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Food Allergies in Babies and Toddlers

Allergies are very common and can cause serious reactions. Before solid foods are introduced, the baby’s digestive and immune systems must be sufficiently developed. Introducing solid foods too soon or introducing foods that cause problems too soon will stress the baby’s immature systems. You should be aware of the possibility of allergic reactions when introducing solid foods. This article describes the symptoms of allergic reactions and how to reduce them in babies.

In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the number of illnesses and complaints that are caused or contributed to by the presence of allergies. Allergies are very common. Conservative estimates are that twenty percent of the population is allergic to something. However, when we consider minor allergies such as hay fever, minor eczema and food intolerance, the true incidence of allergies and/or intolerances may be much higher. It is thought that changes in the Western diet over the last 100-200 years – particularly food refinement, the use of food additives and the increased consumption of animal products and the presence of environmental pollution – have largely contributed to the spread. of all kinds of allergic diseases.

What is an allergy?

The word means “altered reaction” and an allergic person usually suffers from physical symptoms (eg, headaches and migraines, vomiting, rashes, asthma) when they come into contact with the substances they are sensitive to. The substance that provokes the reaction is called an allergen and can be house dust, dog or cat hair, a food/s, chemical/s or bacteria – to name just a few. In this article we look at food allergies.

When solid foods are introduced, a child may develop an allergic reaction to wheat, for example, and develop diarrhea, colic, wheezing, a runny nose, or a mild ear infection, asthma or eczema. The cause of these symptoms is usually unknown and may be treated as a temporary infection if the problem is a nose or earache. The offending food will be offered and the baby will usually recover from acute symptoms, although there may be persistent, relatively minor symptoms. At some later stage (days, months, years later) or after periods of infection or stress or simply because of a gradual failure to stay healthy, symptoms develop.

If the food is removed, symptoms usually clear up within three to five days, although sometimes, especially in children, this can take up to three weeks. There may also be withdrawal symptoms that eventually become apparent.

You should be aware of the signs of allergy when introducing new foods to babies and toddlers. This is especially true when parents or other family members have food allergies.

What does a food allergy look like in a baby or toddler?

The symptoms associated with food allergy are legion and can mimic a variety of different clinical conditions. It depends on the baby or baby. Some of the symptoms that babies and toddlers experience are:

  • sore mouth and throat
  • eczema and acne,
  • liver and colic,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • diarrhea or constipation,
  • cough, runny nose,
  • unusual cry
  • shortness of breath,
  • hyperactivity, and
  • sleep disturbances.

In severe cases, a child may develop a life-threatening condition called anaphylactic shock. Severe symptoms or reactions to any allergen require immediate medical attention.

What are the common causes of food allergies?

The foods most likely to cause allergies are:

  • wheat, corn, corn, corn, corn,
  • cow’s milk and other dairy products,
  • chicken eggs and chicken meat,
  • cane sugar and almonds,
  • fish and fish,
  • peanuts,
  • color and protection,
  • summers,
  • pork,
  • chocolate, and
  • citrus fruits.

What can you do?

Here are two things you can do as a parent to reduce your baby’s sensitivity to food allergies and reduce the severity of food allergies:

  • Wait until your baby is at least 6 months old to introduce solids.
  • Follow the 4-day waiting rule when introducing new foods to your baby.

Wait until your baby is 6 months old

Babies aren’t born with adult digestive systems and they can’t digest food properly until their digestive systems mature at 4 to 6 months of age. Before that, your baby should only have breast milk or formula. Waiting until your baby is 6 months old to introduce solids will give them the best chance of actually digesting food, and a gentle feeding reduces the risk of allergies.

4-day waiting method

When you start feeding your baby, you need to make sure that the food does not cause a reaction. Sometimes, it can take three or four days for a reaction to appear.

Introduce the food once and then wait four days before introducing another food.

It is worth keeping a food diary, which foods are prescribed and when. This information can be very valuable later if your baby develops some kind of reaction that could cause an infection or discomfort, or wind or whatever, even if it is actually a food reaction. If you also pay attention when specific problems start, you can often identify the offending food, remove it from the baby’s diet and have a healthy and happy baby.

If there is a family history of food intolerance, then it is recommended that you avoid introducing cow’s milk or wheat until the child is twelve months of age or older. (If you introduce these foods at all – but that’s another problem.)

Allergies are very common and can cause serious reactions. Before solid foods are introduced, the baby’s digestive and immune systems must be sufficiently developed. Introducing solid foods too soon or introducing foods that cause problems too soon will stress the baby’s immature systems. When introducing solid foods, you should be aware of the possibility of allergic reactions and if you are concerned about a reaction, stop giving this food and give the baby more time to grow. While the above details are intended to be helpful and educational in general, they should not be considered a substitute for personal advice from a healthcare professional. If your child’s allergies are sudden, severe, persistent, or do not improve, you should seek professional help.

Source

Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Food. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart, 1997, Nutritional Medicine. You

Elliot, N. 2004, Green Peace. Practical parenting.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Astrologer edition.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, Guide to Choosing Vitamins and Minerals. Publication of Election Book.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Safe Health Food and Supplement. Harper Collins.

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