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How To Avoid Baby Food Allergies?

Learn when to introduce solid foods to your little one and how to prevent baby food allergies.

Food is a necessity. We need it for energy to do everything from running during the day, to sleeping at night. It can be our friend or foe. It is our friend when we are eating nutritional foods to provide our body the right nutrients. Food can be our foe if we eat the wrong things, especially if we are allergic to them.

Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly thinks a particular food (or a part of it) is dangerous. Once your body determines that a particular food is harmful, it will make antibodies to protect itself from it. So the next time the food is eaten, the immune system will release large amounts of chemicals like histamine, to protect the body. This process triggers all types of allergic reactions like: swelling in the mouth, itchiness, hives, vomiting, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and even death!

To lower the chances of your little one having a food allergy, it is best to breastfeed. Most experts agree that breastfeeding offers some protection against food allergies. So if possible, breastfeed your baby for as long as you can, especially if there is a family history of food allergies.

Another way to lower the chance of a baby food allergy is to wait until your little one is at least 6 months old before introducing him/her to solid foods. This is because babies cannot digest foods properly until they are about 4 to 6 months old, so waiting until 6 months is the safest bet.

How To Avoid Baby Food Allergies?

Once your little one is at least 6 months old, it is best to start adding low allergic foods to their diet. Good examples of this are:

  • Rice cereal
  • Applesauce
  • Soft bananas
  • Cooked carrots
  • Soft apricots
  • Soft peaches

I started my little ones with rice cereal and then waited about 1 week before I introduced them to a new food. It is best to only introduce one food at a time. This includes single-ingredient, store bought baby food. It is recommended by the experts to wait a minimum of 3 to 5 days before introducing another new food. That way, if there is an allergic reaction, the symptoms will show within this time.

Unfortunately, it is possible to be allergic to any food. However, only 6 percent of children suffer from food allergies. 90 percent of these little ones are allergic to the following:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts like walnuts and cashews
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish like tuna and salmon
  • Shellfish like shrimp, and crab

Unfortunately, there is no cure for food allergies. However, the good news is that most little ones outgrow baby food allergies by the age of five.

If you suspect that your little one is allergic to particular food, it is best to talk with their pediatrician to establish the best action plan for you and your family.

Also, make sure your child’s caregiver and relatives know about the food allergy and make sure they know exactly what to do if your child has an allergic reaction.