Understanding Food and Allergies
Like it or not, allergies are a fact of life: around 1 in 4 people are affected by some form of allergy, and about half of those are children. An allergy is different to an intolerance, although the symptoms can be similar.
Some allergies (including food allergies) have a genetic link. This means that the tendency to have an allergy can be passed down from parent to child. If anyone in your immediate family has an allergic condition such as asthma, eczema, hay fever or food allergies, your child is more likely to have an allergy, too.
Of course, allergies aren't the end of the world, and your little one may very well not develop any at all —but if there is a history of allergy in the family, it makes sense to take a bit of extra care of their diet.
Handle with care
If you are concerned about possible allergies, it's best to avoid food that are considered high allergy risk: egg, wheat, mustard, sesame, celery, fish and shellfish. It is best to consult your pediatrician when it comes to introducing certain foods that your child needs for his/her natural growth and development.
Some safer, low allergy risk food include potatoes, starchy vegetables, rice, and soft fruits. These all have a low risk of triggering an allergy.
Another good tip (especially once you start to introduce some of the high allergy risk foods) is to introduce each new food on its own, and only add a new food every other day so that you can watch carefully for any signs of an allergy. This way, if you see any symptoms, you can be fairly sure which food is the culprit! Once you're sure a food is safe, you can start mixing different foods together.
Do you think your child has an allergy?
The possibility of your child becoming allergic might be a bit nerve-wracking at times, but having the right information on hand should help you feel more confident about how you can spot a food allergy. If you suspect your child is allergic to a certain food, make a note of any symptoms and consult your doctor right away before you offer that food again.
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