How to avoid food allergies when feeding baby
Introduce new foods to your baby safely with this guide on avoiding baby food allergies
Plenty of parents look forward to begin weaning their baby and introducing them to new foods. However, there are some legitimate concerns that come with feeding babies new foods, such as food allergies. Here's a guide to help you safely introduce new foods to your baby and avoid food allergies.
Introduce food one at a time
Once your baby is ready to eat new foods, parents might get overexcited and start letting their baby taste anything they can. However, introducing your baby to plenty of foods in one go can make it harder for the to identify the source of an allergy if their baby develops an allergic reaction. By introducing food gradually, it will be easier to single out which foods caused the reaction.
Note: Each time you offer a new food, you should wait three to five days before introducing something else.
What does an allergic reaction to food look like?
An allergic reaction to food usually occurs within a few minutes to a couple of hours after the food is consumed. Some common symptoms are:
- red skin or rash
- hives or welts
- swelling around the face, tongue, or lips
If you observe any of the aforementioned, contact your pediatrician to conduct tests confirming the allergy. The rashes could be caused by something else, and you don’t want to limit your child’s diet when it’s unnecessary.
On the next page: severe food allergy symptoms and the most allergenic foods.
Bring your child to the doctor or call emergency services if you observe:
- coughing or wheezing
- difficulty breathing
- loss of consciousness
The most allergenic foods
Some foods are more allergenic than others, and you might want to wait until the baby is older to try some of these foods. These are some of the most allergenic foods:
- tree nuts (walnuts or almonds)
Many pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is 9 to 10 months before offering these allergenic foods. Some pediatricians suggest staying away from shellfish and peanuts until your child is 3 years old. When in doubt, ask your doctor for advice.
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