The good news is that you can help reduce the risk to your child by controlling what you feed your baby, and when. Here is some information on breastfeeding and food allergies as well as ways to reduce the risk of food allergy in babies.
To help reduce the risk of your baby developing food allergies:
- Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding now.
- There is no need to avoid certain foods while breastfeeding. There is no evidence that avoiding foods such as milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, or other potential allergens helps to reduce the risk of food allergies in your baby.
- If breastfeeding must be discontinued or supplemented, speak to your healthcare professional about an iron-fortified infant formula with 100% whey protein, partially hydrolyzed with clinically supported benefits.
- Introduce solid foods when your baby is around 6 months old. For more infromation on baby's first foods, check out Introducing Solids to Your Baby.
- There is no need to delay the introduction of any food to try and avoid allergies (including peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, shellfish, fish or wheat) once your baby is 6 months old. If you have any concerns about a food allergy in your baby, speak to your baby’s doctor.
- Add new foods when your baby is in a good mood and early in the day so that you can monitor his response.
- Add only one food at a time, and wait two days before introducing another new food so that you can more easily identify which foods cause an allergic reaction, if any.
Allergic reactions typically appear within minutes or hours of exposure.
These can include:
- skin reactions (such as eczema, hives or rashes).
- respiratory concerns (like congestion and wheezing).
- gastrointestinal intolerance (such as vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea that may be tinged with blood).
If you suspect your baby has an allergy, see your doctor as soon as possible.
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