Introducing Allergenic Foods To Your Baby

Introducing Allergenic Foods To Your Baby

Introducing Allergenic Foods To Your Baby

When your little one turns 6 months old, they are ready to start their solids. Introducing solids can be a little daunting for most parents. Especially when you also have to think about how you are going to introduce allergenic foods to them as well. 

Allergenic foods are foods that may cause an allergic reaction. For example, eggs, dairy, soy, fish, wheat, seafood, and nuts are all common allergenic foods. Studies show that babies respond best to allergenic foods when you introduce them to their diets before they turn 12 months old and when they are at least 4 months old. 

When To Introduce Allergenic Foods

Experts recommend the introduction of allergenic foods at about 6 months. Try not to wait too long (till your little one is over 12 months old) or do it too early (before your little one is 4 months old). This has been shown to significantly increase the chances that your baby will develop an allergic reaction to those foods. 

The process of introducing allergenic foods should also be gradual. Start slow with soft foods that your little one will enjoy such as boiled eggs and peanut butter. Then gradually add more textures and more solids over the next few weeks. 

Pediatricians recommend only introducing allergenic foods during the day. This is because it will allow you to notice any potential allergic reactions quickly and you can respond appropriately. Most allergic reactions in babies occur very quickly, usually within a few minutes to less than half an hour. In rare cases, some babies may take longer for the reactions to show, sometimes up to 24 hours later. The good news is that the longer an allergic reaction takes to present itself, the milder it tends to be. 

How To Introduce Allergenic Foods To Your Baby

1. Start slowly, with one allergenic food at a time. This way, you’ll know what food is causing which reaction. Mix a tiny portion of an allergenic food into your little one’s regular food, such as a bit of peanut butter in their favorite puree. 

2. Increase your baby’s allergenic food intake gradually over time. Once an allergenic food gets the green light, keep giving it to help your little one develop an even higher tolerance for it. As more and more foods get the green light, make them a regular part of your little one’s diet as part of their regular meals. 

3. Keep offering allergenic foods several times a week over several months. This is called sustained exposure, and it has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of your little one developing an allergic reaction to that food in the long run. Practice sustained exposure to each allergenic food unless your little one has an immediate allergic reaction to it.

4. A great way to test if a particular food could potentially cause an allergic reaction to your little one is to rub a bit of it inside your baby’s lip. Give it a few minutes and check if there is any reaction. 

5. Keep Breastfeeding Your Baby. Don’t stop just because you are weaning her. Breastfeeding is the best way to reduce the chances of developing serious allergies!

Final Thoughts

In most cases, you will know that your little one is allergic to a certain food within about 30 minutes. Common signs include the onset of a red rash where they came into contact with the food, red bumps on the skin, slight swelling of the face, eyelids, or lips, vomiting, constipation, tingling in the mouth, tummy pain, or gassiness. Avoid offering any food that causes any of these reactions to your baby. 

Sometimes, though, your little one may be seriously allergic to a particular food. Serious allergic reactions include hoarseness of the voice, swelling of the tongue, tightness of the throat, difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing, and going floppy or collapsing. If you notice any of these reactions, rush your child to the doctor right away. 

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