As you begin moving your child to solid foods, you might notice an unusual reaction during or after feeding. Although it shouldn’t be ignored, an allergic reaction to food is not uncommon. It’s estimated that 1 in every 13 children in the United States has food allergies.1,2 So, be alert when introducing new foods to your child, and look for the allergy symptoms noted below.
Many foods can trigger an allergic reaction, and symptoms of food allergy vary among children. Some food allergies will go away as a baby grows older and some could be lifelong. If you suspect that your child may be experiencing symptoms of a food allergy, speak to your baby’s healthcare professional.
Although many concerned parents avoid giving their babies foods with potential allergens until late infancy or toddlerhood, this may not be the best idea. There is evidence that avoiding such foods, or delaying their introduction, doesn’t reduce the incidence of food allergies and has possibly increased them—particularly in high-risk infants.3
Most moms love when their babies fall in love with fruits. But sometimes fresh fruits can put more on your little one’s face than a smile.
Take the strawberry, for example. Fresh strawberries will sometimes cause a child to develop a rash around her mouth. It’s not always pretty, but most of the time this rash is an “irritation” reaction and not due to oral allergy syndrome. It can happen with other fresh fruits and berries, too.
Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is a form of a contact allergic reaction that may occur when raw fruits or vegetables are eaten. Because the proteins found in some fruits and vegetables are similar to those found in pollen, children with hay fever caused by pollen may experience symptoms such as itchiness or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, face, or throat when eating raw fruits and vegetables. OAS is considered to be a mild form of food allergy, but the foods that commonly cause OAS can be linked to more serious allergic reactions.
If you suspect oral allergy syndrome, contact your baby’s doctor.