Causes of Food Allergies

Introducing Solid Foods Too Early

Babies have low quantities of slgA, making them more prone to allergic reactions. Hence, it is vital that you introduce food to your baby at age-appropriate times.

Giving Your Baby Too Much of a Particular Food

Overfeeding your baby a new food over a long period of time may cause sensitivity to that food.

Heredity

Allergies run in the family. If one parent has allergy, her child has a 25% chance of getting that allergy. If both parents have an allergy, there is a 40% chance that their child will also have it. Inform your paediatrician of any food allergies in your family.

An Existing Allergy to a Similar Food

Did you know that if your baby is allergic to a certain food, he may also develop an allergy to similar foods? For instance, if your baby is allergic to cabbage, he may also be allergic to other vegetables in the cabbage family. Some examples of vegetables in the cabbage family are broccoli, brussels sprouts and collards. A baby allergic to oranges may also be allergic to grapefruit, limes, lemons, tangerines and kumquats.
People with allergies to milk should also avoid the following:
– canned milk
– milk powder
– milk shakes
– ice cream
– yogurt made from cow’s milk
– butter
– margarine
– cheese
– cream
– sour cream
– buttermilk
– custards made with milk
– any products containing whey, casein, milk solids and other foods containing milk products.
People with allergies to eggs should avoid any products with eggs as an ingredient:
– breads and bread products
– cookies
– cakes
– dougnuts
– pies and other desserts
– pretzels,
– salad dressings and mayonnaise
– some pasta noodles
– many other products made with eggs.
People with strong allergies to gluten must avoid many products containing it:
– wheat
– rye
– other grains containing gluten
– breads and bread products
– wheat flour
– wheat germ
– wheat bran
– doughnuts
– cakes
– cookies
– pies
– many other desserts made with flour
– some gravy and sauces
– malt, as in malt milk
– MSG (monosodium glutamate)
– tamari
– some processed cheeses and meats
– some coffee substitutes
– many other products containing wheat.

What are the common allergens?

Any child can be allergic to any food, even if there is no history of food allergy in the family. The foods listed below are frequently found to be allergens.

1. Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk is the number 1 culprit for food allergies in babies. Usually, it is the protein casein in cow’s milk that causes the problem. It is estimated that more than 1 in 10 babies are sensitive to milk. Fortunately, the majority of these babies outgrow milk allergy when they are 2 years old. Most experts recommend postponing the introduction of cow’s milk until age 1 year.

2. Soy, Egg White, Wheat

The next most common food allergy is that of soy, followed by egg whites and wheat. Other common allergens are citrus, berries, tomatoes, fish (especially shellfish), corn, pork, nuts. Most of these allergies subside as the child gets older, except for wheat, eggs, cow’s milk, nuts and fish, which often remain throughout life. Some ice cream contains egg white, so do not give your baby that until he is 1 year old.

3. Peanuts

A peanut allergy is a dangerous one and is similar to bee-sting allergies. The reaction can be quick and deadly. Children who are allergic to peanuts may suffer serious reactions and even death fromĀ  foods which contain peanuts. A serious reaction may result when a child leans on a counter smeared with peanut butter or peanut oil, even if it is wiped off! Experts recommend waiting until age 3 before giving your baby peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, or anything containing these foods.

4. Artificial Additives

Foods containing artificial additives, chemicals and artificial sweeteners often cause allergies. Never feed your baby carbonated or artificially sweetened beverages. They have no nutritional value and are nothing but water, sugar and chemicals. It is typical for 200 millilitres of soft drink to contain 7 or more teaspoons of sugar. Some carbonated beverages also contain caffeine, even the light-coloured sodas.

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