Starting solids is a big step in your baby’s life. If there is a history of food allergy in the family that can add a complexity and an understandable element of fear. Below you find some steps to help navigate this next phase.
What about allergies?
Children can develop an allergy to any food, at any time. Food allergies have increased dramatically in recent years; now 1 in 10 children under 1 has a food allergy in Australia (Australian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy [ASCIA], 2016). This can be quite scary, but it is important to expose your child to common allergenic foods before age 1, even if there is a history of food allergy in your family. It is known that delaying exposure of allergenic foods can actually increase your baby’s risk of developing a food allergy (ASCIA, 2016). The most common foods that people will develop an allergy to are (in no particular order):
- Dairy (cow’s milk protein)
- Tree Nuts
How to start introducing common food allergens?
You can start with well cooked eggs, smooth nut butters (made on 100% nuts) and cooked fish as an example. If you are still fearful about introducing these foods please talk to your GP, Paediatrician or Child Health Nurse who can provide support.
If you think your child is reacting to a food, stop feeding and seek urgent medical advice or call 000 (Australia).
For more information on allergy prevention visit ASCIA.