nutrition and give their babies the best defense against food allergies.

We’re excited to start our new Food Allergy 101 series, focused on providing food allergy education to families, with this post on finding out your baby’s food allergy risk factors.

With more than 1 in 10 suffering from a food allergy today, it’s significant for parents to know the risk factors that increase their baby’s chances of developing a food allergy. Food allergies develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors (such as changes in lifestyle and diet). With numerous things to consider, here’s our guide to assist give parents the information and tools they need to understand the latest research on risk factors and food allergy development.

General Population: Everyone is at risk for developing a food allergy with 8-10% suffering from a food allergy today.

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    About the author: 

    Our head allergist, Katie Marks-Cogan, M.D., is board certified in Allergy/Immunology and Internal Medicine, and treats both pediatric and adult patients.

    Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she received her M.D. with honors from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern and fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP). After finishing training, she moved to Southern California and currently works in private practice. She is a member of the scientific advisory board for Ready, Set, Food!

    She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, 3 year ancient son, and 8 month ancient daughter where she enjoys hiking, building LEGO castles with her son, and cooking with her family.

    ———————————-

    All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

    These statements own not been evaluated by the Food and Drug istration.

    Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your baby has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

    1. Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis:

      While the above risk factors do frolic a role in determining your child’s risk, eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is the most significant risk factor to consider. That’s because research shows that infants with eczema are at the highest risk for developing food allergies, but food allergy does not cause eczema.

      Moreover, up to 67% of infants with severe eczema and 25% of infants with mild eczema will develop a food allergy. That’s why new guidelines from the AAP and NIH on baby food allergy prevention are specifically focused on infants with eczema as these infants need food allergy prevention, and in turn, early allergen introduction the most. However, parents of infants with severe eczema must consult with their pediatrician first before introducing any allergenic foods.

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    17. Risk Factors that can be changed:

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    If there is a history of food or environmental allergies in your family, your baby may be at risk for developing food allergies.

    In the past, doctors recommended lengthy delays in introducing certain foods to at-risk babies.

    However, recent research has shown that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods may actually increase the risk of developing severe food allergies.

    In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its guidelines for introducing solids to babies and toddlers who are at-risk for food allergies. The AAP now recommends exclusive breastfeeding or hypoallergenic formula for the first 4 to 6 months of age, then a gradual introduction of solid foods, one at a time.


    Four to Six Months

    When your baby is capable to sit upright with support and is interested in solid foods that others are eating, she is ready for her first solid foods.

    At first, only feed your baby one or two tablespoons of thinned cereal or pureed foods once or twice a day.

    For your baby at risk for food allergies, it is significant to introduce foods one at a time. The AAP recommends introducing a new food for three days before moving on to a new food so that you can monitor any potential delayed reactions to the food.

    The AAP recommends first introducing fruits, vegetables, and grain cereals.

    The NIAID clinical guidelines for food allergies state that there is no medical evidence for delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods, including major allergens such as eggs, peanuts, or wheat.

    There is some research indicating that delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods beyond six months of age may actually increase the potential of developing an allergy later in childhood. Talk to your pediatrician about your plans for introducing solids.

    As I said above, the AAP recommends introducing foods one at a time. However, most jarred baby purees and baby cereals own multiple ingredients. You may be capable to discover a few first foods that contain only one food, but there is no guarantee that the food has not been cross-contaminated in the manufacturing plant.

    The safest way to introduce new foods to your baby is to make your own baby food so that you own control over the production and know exactly what is in the food.


    Introducing foods that could trigger allergy

    When you start introducing solid foods to your baby from around 6 months ancient, introduce the foods that can trigger allergic reactions one at a time and in extremely little amounts so that you can spot any reaction.

    These foods are:

    1. seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
    2. foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
    3. shellfish (don’t serve raw or lightly cooked)
    4. soya
    5. eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
    6. cows’ milk
    7. nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
    8. fish

    See more about foods to avoid giving babies and young children.

    These foods can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby’s diet, just love any other foods.

    Once introduced and if tolerated, these foods should become part of your baby’s usual diet to minimise the risk of allergy.

    Evidence has shown that delaying the introduction of peanut and hen’s eggs beyond 6 to 12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy to these foods.

    Lots of children outgrow their allergies to milk or eggs, but a peanut allergy is generally lifelong.

    If your kid has a food allergy, read food labels carefully.

    Avoid foods if you are not certain whether they contain the food your kid is allergic to.


    What to Do

    Avoid any known food allergies

    Thoroughly read food labels and ingredient list of products, avoid products inadequately label or that you suspect may contain an allergen your kid should avoid

    Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction

    Keep a food log

    If you own a mother’s “sixth sense” that your baby or kid may be exhibiting signs and symptoms of an intolerance or allergy, start keeping a food log that includes the food(s), beverage(s), time and date of consumption, and any other exterior factors (like a new school or daycare, change of laundry detergent, soap, lotion, or other household products, smoke exposure etc.) that could be significant in explaining the reaction.

    Be prepared to combat exposure to an allergen

    If you or your kid has already been diagnosed with a food allergy, hold antihistamine and epinephrine (if prescribed by your physician) with you (or with your kid if she is away from you) at every times.

    Speak with your pediatrician or allergist to own a plan of action in put should exposure to an allergen occur.

    Consult your child’s doctor for support

    If you suspect a food intolerance. If any signs or symptoms of a food allergy happen, consult with your child’s doctor for evaluation as soon as possible. And if your baby experiences any severe reactions (like difficulty breathing, swelling, severe vomiting or diarrhea), call 911 immediately.

    Sources

    Abrams, E.M., Becker A.B. Food introduction and allergy prevention in infants CMAJ. 2015 Nov 17; 187(17): 1297–1301.



    Food additives and children

    Food contains additives for numerous reasons, such as to preserve it, to help make it safe to eat for longer, and to give colour or texture.

    All food additives go through strict safety testing before they can be used. Food labelling must clearly show additives in the list of ingredients, including their name or «E» number and their function, such as «colour» or «preservative».

    A few people own adverse reactions to some food additives, love sulphites, but reactions to ordinary foods, such as milk or soya, are much more common.

    Read more about food colours and hyperactivity.

    Further information

    Sheet final reviewed: 24 July 2018
    Next review due: 24 July 2021

    What to Know

    1. Soy
    2. Milk
    3. Fish
    4. Tree Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios)
    5. Eggs
    6. Understand the difference between food allergies and food intolerances
    7. Peanuts
    8. Wheat
    9. Recognize food allergy symptoms
    10. Crustacean Shellfish (shrimp, crab and lobster)

    Educating yourself in what to glance for and how to handle a child’s allergic reaction is key to easing anxiety around this topic.

    You will soon feel empowered and prepared to react, if need be.

    An allergic reaction to food occurs when the body’s immune system misinterprets or overreacts to a protein in food, identifying it as harmful or dangerous and triggering a protective response.

    Any food has the potential to cause an allergic response and so far, over 160 foods own been identified! However, only these eight foods account for about 90% of every reactions:

    • Light-headedness
    • Crustacean Shellfish (shrimp, crab and lobster)
    • Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
    • Pale skin
    • Diarrhea
    • Soy
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Vomiting
    • Repetitive coughing or wheezing
    • Hives (red spots that glance love mosquito bites)
    • Milk
    • Swelling to the lips and face
    • Throat tightness
    • Wheat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose
    • Fish
    • Peanuts
    • Tree Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios)
    • Eggs
    • Cramping
    • Nausea
    • Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

      Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen within seconds to minutes of exposure to an offending allergen. It can, among other things, cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair breathing. If your kid has known allergies, make certain you speak to your physician or allergist to get an emergency plan in put so that you are always prepared.

    Also be aware that certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds, are common food allergy triggers and are considered major allergens in other countries.

    How do you know if your kid has a food allergy?

    Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and/or the respiratory tract and can vary from person to person, and from incident to incident. It’s significant to know that a mild reaction can happen on one occasion and a severe reaction to the same food may happen on a subsequent occasion. This range of reactions may include:

    1. Diarrhea
    2. Repetitive coughing or wheezing
    3. Loss of consciousness
    4. Cramping
    5. Throat tightness
    6. Swelling to the lips and face
    7. Difficulty breathing
    8. Light-headedness
    9. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose
    10. Pale skin
    11. Hives (red spots that glance love mosquito bites)
    12. Vomiting
    13. Nausea
    14. Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
    15. Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

      Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen within seconds to minutes of exposure to an offending allergen.

      What to do for baby food allergies

      It can, among other things, cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair breathing. If your kid has known allergies, make certain you speak to your physician or allergist to get an emergency plan in put so that you are always prepared.

    Know that food allergies and food intolerances are NOT the same. Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system and are not life-threatening. Instead, they represent a lack of a specific digestive enzyme that is required for a certain food.

    While intolerances are more likely to be transient than allergies, their symptoms can be more variable. Sometimes the symptoms of an intolerance and of a true allergy can overlap (lactose intolerance and milk allergy being a perfect example – often confused but not one in the same), making a diagnosis more hard and motherhood more fraught. If you suspect your kid has a food intolerance, speak with your physician, and talk with a Happy Family Coach to get an individualized diet plan in place.

    Also be aware that certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds, are common food allergy triggers and are considered major allergens in other countries.

    How do you know if your kid has a food allergy?

    Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and/or the respiratory tract and can vary from person to person, and from incident to incident. It’s significant to know that a mild reaction can happen on one occasion and a severe reaction to the same food may happen on a subsequent occasion. This range of reactions may include:

    1. Diarrhea
    2. Repetitive coughing or wheezing
    3. Loss of consciousness
    4. Cramping
    5. Throat tightness
    6. Swelling to the lips and face
    7. Difficulty breathing
    8. Light-headedness
    9. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose
    10. Pale skin
    11. Hives (red spots that glance love mosquito bites)
    12. Vomiting
    13. Nausea
    14. Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
    15. Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

      Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen within seconds to minutes of exposure to an offending allergen. It can, among other things, cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair breathing. If your kid has known allergies, make certain you speak to your physician or allergist to get an emergency plan in put so that you are always prepared.

    Know that food allergies and food intolerances are NOT the same.

    Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system and are not life-threatening. Instead, they represent a lack of a specific digestive enzyme that is required for a certain food. While intolerances are more likely to be transient than allergies, their symptoms can be more variable. Sometimes the symptoms of an intolerance and of a true allergy can overlap (lactose intolerance and milk allergy being a perfect example – often confused but not one in the same), making a diagnosis more hard and motherhood more fraught.

    If you suspect your kid has a food intolerance, speak with your physician, and talk with a Happy Family Coach to get an individualized diet plan in place.


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