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Weaning Tips: Discovering Food Allergies
Weaning whether baby led or spoon fed is an exciting time for both the baby and the parents but one of the important areas to discover is if your child has any allergies to anything.
Here is a quick guide so when you are looking for meals you can easily isolate what, if anything is causing a reaction.
There are several categories of foods you can start introducing from 6 months to see if your little one takes to them.
- cows' milk (in cooking or mixed with food)
- eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
- foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
- nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
- seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
- shellfish (don't serve raw or lightly cooked)
Fun Fact: Evidence has shown that delaying introducing peanuts and hens' eggs after 6-12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy to these foods.
Signs of a food allergy (can include one or more of the following reactions):
- diarrhoea or vomiting
- a cough
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- itchy throat and tongue
- itchy skin or rash
- swollen lips and throat
- runny or blocked nose
- sore, red and itchy eyes
In a few cases, foods can cause a severe allergic food reaction (anaphylaxis), which can be life-threatening. Call 999 and get medical help immediately.
For more information on allergic reactions, have a look at the NHS website.
If your child has a diagnosed food allergy:
If you have a family history of food allergies there is no harm in going to your GP first to check with them. Staying away from mixed food where you can't tell if an allergen has also been used will help keep things simple.