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Food Allergies in Infants

By Ashley Gudgel, Executive Director, BreatheAmerica Albuquerque

A food allergy reaction can be pretty scary for a new mother.  If you introduce several new foods to a baby in the same day it would be difficult to distinguish which food your baby may be reacting too.  That’s why pediatricians recommend new foods be introduced gradually, one at a time.

Each time a new food is introduced you should wait three to five days before adding another new food.  There is little concern with the type of food or the order which you introduce foods, just that the foods are healthy well balanced choices for your baby.  You may continue to feed foods that you know your baby has had no allergic reaction as you add new foods, one at a time.

Food allergy symptoms usually surface soon after food is eaten, sometime immediate to within a couple of hours.  The symptoms you should watch for in your baby are:

  • Hives or welts
  • Rash or flushed skin
  • Face, tongue, or lip swelling
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Loss of consciousness

If your baby displays any of the bolded symptoms, call 911 immediately as severe allergic reactions can be fatal.  For milder symptoms such as hives, welts, rash or flushed skin, contact you allergist for further evaluation.  At BreatheAmerica we test new born babies to great-great-grandparents.  We test nursing babies displaying food allergy symptoms to find out what mom may be eating that is not agreeing with baby.

90% of the time allergic reaction to food is caused by one of the following 8 foods:

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (like almonds or walnuts)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat

You may want to hold off starting your baby on these foods until the baby is older, especially peanuts.  Often many experts will suggest waiting until your child is 3 before introducing peanuts (peanut butter) to his/her diet.  If you have questions about food allergies, please call us to set up an appointment at one of our locations, so we can answer all your questions about food allergies.  It’s for your baby’s good health!