Diversifying children's nutrition and providing solid foods is an important step for all parents, but it is also a joy accompanied by lots of worries and questions, most of which are related to food allergies.
Allergic reactions to food are the way in which the immune and digestive system, still undeveloped, of children defend themselves against possible food threats.
These are manifested through intestinal cramps, bloating, inflammation of the limbs and face, inflammation of the esophagus accompanied by the sensation of suffocation, red spots on the skin and even itching. This is why parents do everything they can to immunize their children so that they do not suffer from allergies. Here are some tips that will help you:
Try to gradually identify the allergens
It is very important to familiarize the child with new foods gradually, so that you can observe any change and know its nutritional origin. If you introduce several foods at once, you may not be able to figure out which of them causes allergic reactions to your child.
The type of new foods and the order in which you introduce them to the baby's diet are not necessarily important, provided they follow a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.
Each time you offer a new food to your child, wait 3-5 days until you introduce another ingredient that you have never tried and do not remove from the diet those foods that you are already used to and which you know are safe because it is impossible to have allergic reactions to them if he has not already had in the past.
The most dangerous foods for the allergic
There are over 160 foods that can give allergic reactions, and some of them are more risky than the other. The most dangerous are milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, fish, crustaceans, soy and wheat. They are responsible for almost 90% of food allergies and should be introduced later in children's nutrition.
Symptoms specific to food allergies
When you offer a new food to your child, you should follow if it shows allergic reactions. Symptoms may appear immediately after swallowing or a few hours after and include urticaria or inflammation of the skin, erythematous rash, swelling of the tongue, face or lips, vomiting, soft stool, coughing and breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness.
In the worst cases, allergies can be fatal; if you notice any sudden changes or serious manifestations of the symptoms listed above, you should consult a specialist doctor.
Minor symptoms such as urticaria or skin eczema should also be reported to the pediatrician in order to determine their causes and origin, respectively to identify the nature of the allergy.
After you do this, it will tell you what to remove from the baby's diet and how to protect it from exposure to allergens that make it bad. Do not insist on giving your child a certain food, even if the initial reactions are minor, as they may become severe through repeated exposure.
When to start diversifying the meals and giving your child solid food
Some allergies disappear over time. Milk and egg cells gradually fade as children grow and their digestive and immune systems mature. But there are also allergies that never disappear, such as peanuts, nuts or crustaceans.
Until recently, the Pediatric Association of America recommends parents not to give their children milk until they are one year old, eggs up to 2 years old and peanuts, nuts and over 3 years old.
However, these recommendations were made on the basis of expert opinions and did not have a solid scientific basis, so in 2008 it was decided to eliminate them. The current guide suggests that if there is no family history of allergies, there is no evidence that waiting until the introduction of these foods can protect children from allergies.
Therefore, the best advice in this regard can be given by your child's pediatrician, who knows his medical history and who has all the information about your family's allergies.
How to protect your baby from food allergies
Numerous pediatric doctors recommend parents to wait until the age of 9-10 months for the children before giving them the 8 foods with high risk of causing allergies. Although the risks are similar after this age, experience shows that allergies are easier to manage in children older than 9-10 months.
There are still many doctors who, worried about the possible effects, recommend to parents not to offer children peanuts and crustaceans before reaching the age of 3 years. Moreover, cow's milk should not be introduced into the diet before reaching the age of one year, because of the significant differences between it and breast milk, which has a much higher nutritional value.
Yogurt and soft cheese are safe foods even earlier because the proteins in these dairy products are broken down and do not cause problems most of the time.
honey it should not be introduced before one year, as it has been shown to cause infant botulism, even if it is hypoallergenic.
Tags Baby Allergies Baby Food Allergies Ability to feed children