- Be aware of the main allergenic foods, for example: cow’s milk, nuts, legumes (including broad beans and other pulses), eggs, gluten, soya, fish, and shellfish.
- Remember these foods can be introduced at around six months when you start introducing solid foods to your baby.
- Try to introduce allergenic foods one at a time and in small amounts so you can spot an allergic reaction more easily.
- Once introduced and shown to be tolerated, try and include them in your child’s usual diet, as this can minimize the risk of a future allergy.
- Don’t delay the introduction of peanuts and hen’s eggs until after 6-12 months, as evidence has shown this may increase the risk of an egg allergy or peanut allergy developing.
- Signs of allergies in babies can occur straight after a food is eaten, or several hours later.
- Be aware of the common allergy signs, for example: swollen lips or tongue, wheezing or difficulty breathing, itchy skin, throat, tongue, or eyes, rash/hives, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and a runny or blocked nose.
- A severe allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, is serious so it’s worth knowing what to do next.
- If you suspect your baby is having an allergic reaction, try to stay calm and seek medical help as soon as you realize something is wrong.
- If your child is showing signs of a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, call the emergency services immediately.
- If your child has a food allergy, make sure you read food labels carefully and avoid any foods where the ingredients are unclear.
- A food intolerance is not an immune system reaction. It usually means that the food cannot be easily digested.
- Remember that signs of intolerances in babies can appear more slowly, making them harder to diagnose.
- Look out for intolerance signs, for example: stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bloating.
- The best thing to do if you’re concerned that your baby may have a food allergy or intolerance is to speak to your healthcare provider.
- For more on baby allergies and intolerances as well as other illnesses to look out for, read our 10 common baby conditions and how to help.