How to Identify and Avoid Baby Food Allergies
Many parents find the risk of baby food allergies one of the most distressing aspects of introducing new foods to their baby. There are simple steps you can take to reduce potential complications and make your baby’s introduction to solid food a safe and joyful one.
Baby food allergies symptoms
Allergic reactions occur when the child’s immune system misguidedly treats a harmless ingredient as a dangerous one. Signs of food allergies in babies include diarrhea, constipation, eczema, nausea, and red or watery eyes.
In rare occasions, a severe reaction known as allergic shock can occur. This can cause the child’s throat and tongue to swell dangerously, which might lead to blocking the airways and eventually choking. In this situation, professional medical assistance must be sought instantly.
Baby food allergies shouldn’t be missed up with food intolerance. A baby with food intolerance would have difficulty in digesting specific foods, which can be triggered by many other things besides an allergen. In either case, diagnosis should be made by a doctor or other medical professional.
How to prevent baby food allergies
To prevent baby food allergies or to detect foods to which your baby reacts to, you should follow these simple guidelines:
1. Try to postpone feeding your baby solid food until he or she is at least 6 months of age. The baby’s immune system will be more developed by this age.
2. Only familiarize one new food ingredient at a time and wait for a few days to see if an allergic reaction happens. It will then be easier to find out the ingredient that is causing the symptoms and remove it from your baby’s diet.
3. Avoid ingredients that are known to be more likely to cause allergic reactions. Examples of such foods include egg whites, gluten, shellfish, peanuts, and citrus fruits.
4. Take in to consideration weather your baby is at a particularly high risk of developing allergies — for example, do you have any allergies yourself? This can often lead to an increased risk of allergies for your child, although not inevitably to the same ingredient.
5. Discuss your worries with a health care professional
Although it is practical to be cautious, it is still important to keep in mind that baby food allergies only concern about 8% of children.
So try to keep things in perspective. Introduce new foods one by one and look out for potential reactions. These actions will give you the self-assurance to safely introduce the enjoyments of solid food to your baby.
Read more: How to Make Baby Foods at Home