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Baby Food Allergies - How To Identify And Avoid Them

Many parents find the risk of baby food allergies one of the most worrying aspects of introducing new foods to their baby. But there are simple steps you can take to minimise potential problems and make your child's introduction to solid food a safe and happy one.

baby food allergies, baby food allergy symptoms

Many parents find the risk of baby food allergies one of the most worrying aspects of introducing new foods to their baby. But there are simple steps you can take to minimise potential problems and make your child's introduction to solid food a safe and happy one.

Allergic reactions take place when your baby's immune system mistakenly treats a harmless substance as a harmful one. Baby food allergy symptoms include diarrhea, eczema, nausea, constipation and watery or red eyes. Very rarely, a serious reaction known as allergic shock can occur. This can cause the throat and tongue to swell dangerously, which could lead to choking. In this situation, professional medical help must be sought immediately.

Baby food allergies should not be confused with food intolerance. A baby with food intolerance would have difficulty in digesting a particular type of food, which can be caused by many other things besides an allergen. In either case, diagnosis should be made by a medical professional.

In order to prevent baby food allergies such as these, or to identify foods to which your baby reacts, it is important to follow these simple guidelines --

1. Try to delay feeding your baby solid food until he is at least 6 months of age. His immune system will be better developed by this stage.

2. Only introduce one new food at a time and wait for a few days to see if a reaction occurs. It will then be easy to spot the "problem" food and eliminate it from your baby's diet.

3. Avoid foods that are known to be more likely to cause allergic reactions. Examples of such foods include eggs (particularly the whites), shellfish, gluten and citrus fruits.

4. Decide whether or not your baby is at a particularly high risk of developing allergies -- for example, do you suffer from an allergy yourself? This can often lead to an increased risk of allergies for your baby, although not necessarily to the same allergen (i.e. the substance responsible for the reaction).

5. Discuss any concerns with a medical professional.

Whilst it is sensible to be cautious, it is still important to remember that baby food allergies only affect around 8% of children. So try to keep things in perspective, introduce new foods individually and stay alert for possible reactions -- these measures will give you the confidence to safely introduce the delights of solid food to your little one.

 

How To Introduce Baby Food To Your Baby

As your little one reaches the age of five or six months, it’s time to start thinking about introducing semi-solid foods into his or her diet. Before then, mother's milk is the best food for a baby. Breast milk is easy to digest and provides a rich supply of vitamins and disease-fighting antibodies for the baby. It also fosters a close bonding experience between the baby and his or her mother.

While most mothers have enough milk to satiate their little one’s hunger, the de...

baby food, babies, newborn

As your little one reaches the age of five or six months, it’s time to start thinking about introducing semi-solid foods into his or her diet. Before then, mother's milk is the best food for a baby. Breast milk is easy to digest and provides a rich supply of vitamins and disease-fighting antibodies for the baby. It also fosters a close bonding experience between the baby and his or her mother.

While most mothers have enough milk to satiate their little one’s hunger, the decision to breastfeed is a deeply personal one. Breastfeeding may not be preferable to all women. For mothers who can’t breastfeed or who decide not to, baby formula is a healthy alternative.

Babies should be fed with semi-solids only after the rooting or sucking instinct leaves them. This happens by the fifth or sixth month. At first feeding time will be messy, and probably frustrating, as your baby gets used to the unfamiliar taste and texture of baby food. Some babies will cry because they cannot get food fast enough, while others will spit out the alien texture of semi-solid food. Lots of patience is needed until your baby develops a taste and appetite for the new kinds of food you are introducing into his or her diet.

It’s a good idea to keep the use of store-bought jarred or tinned foods to the minimum. Many of them have additives, extra starch and high levels of sugar. If you decide to make your own baby food, hygiene should be your first concern, followed by nutrition.

- Rinse all equipment with hot water.
- Boil utensils such as spoons, knives and mashers.
- Do not store cooked food in the refrigerator for prolonged periods.
- Discard any leftover baby food, as bacteria forms quickly in unfinished meals.
- Make sure that you introduce new items slowly and in small doses.
- Start with baby cereal; then introduce vegetables and fruits; and then start introducing meats.

When you start introducing semi-solid foods to your baby, he or she should be reasonably hungry by mealtime, but not overly hungry. The first semi solid food all my children started with was iron-fortified infant rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. After that I started introducing vegetables; then fruits; then meats.

At the beginning, babies should have finely pureed foods, as they get a little older and have both upper and lower teeth for chewing, introduce foods that are a little chunkier. As your baby grows, introduce a wider variety of food. If he rejects something, replace it with something else. You can introduce the rejected item after a few weeks or a month.

Although the baby food you make yourself at home is best, not all parents have the time to make homemade baby food. There are some good commercial choices on the market today. Baby food manufacturers understand parents want wholesome baby food for their parents. There are several all natural and organic baby food choices now available to parents – foods that are a safe and healthy alternative to homemade.

 

How To Treat Baby's Diarrhea

If you see these signs in your baby, you must treat her by giving as much fluid as you can. You can give either breast milk or formula (if your baby is not more than 6 months old). Water and soup are other alternatives for older babies.

There are also special fluids designed to replace water and salts lost during your baby's diarrhea. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, these fluids are very useful in home management of mild to fairly severe illnesses.

Howeve...

parenting

If you see these signs in your baby, you must treat her by giving as much fluid as you can. You can give either breast milk or formula (if your baby is not more than 6 months old). Water and soup are other alternatives for older babies.

There are also special fluids designed to replace water and salts lost during your baby's diarrhea. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, these fluids are very useful in home management of mild to fairly severe illnesses.

However, you should not prepare these fluids by yourself because you may make bad liquids for you baby, which of course can worsen her condition. You can easily get the fluids in nearby pharmacies.

When should you take your baby to a doctor?

You should take her see a doctor if these conditions below occur:

- You find blood in your baby's feces. This can be a sign of bacterial infection.

- There are changes in your baby's behavior, like she cries most of the time and you can't calm her down or she refuses to eat and drink.

- Your baby has a high fever, which is above 39°C.

Nonetheless, no need to be worried if:

- your baby acts normally as usual.

- your baby has no fever.

- your baby still wants to eat.

Generally, diarrhea recovers by itself without medicine. You just need to be patient and not to worry too much. Always observe your baby's condition and examine whether her feces get solid or not and whether there's blood in them.

The key is to keep give her as much fluid as you can. If she refuses, try to give the drink in small amount but do it frequently.

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