How to Know if Your Baby Has Food Allergies

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Baby Food Recipe
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As exciting as this time can be, when introducing your baby to new foods, you may be concerned about food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances and that’s a very valid concern. One in four kids has food allergies and the percentages are growing.  My son is one of these kids. He developed eczema early around 4 months. I knew that this wasn’t just a skin condition and could be an early sign of a food allergy. My husband and I were so worried when we saw hives break out on our son’s face after eating certain foods. It wasn’t until later that we learned that he, in fact, has egg and nut allergies.


Under the guidance of the FDA, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act identifies the following eight foods as major food allergens:

Milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans


When introducing these foods, start by offering a small amount at first and watch your baby for any negative reaction. Signs include: rash, hives, gastrointestinal distress like vomiting or diarrhea, teary eyes, face or tongue swelling or difficulty breathing within a few minutes after consuming the food. Often times, a rash can simply signal a skin irritation and could be the result of sensitive skin versus a true allergy. If you feel the reaction is life threatening, seek help immediately. If you see any moderate reactions, discontinue the food and speak to your pediatrician.  They most likely will refer you to a pediatric allergist. There you will be able to determine what your baby may or may not be allergic to and develop a game plan.

Fast forward a year from our first appointment, my son can now tolerate eggs in baked goods and it appears as is if his tree nut allergies have subsided. We worked hard to decrease his inflammation by feeding him nurturing foods including probiotics, bone broths, healthy fats and limiting his sugar and dairy.  I’m still learning more and seeing various specialists. But everyone’s journey and experience is different and the good news is that there is much more awareness, food products,  and resources for parents going through this. I work with this often in my practice and understand that parents need a game plan, some resources and ways to get creative in the kitchen!

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About the Author


Stephanie Middleburg MS, RD, CDN

Stephanie is a native New Yorker who earned her Masters in Clinical Science and RD at New York University. Her innate ability to zero in on individuals’ key food triggers has led to ongoing relationships with thousands of clients, editors, and publications, making her one of the city's most sought-after health experts.

Recently, Stephanie has been invited by the 92nd Street Y to curate their world-renowned nutritional and wellness speaker series. At the 92Y, she will design hands-on workshops to apply what was learned in lecture into practice. Middleberg Nutrition dietitians will also provide Nutritional Group Sessions at the May Center for Health, Fitness, and Sport.

Stephanie is consistently featured in top tier media publications including Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Fitness, Glamour, Shape, Self, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Marie Claire, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Women's Day, and MSNBC.com. She is also a member of Cosmopolitan's Health Advisory Board and serves as the magazine's nutrition expert. She has made appearances on major television networks including ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS, and Fox. When she isn't working with her clients or media outlets, you can find Stephanie jogging with her husband and son, traveling, or concocting recipes in the Middleberg Nutrition Test Kitchen.

Want more great healthy eating advice? Check out Stephanie's book here!

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