Baby Food Allergy

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

The transition from liquid to solid food for your baby can bring in major concerns and warnings along with the joy of seeing your baby grow. Some of the questions that can hype you up include what food should you avoid? When is it time to move on to new foods? How can you prevent a baby food allergy from developing? However here is something to guide you through those times of doubt and uncertainty

The first step to follow when introducing your baby to new foods is to take it slow! Always give your baby one new food at a time and keep a gap of three to five days before adding the next new food or else you will have problems identifying the culprit when it comes to a food allergy. For example, if you give your baby three new types of food in a day and he develops allergic symptoms, you will never fully know which one caused the reaction.


There are a number of foods that can cause an allergic reaction in babies. Of these, the following are the most common causes of a baby food allergy:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Other nuts such as walnuts and almonds
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat

In fact, many doctors and experts suggest that you wait till your baby is two years or older before introducing any of these foods into his diet.

One of the major reasons for this is that it is easier to manage allergic reactions in older babies.


Signs of a baby food allergy often appear soon after eating the food.

The most common baby food allergy symptoms include:

  • Baby food allergy rash - Common baby rashes which include hives and eczema
  • Fussiness
  • Constant crying
  • Skin that is flushed or mottled
  • Welts on the skin
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or other parts of the body
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing
  • Excessive gas / colic
  • Constipation
  • Runny nose / watery eyes
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Allergy-related ear infections
  • Loss of consciousness

If your baby has trouble breathing, vomits constantly after eating, has severe diarrhea or has a swollen face, call 911 immediately. Severe food allergic reactions can be fatal in babies and require immediate medical intervention.

Allergy Test

If baby food allergy symptoms are mild but uncomfortable, consult with your pediatrician and get your baby tested at the earliest. Your doctor will recommend one or more baby food allergy tests to determine what is causing the allergy. A skin prick test or blood test is usually performed and a trained allergist or doctor interprets the results. They will then guide you on ways to manage the condition and prevent reactions from recurring in the future. Keep in mind that food allergies require regular testing as some allergies disappear over time (such as egg and milk food allergies) while others are life long (such as nut and shellfish allergies).

Once your baby has been diagnosed with a particular food allergy, it is important to follow your doctor’s advice and avoid all possible trigger foods. This will require a fair deal of pre-planning and control especially when it comes to eating out or during holidays and birthday parties with your child. Reading food labels carefully and shopping with caution will soon become a way of life. Always remember to inform your child’s school of any allergies and carry his medication (antihistamines or epinephrine injections) whenever you travel.


  • Lack G. Clinical practice. Food allergy. N Engl J Med. 2008;359:1252-1260.
  • Chafen JJ, Newberry SJ, Riedl MA, et al. Diagnosing and managing common food allergies: a systematic review. JAMA. 2010 May 12;303(18):1848-56.
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