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Is your baby susceptible to bouts of unexplained itchiness that you thought were merely a phase or skin sensitivity? Is her nose sometimes stuffy or runny? Is she cranky for no apparent reason and is she trying to tell you something?

Is emitting large quantities of intestinal gas a regular affair for your infant? Is his tummy a little more bloated than other kids’ and does he struggle to pass even soft stool or diarrhea?

If the answer is ‘”yes” to most of these questions, read on. Your baby might be dealing with a food allergy.

First of all, don’t panic. It’s not as serious as it sounds. Food allergies are a common problem amongst babies and adults alike.

There are many possible reasons for food allergies. Your infant could be allergic to cow’s milk or your child could be having some problems dealing with solids when you’re trying to wean him/her. Here are some possible causes for food allergies:

  • Introduction of allergenic solids in baby’s diet before four months of age
  • Allergy to cow’s milk
  • Allergy towards other foods like dairy products, fish, nuts, or wheat
  • Heredity
  • Enzyme deficiency which causes lactose intolerance
  • In rare cases, a serious undetected illness or condition

Although food allergies in most cases are merely a nuisance and not life-threatening, parents still need to know the type of food or food group to eliminate from their baby’s diet. By avoiding, rotating the diet and playing food detective, we can minimize the discomfort and symptoms of food allergies as much as possible. First, try to eliminate the following products from your infant’s diet.

  • Dairy products
  • Soy
  • Egg (or at least white of egg)
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Citrus fruits
  • All types of food additives (reduce introduction of canned, packaged or ready-to-eat food)
  • Shellfish

If you’re not sure whether your baby is indeed suffering from a food allergy, observe your baby very closely and monitor his/her diet to see if she is experiencing any of the following allergic reactions:

  • Rashes on face or other body parts that are red and scaly
  • Hives
  • Swollen hands and feet, puffy eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Throat soreness and tongue
  • Sneezing, running or stuffy nose
  • Wheezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Ear infection
  • Red and scaly rashes around the anus
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhea or soft stool
  • Poor weight
  • · Poor weight gain
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Gassiness
  • Fatigue, headaches
  • Irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity
  • Sore muscles and joints

If you’ve determined that your infant is, indeed, suffering from a food allergy, try substituting some of the allergenic foods with non-allergenic foods like apples, apricots, barley, beets, grapes, cranberries, mangoes and oats.

Other non-allergenic foods include asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, chicken, broccoli, lettuce, rice, safflower oil, salmon, sweet potatoes, rye and honey.

Food allergies, as mentioned earlier, are quite common among infants and can be dealt with easily. The most important thing is for us to detect them, minimize reaction and symptoms, get advice from a professional and eliminate the allergies’ immediate causes.

About the Author

Be up-to-date on baby care issues: read Magnificent Babies Magazine at Lucky Balaraman is the editor.

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