Milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish are among the most common foods that cause allergies. Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions. So it’s important to know how to recognize an allergic reaction and to be prepared if one happens.
When to Introduce Allergenic Foods
• Milk: Cow’s milk should not be introduced until a child’s first birthday. Prior to that, they should be breastfed or formula-fed.
• Eggs: Previously parents were told to wait to introduce eggs until age 2; however, newer studies have found no reason for this. If you are concerned about your child being allergic, introduce eggs yolks before egg whites.
• Fish and shellfish: It definitely shouldn’t be among your child’s first foods, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics you can introduce these foods to babies as long as they are well cooked.
• Tree nuts: Be careful when introducing nuts because, in addition to being a common food allergy, they can also be choking hazards.
• Wheat: There’s no reason to delay the introduction of wheat to your baby. If you are concerned about a wheat allergy because of family history, introduce oats to your baby at six months.
• Peanuts and peanut butter: When you introduce peanut butter, introduce it alone and watch closely for any reaction.
• Soy: Keep in mind that lots of foods include soy. It is also common for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk to be allergic to soy.
Warning signs that your baby is having an allergic reaction
Symptoms can include:
• Trouble breathing
• Throat tightness
• Belly pain
• Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
• Red spots
• A drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness (passing out)