Food Allergy in Babies - Introducing solid food is the most exciting milestone you will witness as a parent. But with a solid introduction comes more responsibility and care. You will have to be cautious while giving solid food to your baby. As it can lead to some problems like choking or allergic reactions.
In this article, we will get into detail about food allergies in babies. What are the symptoms, Precautions, and How to cure them? So let’s get started
What is a food allergy in babies?
In simple words, an allergy is a reaction that is caused when our body doesn’t accept a particular kind of food, Clothing, or climate. But in younger babies, it generally causes due to food. It is an adverse (negative) reaction in their immune system that produces antibodies to fight against harmless food.
Difference between Food allergy and Food intolerance
Some people think that Food allergy and /food intolerance is a similar thing but it has a huge difference.
- Food Allergy- Food allergy is caused when our immune system doesn’t accept a particular food (harmless protein) and produces antibodies to fight them.
- Food intolerance- on the other hand, food intolerance means that a digestive system is not able to digest a particular type of food. You have seen many toddlers and adults including younger babies cannot tolerate cow milk. This is because their digestive system is not able to break down the protein in cow milk to digest it. Common symptoms of food intolerance include- Excessive Gas, Diarrhoea, and sometimes stomach pain
Symptoms of food allergy in Babies
The symptoms of allergy vary from baby to baby. Some may develop it early and some late. But the common symptoms include-
Eczema, Skin rashes, Sore throat, Runny Nose, Stomach pain and sometimes cough and difficulty in breathing, swelling around the mouth and tongue.
Main allergy-causing food
Allergy is caused by any food but the main culprits in this list are
- Milk- Milk especially cow milk can cause allergy to your baby. It may result in rashes, stomach pain, and also sometimes weak digestion.
- Some other foods include seafood, Nuts, Eggs, Soya, and citrus fruits.
How do know which food is causing an allergy to my baby?
AAP and doctors recommend parents to breastfeed or formula feed their babies for the first six months. At this age, it is easy to know if your baby is allergic to milk(lactose). And you can with the advice of the doctor can change the formula.
But if you are breastfeeding be cautious about what you eat your baby is also getting the same food through breastmilk. This is the reason doctors recommend eating healthy food during breastfeeding.
But when starting solid food it becomes a little trickier as the baby is introduced to a variety of food. But a little trick you can do is introduce one food to your baby at a time and stick to that food for 3-4 days. This will help you to know the allergy-causing food
When to introduce allergic food to your little one?
Decades ago it was believed that allergic food should be introduced later and not sooner. But now doctor including AAP recommends that allergic food must be introduced as normal food to the baby. This will help you eventually in knowing the allergic food. Also introducing earlier may result in less risk and there is a good chance that your baby may outgrow it.
Tips to keep in mind if you have a baby that has a food allergy
- Aware the caretaker, grandparents, and your partner about the allergy if your baby has any from any particular type of food.
- Follow your doctor’s advice about triggering allergic food.
- Take your child's medications with you when you get out.
Allergies are common in babies but at the same time, they can be risky. You need to look after what food your baby has an allergy to and as a follow-up step consult your doctor. These are legit tips you can follow but always consult your pediatrician for further advice.
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