Your baby is ready to start solid foods – what an exciting time! As a parent, you get to help your child learn what kind of foods they like! You get to see their reaction as they taste new fruits, vegetables, cereals, textures, and flavors. You get to discover with them if they like more sweet, salty, or sour flavors of foods. As you continue to introduce new solid foods to your baby, it is important to know a bit about food allergies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 8 most common allergenic foods are:
Introducing foods with an allergy risk is sometimes nerve-wracking but also very important. Research shows that introducing allergenic foods at a younger age, before 1 year of life, helps to reduce the risk of having a food allergy later on. While you may feel nervous, we encourage you to work with your child’s pediatrician to develop a plan for introducing allergenic foods sooner than later. In general, if you do not have a significant family history of food allergies then your baby is likely not at a greater risk for having an allergy, however we always suggest families consult with their pediatrician if they are feeling worried about introducing allergenic foods.
Some tips to support you through this process:
After each new food, watch and observe for any allergic reactions. Call your pediatrician if you observe symptoms such as:
As a parent, you are helping your little one explore and learn about a variety of foods, including allergenic ones. Building in opportunities for them to taste and try allergenic foods on a regular basis is a great way to provide consistent exposure to these foods while following a responsive approach to mealtimes!
Written by: Nicole Bing, OTD-S
Samady, W., Campbell, E., Aktas, O. N., Jiang, J., Bozen, A., Fierstein, J. L., Joyce, A. H., & Gupta, R. S. (2020). Recommendations on complementary food introduction among pediatric practitioners. JAMA Network Open, 3(8). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.13070