Baby food is an important thing to take care of by the parents especially the new ones. What food to give or what not to, has always been a matter of confusion/concern amongst the new parents. At times, while ensuring proper and balanced diet to the baby, the parents complain that their baby couldn’t digest a specific food which otherwise has been thought as a nutritional food for the babies. This kind of situation is the concern of most parents. This reaction by baby, not digesting a certain food is nothing but a food allergy which needs to be taken care of by the parents themselves.
A food allergy occurs when the immunology of your baby doesn’t accept a certain food due to its physiological or sometimes its nutritional properties. If your baby has such an experience with a specific food that food is called as allergen food. In case of allergen food, you need to take extra care while making your baby accept that food and digest properly. In the first instance, stop offering an allergen food when you find a specific food to be allergen to your baby. Secondly, ensure that for the first six months, the breastfeeding should be the exclusive and only diet of your baby. For the first six month, the breastfeeding offers all the nutrients and essential things including but not limited to DHA to your baby.
Start introducing semi solid foods to your baby after six months, sometimes after five months.
This is the time when your baby will need more carbs and other nutrients for his/her growing needs. Always follow ‘3 Days Rule’ while introducing a new food to your baby. The ‘3 Days Rule’ says that a food should continuously be offered to find out if the baby has any allergy towards that specific food. If your baby shows any symptoms of allergy towards a particular food, stop feeding that food to your baby and introduce a substitute food and repeat the ‘3 Days Rule’. And re-introduce the allergen food after a certain time to see if the baby accept and digest the same, this will make your baby have a variety in food habits which will help him/her grow in the real terms.
There are certain foods which may be allergen to your baby like milk and dairy products, eggs, fish, nuts and dry fruits etc. Extra attention should be given while supervising the food allergy symptoms in the food introduction period i.e. ‘3 days rule’. Symptoms of allergy may contain cough, sore throat, swelling, itchy eyes, un-comfort etc.
If your baby continues to show the allergy signs and symptoms even after discontinuing the allergen foods, seek medical advice immediately. There might be some other health related issues which require a medical attention.
Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). (2018). ASCIA Guidelines – infant feeding and allergy prevention. [online] Available at: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention/ascia-guidelines-for-infant-feeding-and-allergy-prevention
Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). (2018). ASCIA Information on how to introduce solid foods to babies for allergy prevention. [online] Available at: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention/ascia-how-to-introduce-solid-foods-to-babies
Benetta Chin, R. (2018). Early exposure to food and food allergy in children. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046529/
Healthywa.wa.gov.au. (2018). Food allergies and your baby’s first foods. [online] Available at: http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Food-allergies-and-your-babys-first-foods
HealthLink BC. (2018). Reducing Risk of Food Allergy in Your Baby. [online] Available at: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthy-eating/reducing-baby-food-allergy-risk
Nhs.uk. (2018). Food allergies in babies – NHS.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/food-allergies-in-children/