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Weaning & Nutrition

 

Food Allergies
A certain kind of adverse reaction in the body post food consumption can be caused by ‘Food Hypersensitivity’ (allergy) or by ‘Food Intolerance’.
An allergy is an adverse food reaction, which occurs consistently after consumption of a particular food. Peanuts, for example, are known for causing an allergic reaction in some people. ‘Intolerance’ is an adverse food reaction caused by toxic, pharmacological, or metabolic reaction to food. An example of this is Lactose intolerance.

COMMON FOOD ALLERGENS: Peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, cashew nuts), shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, soy and wheat.
COMMON SYMPTOMS: Gastro-intestinal (Nausea, Vomiting, abdominal cramps, wind in the tummy); Dermatologic (rashes, hives, bumps or boils, acne like eruptions, redness around the mouth); others (swelling of the lips, tongue, esophagus, difficulty in swallowing or breathing).
HOW TO IDENTIFY: Maintain a 7 to 14 day food and symptom diary for the child, this will give an indication of the foods consumed during the day of allergic reaction and hence, the possible suspects for causing the reaction.
WHAT TO DO: In case of an emergency, consult your child’s pediatrician.  If your child has an allergy to a particular food, ensure that you read the list of ingredients while buying foods, tell the child repeatedly not to consume foods given by others (friends, school etc), inform your child’s care-giver (school/ crèche, day-care) about the allergic condition. Sensitivity to certain allergies can be very high, for example allergy to peanuts. Such foods should not even brought close to the child, as they could trigger an allergic reaction.