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Detecting food allergies in babies can be difficult since they can’t verbally tell us how they’re feeling. Many pediatricians recommend introducing your baby to solids slowly, one food at a time, for about 5-6 days. This makes it easier to know what new foods your baby has had recently and will narrow down the possibilities if they have any kind of allergic reaction to the food.

The Science Behind an Allergic Reaction

First, let’s break down what having an allergic reaction means. An allergic reaction is an abnormal immune response to foods. Your baby can have an allergic reaction to food as young as a few months old. However, it is possible to develop allergies at any time in your life. One of the major risk factors is genetics. If you have a parent that is allergic to peanuts, there is a higher chance of the child also having allergies.

How does an allergic reaction occur? The proteins in foods can act as allergens, which can then act as antigens, stimulating antibodies. As this stimulation of antigens occurs, it produces a reaction or allergy symptoms that we see. Detecting allergies in your baby can be difficult because symptoms may not be as clear as you think.

How to Know Your Baby is Having an Allergic Reaction

It’s important when introducing your baby to new foods to look for symptoms of allergies. Symptoms can occur immediately, just seconds after eating the food, or they can have a delayed response, up to minutes after eating the food. Symptoms to look for when detecting food allergies in babies include Shortness of breath, red cheeks, wheezing, sneezing, coughing, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, colic (abdominal cramps), bloating, constipation, hives, severe itching, disturbed sleep, refusal of the food, swelling of the eyes, and anaphylaxis shock (weak pulse).

The “Big 8” Most Common Allergens

There are eight extremely common food allergens in the United States, known as the “Big 8.” The big 8 food allergens include milk, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, soy, and wheat. When introducing these foods to your baby, watch close for symptoms of allergies. At NurturMe, we want to make snacks all babies and children can enjoy, that’s why we make healthy, organic snacks that are free from these common allergens. Our power blend pouches are made from fruit and veggie purées and they’re just perfect for stage 2 of solids. Our super immunity and ancient grains pouches have added probiotics, are kosher, GMO-free, and USDA certified organic. Prior to giving your baby a power blend pouch, you’ll want to test the foods individually.

Allergy Testing

If your baby has an allergic reaction to any food, determine how serious the symptoms are. You’ll either need to call for medical help immediately or consult your pediatrician. Pediatricians recommend not testing babies or children for allergies until they've had an actual intolerance to food to avoid over-testing. Allergy testing consists of pricks to the skin and putting the specific allergen on the skin to see if there is a reaction.

Other NurturMe Related Blogs:
-The Stages of Solids: Is Your Baby Ready?
-3 Tips to Dealing with Your Picky Eater