The chances are small that your tot will develop a food allergy (roughly 7% of babies are affected), but it’s still important to know the signs.
Start weaning with individual foods to determine any allergies. If after trying a particular food your baby exhibits the following, an allergy could be the answer:
- Sudden blotchy skin, rashes, itchy patches
- Swelling around the mouth; red, itchy eyes
- Running nose; watering eyes
- Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- Shortness of breath
If you observe any of the above, contact your GP, or give the NHS a call on 111. However, if your baby is experiencing the last symptom—shortness of breath—goes pale or falls unconscious, call emergency number 999 straight away.
According to nutritionist Kirsten Davies, the majority of allergies are sparked by only 8 foods:
- cow’s milk
- tree nuts (walnuts, pecans)
Experts recommend steering clear of this list if you plan to wean before 6 months.
“Avoid giving your baby foods that are highly allergenic, such as citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers, before 6 months,” advises Lindsey McManus from Allergy UK. “You should also avoid gluten-based foods, fish, soft cheeses or eggs initially, as they’re most likely to cause food allergies.”