Food allergies are often a big fear for parents. You may wonder if there are ways of preventing food allergies or how to recognize an allergic reaction.
Where to start?
The most common foods related to allergies are also known as “common food allergens” in Canada.
Common food allergens are:
- Tree nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews)
- Soy (tofu)
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphites (food additive)
Your child can start eating solid foods at six months. This is the recommended time to introduce new foods to your baby. You can also give common food allergens to your child at that time. Waiting until your child is older to start these foods will not decrease the chances of a food allergy.
When giving your child a common food allergen, give only one of these foods per day and wait two days before giving your child another one. This way it is easier for you to tell if this food may have caused an allergic reaction.
For example, let’s say your child tries wheat for the first time by eating wheat-based infant cereal on Tuesday morning, wait until Thursday morning (two days) before introducing fish, another common food allergen.
Once your child has tried the food with no allergic reaction, continue to offer the food regularly. This will help to maintain your child’s tolerance of the food.
Chat with a health professional at (416) 338-7600 for more information.