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A baby food allergy happens when your baby’s immune system reacts to an otherwise harmless food protein that it has identified as a foreign substance, “an allergen.” An allergic reaction will typically happen not the first time but the second time that the body is exposed to the same food again.
If you are concerned about whether or not your baby might have an allergy and maybe you or your partner have a family history of food allergies, it may be a perfect idea to you consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby.
The 4 Day Waiting Rule
Remember to introduce one kind of food at a time waiting 4 days before adding a new one.
When your baby is ready for solids, introduce the foods one at a time waiting 4 days before introducing any new food. Doing this will make it much easier for you to notice which foods your baby does not tolerate well.
If you introduce your baby to different kinds of foods all at once and the baby has a reaction, you will find it very hard to tell what food caused the reaction.
You want to feed your baby new foods one at a time waiting 4 days before introducing another food.
Baby Food Allergy – Diagnostic Testing
The most commonly used method done by Doctors to diagnose allergies involves a test known as the “skin prick test.” In this test, a known allergen is applied to the patient’s skin (this might be on the arm, or on the back). The skin is then pricked with a tiny needle so that the allergen goes in, under the skin. The area is then monitored for any allergic reactions. Doing a blood test is also an option.
Baby Food Allergy – signs or Symptoms to look out for
- Itchy watery eyes
- Poor weight gain
- Abdominal pain
- Difficult breathing
Note: Some conditions other than food allergies may also cause similar symptoms!
A Few foods that commonly cause food allergies include…
- Cow milk and cow milk products
- Shellfish and other fish
Is this Food Intolerance or An Allergy?
Food intolerance is different from an allergic reaction. Its common to confuse food intolerance for an allergy. With an allergic reaction, the immune system is involved. With food intolerance, the immune system is not involved, but instead, the body just overreacts to food and this may even lead to a lot of tummy discomfort, e.g., wind.
Baby Food Allergy – Cases of Severe Allergic Reactions
Though rare, some people can get a very severe allergic reaction; symptoms may include swelling of the throat, a drop in blood pressure, difficulty in breathing and even loss of consciousness.
Protecting Your Baby From Food Allergies
The best thing one can do from the start is to try and delay the introduction of solids until the baby is about 4 to 6 months of age. If you can, breastfeed your baby exclusively from birth to 6 months of age.
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