Home Health Food Allergies in Babies: Finding an Ideal Supplement for Infants and Children

Food Allergies in Babies: Finding an Ideal Supplement for Infants and Children

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Food allergy is the result of the body’s hypersensitivity to a foreign substance, an allergen present in food. The incidence of food allergy in infants is estimated at 4-8%, and cow’s milk is considered the most common allergen. It contains several types of proteins, of which casein is the most allergenic. Therefore, children under 1 year are not recommended to eat cow’s milk. Common allergens also include egg white, soybean, wheat, peanut, fish, and shellfish.

The risk of developing an allergy increases significantly when one of the parents or siblings has or has had in the past, a diagnosed allergy. There is a 20 to 40 percent chance that a child will develop an allergy. If both parents are allergic, the risk of developing an allergy in the infant increases to 60%. 

How to Diagnose a Food Allergy?

Diagnosing a child’s food allergy is not easy. Symptoms are often confused with other diseases’ symptoms. In addition, blood tests do not always confirm the baby’s allergy, even if it actually is present. Therefore, the key to diagnosing food allergy in infants is the observation of symptoms and linking their occurrence to diet.

If you suspect food allergy in your baby, before visiting the doctor, note what foods caused the reaction, how long the symptoms were present, and whether they disappeared after excluding the suspicious food from the diet. An allergist will ask about these things because a detailed medical and nutritional history is very helpful in diagnosing this ailment.

How to Feed Allergy Sufferers

Infants diagnosed with a food allergy must be fed a special german baby formula. The proteins contained in such formulas are hydrolyzed, meaning the baby’s body receives them in a partially or completely broken-down form that does not cause allergic reactions.

When feeding an infant with baby formula, consider trying basic formulas first, and then, in the case of allergic symptoms, use mixtures with a higher degree of hydrolysis. Breastfeeding and the implementation of an elimination diet in a nursing mother should be approached in the same way.

Breastfed infants may also develop an allergy to a component of the mother’s diet that has gotten into the breast milk. In such a case, the mother needs to carefully check her diet and exclude suspicious products from it. It can be one of the popular allergens or artificial food additives. The diet of a nursing mother should therefore be devoid of highly processed food.

Important! A large number of children “grow out” of food allergies, the symptoms of which they experience in infancy. Therefore, doctors recommend that after some time (usually after a few months), a child should be “exposed” to a small amount of allergen. In many cases, it turns out that the allergy symptoms are very mild or do not occur at all.

Complementary Products in a Child’s Diet

When using an elimination diet, it is necessary to provide all nutrients with the diet, considering the limited choice of products. Protein and calcium are the most frequently deficient ingredients (with the exception of cow’s milk protein and eggs), but this also applies to other ingredients, depending on the number of products eliminated from the diet. In addition, food preferences and selectivity in children cause great difficulty.

For infants and children up to 2 years, protein and calcium requirements are largely covered by breast milk or baby formula, such as Holle baby formula, depending on the method of feeding. Further use of special complementary foods for allergy sufferers is justified in the case of a highly eliminative diet, where the provision of essential nutrients is impracticable. 

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