For parents, it’s an exciting time when your baby takes their first taste of solid foods. Watching their face pucker up with a bite of strawberry or smacking their lips after a taste of peanut butter. Every meal is an adventure. But this is not true for all parents. If one of the parents or a close family member suffers from allergies, parents are understandably cautious about introducing their child to new foods. Sometimes these allergic reactions can be extreme and dangerous. If you’re nervous about feeding your baby allergenic foods, here are a few safe ways to try.
Family Allergy History
Children have a 70% chance of having an allergic reaction if their parent or sibling suffers from it. Allergic diseases like eczema or asthma in the parent may also affect the child’s immunity to certain foods. However, the reverse is also true, many children who have had severe allergic reaction have no family history of it. If there is any known
Foods With High Allergens
6 million children in the U.S. suffer from allergic reactions. There are eight common foods that cause 90% of the reactions – milk, wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish. Many children seem to grow out of wheat, milk and egg allergies. However, if the child is allergic to seafood and peanut it might persist with them all their lives.
The Right Time To Start Solids
Some parents might think it is better to hold off trying out foods with known allergens till their infants
Follow An Order In Introducing Solids
It’s always safest to start with the least allergenic and slowly move up to the more allergenic. Introduce foods one at a time, keeping at least a 3-day gap between each. Allergic reactions sometimes take a while to develop and it’s best to know which one exactly your child is allergic to. Start off with rice and root vegetables slowly leading up to grains. Keep wheat for the very last. Egg yolks are quite safe, it’s the whites that contain albumin that can be highly allergic. Keep this to when your baby is one year old.
Allergies vs Intolerance
Allergic reactions and intolerance are two very different things. An allergy is a defense by your own body’s immune system against what it sees as an enemy. It results in varying levels of mild to extreme reactions which can affect the respiratory or the gastrointestinal system. If not treated in time, it can sometimes be deadly. Intolerance on the other hand is a metabolic reaction to an enzyme in a specific food. Lactose and gluten intolerance are common examples. This is never deadly but can cause discomfort.
Symptoms Of Allergic Reactions
If your child is allergic to any food, the reactions will appear anywhere from a few minutes to a couple