baby hands holding peanuts

Allergies for Babies: The Basics

Allergies, allergies read all about em’! Allergies are something we hear about often, but as new parents, you may want to be all the bit more aware now that your little one is starting solids. So, here’s a list of some of the top food allergens you should be aware of.

 

The Most Common Food Allergies

  1. Nuts (recommended introduction: 4-6 months.) Peanuts are the most common food allergy according to the Tree nuts are also a common nut allergen to be on the lookout for! Those likely to be allergic to peanuts, are often allergic to eggs or have eczema as well.
  2. Milk (recommended introduction: at least 12 months.) Got milk? Breast-feeding or formula feeding your baby for 4-6 months is a good way to prevent a milk allergy, as they help protect from infections. While you’re holding off on cow’s milk until at least one year of age, you may try introducing things such as yogurt and soft cheeses around 8 months, as they contain protein that is easier to digest for little one’s tummies.
  3. Eggs (recommended introduction: 4-6 months.) Let’s get yoked! An early introduction to a small amount of eggs can reduce chance of developing an egg allergy at 12 months; however, if you have a family history of allergies, some pediatricians suggest waiting until age 2 to introduce them.
  4. Fish (recommended introduction: 4-6 months, excluding shellfish.) There’s nothing fishy going on here! Fish that is low in mercury, such as salmon, is great for your baby’s diet. Now, when it comes to shellfish, some docs recommend waiting until age 2, as it can be highly allergenic. Here’s an oh-so-easy to read chart depicting the healthiest fish for you and your baby.
  5. Soy (recommended introduction: 4-6 months.) In addition to edamame, soy is a common ingredient in infant formulas and processed foods, especially in formulas for lactose intolerant babies. A member of the legume family, reactions to soy typically appear in infants and children under 3.
  6. Wheat (recommended introduction: 4-6 months.) Can’t ‘WHEAT’ to eat? Check the ingredient list first! Wheat is most commonly found in bread, pasta, sauces, and baked goods. Some non-food items are also made with wheat-based ingredients such as Play-doh and bath products, so keep this in mind if your little one has an allergy.

 

How to introduce these foods to your baby you ask?

Most food allergies fall within a family, so it’s common for your mini me to have an allergy if you, your partner, or other children have allergies. To add insult to injury,  if your child is allergic to one food, there’s a higher likelihood they will be allergic to others as well, and they’re more likely to have other sensitivities like eczema.

It’s best to introduce the 8 allergenic families gradually at one to two-week intervals so that you can pin-point potential reactions. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology suggests introducing to these potential allergens sooner rather than later, as it might actually help prevent them from developing allergies to those foods in the future. 

Signs your baby is having an allergic reaction are almost always noticeable soon after intake. Mild symptoms come in the forms of hives and rash, where severe symptoms include face/lip swelling, vomiting and diarrhea

As always consult with your pediatrician before introducing any allergen common foods to your little one.

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