Baby food allergy symptoms
Allergic reactions to foods may appear within a few minutes to several hours or even days after eating, and symptoms can take many forms. Typical food allergy symptoms in infants include:
- Skin rash, flushed skin, or hives
- Blood and/or mucus in the stool
- Runny nose or sneezing
- Swelling of the face, tongue, or lips
- Excessive spit-up, vomiting, or diarrhea
If you see an unusual reaction in your baby when you add a new food, call your healthcare professional. If your baby is having difficulty breathing or loses consciousness, call 911 immediately.
Visit the Tummy Trouble Tool to troubleshoot a feeding issue.
How can you stay on the safe side when introducing a new food?
When you introduce a new food to your baby, easy does it. Feed new foods one at a time every 3 to 5 days and in isolation from other foods. This way, a reaction to a specific food can be easier to identify, and you can discuss it with your baby’s doctor.
Keeping a food journal of successfully introduced foods and ones that caused minor reactions can help you accurately communicate with your child’s pediatrician.
If there is a family history of food allergies, your baby’s doctor may advise you to avoid multigrain cereals and mixed dishes at first; they contain multiple ingredients that can make identifying allergens harder if they arise.
If you think your baby is allergic to a food you have fed him, contact your baby’s healthcare provider.
Peanut allergies in babies: avoidance or introduction?
Although many infants who are allergic to cow’s milk, wheat, soy, and eggs will eventually develop a tolerance, very few infants grow out of peanut allergies. One approach that may reduce the risk of your child developing a peanut allergy is to introduce peanut products around 4 to 6 months of age.
- Seek guidance from your child’s healthcare provider to determine an appropriate plan for the introduction of peanut products.
- Babies should not be given whole peanuts due to the risk of choking. Be sure to use infant-safe forms of peanut such as thinned peanut butter or peanut powder mixed in age-appropriate foods.
Peanut allergy tends to begin early in life and persist through adulthood. Allergic reactions to peanuts can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening. To avoid these reactions, people with peanut allergy must be vigilant about the foods they eat and the environments they enter.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States.
When should you call your healthcare professional?
Call your healthcare professional if your baby:
- Is crying excessively and you have ruled out hunger, wet diaper, exhaustion, being overly warm or cool, or external pain
- Is younger than 2 months old and has a rectal temperature higher than 100.4°F
- Refuses food for longer than is normal for him
- Vomits excessively or has excessive diarrhea
Listen to your instincts and talk to your healthcare professional about any food allergy concerns.
If your baby is having difficulty breathing or loses consciousness, call 911 immediately.