Food allergies are more common in children than what you may think, the most common foods that cause allergies are revealed in our article, but first, lets understand more about this very important health topic.
What does it mean to be allergic to food?
A food allergy is a bodily reaction to a specific food that is abnormal. It’s vital to distinguish this from a food intolerance, which doesn’t damage the immune system but might cause similar symptoms.
What causes an allergic reaction to food?
A sensitive youngster must have been exposed to the food at least once before developing a food allergy reaction, or breast milk could also sensitize the child. Your child’s allergy symptoms appear after the second time he or she eats the meal. Histamines are released when IgE antibodies react with food, causing hives, asthma, mouth itching, difficulty breathing, stomach ache, vomiting, and/or diarrhea in your child.
What’s the difference between a food allergy and an intolerance to certain foods?
Food allergies trigger an immunological response in your child, resulting in symptoms that range from annoying to life-threatening. Although certain symptoms may be similar to those of food allergy, food intolerance does not influence the immune system.
What foods are the most common causes of food allergies in children?
The following eight foods are responsible for approximately 90% of all food allergies:
- Tree nuts
Food allergies in children are most commonly caused by eggs, milk, and peanuts, but they can also be caused by wheat, soy, and tree nuts. The most common allergic reactions are to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Food allergies affect approximately 5% of children under the age of five. Between 1997 and 2007, the number of children under the age of 18 who had a documented food allergy increased by 18%. Peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish allergies can last a lifetime, even though most youngsters “outgrow” them.
What are the signs and symptoms of a food allergy?
Within minutes to an hour after eating the dish, allergic symptoms may appear. The following are the most prevalent food allergy symptoms. However, each youngster may have different symptoms.
- Vomiting is one of the possible symptoms.
- Lips, tongue, or mouth itching or swelling
- Throat itching or constriction
- Breathing problems
- Blood pressure is lower
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, extremely allergic persons just need a small amount of the food to have a serious reaction. In fact, a serious allergic reaction can be triggered by as little as 1/44,000 of a peanut kernel. Food allergy symptoms can match those of other illnesses or medical disorders. To get a diagnosis, always go to your child’s doctor.
Food allergy treatment
Food allergy can’t be prevented with medication. The goal of treatment is to stay away from the foods that are causing the symptoms. It’s critical to avoid these foods and other similar foods in that food category after consulting with your child’s doctor and discovering foods to which your child is allergic. It is critical to avoid foods in your diet that your child is allergic to if you are breastfeeding your child. Small amounts of the food allergen can pass into your breast milk and induce an allergic reaction in your child.
If your child is unable to eat particular foods, it is equally critical that you provide vitamins and minerals. Consult your child’s physician on this. Your child’s health care practitioner may prescribe an emergency kit with epinephrine, which helps stop the symptoms of severe responses, for children who have experienced a severe food reaction. For further information, talk to your child’s doctor.
Some children may be given particular foods again after three to six months, under the supervision of their health care practitioner, to see if they have outgrown their allergy. Many allergies in children are transient, and the food can be tolerated after the age of three or four.
Allergy to milk and soy
Milk and soy allergies are most common in newborns and toddlers. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Diarrhea (fussy baby)
- Stool with blood in it
- Poor growth in your child
If your child’s doctor suspects that he or she is allergic to milk, he or she may switch your baby’s formula to soy formula or breast milk. Your child’s health care professional may switch him or her to a hypoallergenic formula that is easier to digest if your child has difficulty with soy formula. The signs and symptoms of a milk or soy allergy can be confused with those of other illnesses. To get a diagnosis, always go to your child’s doctor.
Food allergy prevention is important.
Food allergies cannot be prevented, although they can typically be postponed in newborns if the following guidelines are followed:
• Breastfeed your baby for the first six months if at all possible.
• Do not introduce solid foods to your child until he or she is 6 months old or older.
• During your child’s first year of life, avoid cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, and seafood.
Food allergies while dining out
It can be difficult to eat out if your child has one or more food allergies. However, having a healthy and pleasurable dining-out experience is feasible; all it takes is a little planning and perseverance on your part.
When your family is eating out from home, the American Dietetics Association gives the following advice:
- Research the ingredients in the items you intend to eat at the restaurant. Obtain a menu from the restaurant ahead of time if possible, and go over the menu items.
- Explain your child’s food allergy to your server right away. He or she should be aware of how each dish is made and the ingredients used. Before placing an order, inquire about the preparation method and ingredients. If your server does not know or seems unclear about this information, request to talk with the manager or chef.
- Avoid fried foods, as the same oil may be used to fry numerous different foods.
- Avoid buffet-style or family-style service, as there is a risk of cross-contamination from using the same utensils for multiple dishes.
Giving a food allergy card to your waitress or management is another option when dining out with food allergies. A food allergy card includes information on the precise things to which your child is allergic, as well as extra information such as a reminder to thoroughly clean all utensils and equipment used to create your meal before use. Using a computer and printer, you can simply print these cards. Provide your child a food allergy card (or make sure the adult in charge has one) to give to the waitress if you are not going to be present while your child eats out with friends.
Alternatively, you can find a variety of allergy cards on the internet that can be customized with your child’s information. The National Restaurant Association promotes the Food Allergy Buddy Dining Card, for example.
The Food Allergy Initiative developed the Food Allergy Training Program for Restaurants and Food Services in collaboration with the National Restaurant Association and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. This training program was created to assist restaurants and other food service establishments in ensuring that their clients, including those with food allergies, receive a safe meal cooked according to their requests.
FAQ about foods to avoid for children’s allergies
1.How common are food allergies in children?
Food allergies are more common in children than in adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, many children with food allergies “outgrow” them as they become older. The most common allergic reactions are to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Food allergies affect approximately 5% of children under the age of five.
2.What percentage of children have food allergies?
Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern in the United States, affecting about 8% of children. That’s around 2 students each classroom, or 1 in every 13 youngsters. When the body reacts to certain foods in a predictable and precise way, it is called a food allergy.
3.Do food allergies in children go away?
Food allergies are usually overcome by the time a child reaches adulthood. Almost any sort of food can trigger an allergic reaction. However, some foods are more likely than others to cause allergies. Milk, egg, soy, and wheat allergies are among the most common food allergies that children outgrow by late adolescence.
4.What are some things that cause food allergies in children?
Cow’s milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, soy, and wheat are the most common foods that cause food allergies. Food allergies, unlike food intolerances, are caused by your immune system misidentifying certain proteins in food as hazardous.