Starting a baby on solid foods can be a daunting time. It is important that parents are aware of food allergies, what to look out for and how to react.
Here is a rundown of what to look out for and how to avoid baby food allergies.
The “Four Day Wait” rule
When you introduce your baby to a new food, it is important that you wait four days until you introduce them to another new food. This way you will be able to determine how your baby is reacting to that certain type of food, and if your baby does have an adverse reaction, your will know what type of food is the culprit.
It is important to know what the main allergenic foods are. Peanuts, fish, wheat, soy, eggs and milk account for 90% of food allergies.
Eggs and baby allergies
Most experts agree that eggs should not be introduced to a baby’s diet until he/she is at least 12 months old. Generally speaking, it is the white of an egg people are allergic to and not the yolk. An adverse reaction to an egg occurs when the body mistakes the egg as an invader. If this happens, then the body releases chemicals called histamines, which produce symptoms such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, a rash, and in some more severe cases, anaphylaxis.
If your baby to produce any of these symptoms, he may well be allergic to eggs. Refrain from feeding him eggs and seek medical attention.
Wheat and baby allergies
Wheat should be introduced to a baby’s diet at around 8 or 9 months old. If your baby shows any signs of a rash, vomits frequently, has digestive problems, such as diarrhoea or constipation, or is wheezing and has difficulty breathing after being introduced to wheat, he may have an allergy to this type of food. A wheat allergy is best treated with a wheat-free diet. If you are unsure whether your child does have an allergy to wheat, consult your doctor, as a few simple tests will diagnose any allergies.
Dairy and baby allergies
Babies who are allergic to dairy products can often appear to be colicky, are unsettled and unable to sleep, show signs of reflux, do not put on weight, vomit frequently, have green, runny stools, have excessive wind, and can have red blotches on their skin.
If your baby is showing one or more of the above symptoms, she may be allergic to dairy products. Because milk is the most vital component of a baby’s diet, it is important to see your doctor immediately, to get the allergy diagnosed and to discuss alternatives to milk, so that your baby is not deprived of her essential calcium intake.