How Much Formula Should A 3 Month Old Baby Eat Food Allergies in Babies and Toddlers

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Food Allergies in Babies and Toddlers

Allergies are very common and can cause serious reactions. A baby’s digestive and immune systems must be sufficiently developed before solid foods are introduced. Introducing solid foods too soon or introducing foods that are likely to cause problems too soon will stress the baby’s immature systems. When introducing solid foods, you must be aware of the possibility of allergic reactions. This article presents the symptoms of allergic reactions and how to minimize these in babies.

In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the number of illnesses and complaints that can be caused or contributed to by the presence of allergies. Allergies are very common. Conservative estimates are that twenty percent of the population is allergic to something. However, if we consider minor allergies such as hay fever, minor eczema and food intolerances, the true effects of allergies and or intolerances can be much higher. It is believed that the changes in the Western diet during the last 100-200 years – especially the refinement of food, the use of food additives and the increased consumption of animal products and the presence of environmental pollution, have greatly contributed to the prevalence. of all forms of allergic disease.

What is an allergy?

The word means “altered reaction” and an allergic individual usually suffers from physical symptoms (such as headaches and migraines, vomiting, rashes, asthma) when he or she comes in contact with substances to which they are sensitive. The substance that provokes the reaction is called an allergen and can be house dust, dog or cat dander, food/s, chemical/s or bacteria – to name just a few. In this article we look at food allergies.

When solid foods are introduced, a baby can have an “allergic reaction” to wheat for example, and develop diarrhea, abdominal colic, restlessness, a runny nose or even a mild ear infection, asthma or eczema. The cause of these symptoms is often not recognized and may even be treated as a transient infection if the problem is a runny nose or an earache. The offending food will continue to be offered and the baby usually recovers from the acute symptoms, although there may be persistent, relatively minor symptoms. At some later stage (days, months, years later) or after periods of infection or stress or just because of a gradual failure to stay healthy, symptoms develop.

If the food is withdrawn, the symptoms usually clear up within three to five days, although sometimes, especially in children, this can take up to three weeks. There may also be marked withdrawal symptoms, which eventually clear up.

When introducing new foods to babies and toddlers, you need to be aware of the symptoms of allergies. This is especially the case when parents or other members of the family have food allergies.

What does a food allergy look like in a baby or toddler?

The symptoms associated with food allergies are legion and can mimic a whole range of different clinical conditions. It depends on the baby or toddler. Some of the symptoms developed by babies and toddlers include:

  • itchy mouth and throat,
  • rashes, eczema and hives,
  • cramp and colic,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • diarrhea or constipation,
  • wheezing, sneezing, runny nose,
  • unusual crying,
  • shortness of breath,
  • hyperactivity, and
  • sleep disturbances.

In extreme cases, a child can develop a life-threatening condition called anaphylactic shock. Severe symptoms or reactions to any allergen require immediate medical attention.

What are the common causes of food allergies?

Foods that are most likely to cause an allergy include:

  • wheat, rye, oats, barley, maize (maize),
  • cow’s milk and other dairy products,
  • chicken eggs and chicken meat,
  • cane and beet sugar,
  • fish and shellfish,
  • peanuts,
  • colorings and preservatives,
  • yeast,
  • pork,
  • chocolate, and
  • citrus fruit

What can you do?

Here are two things you can do as a parent to reduce your baby’s susceptibility to food allergies and reduce the severity of food allergies:

  • Wait until your baby is at least 6 months old to introduce solids.
  • Apply the 4-day waiting rule when introducing new foods to your baby.

Wait until your baby is 6 months old

Babies are not born with fully developed digestive systems and they cannot handle food and will not digest it properly until their digestive systems mature, at 4 to 6 months of age. Before that, your baby should only have breast milk or formula. Waiting until your baby is 6 months old to feed them solids will give them the best chance to really be able to digest the food and smooth digestion reduces the risk of allergies.

The 4-day waiting rule

When you start feeding your baby solids, you must be sure that the food does not cause a reaction. Sometimes, it can take three or four days for a reaction to appear.

Introduce one food at a time and wait four days before introducing another food.

It is worth keeping a food diary, noting which foods are introduced and when. This information can be very valuable later if your baby develops some kind of reaction that could be attributed to an infection or upset stomach or wind or whatever, although it may actually be a food reaction. If you also notice when particular problems start, you can often enough identify the offending food, exclude it from the baby’s diet and have a healthy, happy baby.

If there is a family history of food intolerance, then it is recommended to avoid the introduction of cow’s milk or wheat until the baby is twelve months or even older. (If you introduce these foods at all – but that’s another matter.)

Allergies are very common and can cause serious reactions. A baby’s digestive and immune systems must be sufficiently developed before solid foods are introduced. Introducing solid foods too soon or introducing foods that are likely to cause problems too soon will stress the baby’s immature systems. When you introduce solid foods, you must be aware of the possibility of allergic reactions and if you are concerned about a reaction stop giving this food and allow the baby more time to mature. Although the above details are intended to be generally helpful and educational, they should not be considered a substitute for individual advice from a healthcare professional. You should seek professional help if your child’s allergy is sudden, severe, long-lasting, or does not improve.

References

Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart, 1997, Nutritional Medicine. bread

Elliot, N. 2004, Green Peace. Practical Parenting.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Nature’s Health. Astrology Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Healthy Diet and Safe Supplementation. HarperCollins.

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