CAN I AVOID AL­LER­GIES?

Your Baby & Toddler - - Newborn -

Q:I’M WOR­RIED ABOUT AL­LER­GIES. ARE THERE ANY FOOD TYPES TO AVOID IN THE FIRST YEAR OR SO?

A:Let’s have a look at some of the facts around al­ler­gies and food: It was pre­vi­ously rec­om­mended to de­lay the introduction of com­mon al­ler­gens (in Western so­ci­eties) be­cause it was thought to be pro­tec­tive against al­ler­gies. But we have ac­tu­ally seen an in­crease in al­ler­gies de­vel­op­ing with this prac­tice.

In de­vel­op­ing coun­tries ba­bies are ex­posed to com­mon al­ler­gens (e.g. peanuts, fish and eggs) from an early age and the al­lergy rate in th­ese coun­tries still re­mains low.

The Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics ad­vises that there is no sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tage or re­duc­tion in the devel­op­ment of food al­ler­gies if solids are in­tro­duced later than 6 months.

Re­search is now telling us that in­clud­ing food al­ler­gens from early on (as early as 4 months) may ac­tu­ally pro­tect our lit­tle ones against al­ler­gies. There­fore there is no rea­son to avoid giv­ing your baby th­ese foods as they are nu­tri­tious and some are a great source of iron. Avoid­ing or wait­ing to give th­ese foods will not pre­vent al­ler­gies.

Food al­ler­gies can be a concern. If you are anx­ious about food al­ler­gies, if there is a strong fam­ily his­tory of al­ler­gies and if your lit­tle one is show­ing signs of al­ler­gies (e.g. eczema), it would be a good idea to make an ap­point­ment to see a di­eti­cian and al­lergy spe­cial­ist at around 4-5 months.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.