Food allergies can cause problems ranging from eczema to life-threatening allergic reactions. Common triggers include peanuts, tree nuts, cow's milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.
Infants with a sibling or at least one biological parent who has allergic conditions are at risk for developing food allergy, especially if they already exhibit allergic symptoms of atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis or asthma.
Restricting a mother's diet of specific allergens during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, when a child is otherwise well, is not routinely recommended as a means to prevent food allergies. Most recent information indicates there is no significant allergy prevention benefit to your baby if you avoid highly allergenic foods during this time. Breast milk is the ideal way to nourish your infant. It is least likely to trigger an allergic reaction, it is easy to digest and it strengthens the infant’s immune system. Especially recommended for the first four to six months, it may possibly reduce early eczema, wheezing and cow’s milk allergy. For infants at risk for food allergy where the mother is unable to breast feed, hydrolyzed infant formulas are recommended as hypoallergenic substitutes over cow’s milk and soy formulas.
Between four to six months, single-ingredient infant foods may be introduced, typically including fruits (apples, pears and bananas), vegetables (green vegetables, sweet potatoes, squash and carrots) and cereal grains (rice or oat cereal) one at a time. Food can be introduced this way every 3 to 5 days as appropriate for the infant’s developmental readiness. This slow process gives parents or caregivers a chance to identify and eliminate any food that causes an allergic reaction.
Egg, dairy, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish can be gradually introduced during the same four to six month window after less allergenic foods have been tolerated. In fact, delaying the introduction of these foods may increase your baby’s risk of developing allergies.Committee,
Preventing Food Allegeries