For any new or first time parent, introducing your baby to solid food is an exciting time.
It is yet another milestone your baby has reached and shows how much they are growing each and every day.
However, introducing solid foods to baby can also be an anxious time for many parents in relation to allergies that baby may have.
Of course, if your family background has common allergies, then there is a reason to be overly cautious when introducing solid foods.
It is advised to introduce solid foods to babies at around the 4-6 month mark, though babies whose parents or family have wheat, milk or nut allergies, it is advised to leave it a little later.
The important thing to remember for any parent introducing solid foods to their baby is to do it slowly. If you introduce foods individually, it will be easier for you to identify any foods that may be causing issues with baby.
There is a total of eight foods that cause the majority of allergic reactions and these are:
Based on these, it is advised to first introduce your baby to foods that have less allergic tendencies such as rice cereal, root vegetables and fruits such as apples and pears.
It is advised to hold off on wheat products until 9 months and cow’s milk and eggs until 12 months.
Delay the introduction of fish until baby is 18 months.
If there is a family history of nut, shellfish or peanut allergies, hold off on introducing these until your child is three years-old.
Allergies in babies can show in many ways. Some babies may experience tummy discomfort such as diarrhoea while others may come up in a skin rash or hives.
If you have not yet started solid foods and are breastfeeding and it seems your baby is having some sort of allergic reaction it may be due to something you are eating.
Allergic reactions may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to show so keep an eye for any difference in baby.
Many babies may be experiencing a food intolerance which is different to an allergy in that it is a metabolic response whereas an allergy is a reaction of the immune system.
The most serious allergic reaction a baby can have is Anaphylaxis. Symptoms include swelling, difficulty breathing, severe vomiting or diarrhoea. If you baby experiences any of these symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.
Always seek medical attention if any of your baby’s reactions to food seem severe.
To introduce solid foods to babies with allergy awareness, introduce foods slowly and keep track of what you yourself are ingesting if breastfeeding.