Prevention of allergies in children
Foods can be introduced, thereafter, and only should a new type of food be tried out every 2-3 days. To readily identify any reaction, introduce just one food at a time.
There are studies that suggest that beyond 6 months, delayed introduction of foods could lead to increased food allergy. But to confirm this, further research needs to be carried out. There is no evidence that if there was a late delay, during the first 4-6 months of age, in the introduction of foods such as seafood, tree nuts, peanut, milk, egg and the like, risks of eczema and food allergy would be reduced.
An allergy prevention research is important
Our understanding as to why allergic diseases come about and why they are on the increase is not complete despite the fact that allergy prevention in children is an active research area.
It is therefore encouraged that one should participate and support the developmental and prevention studies done on the allergic diseases.
The following are some of the most common questions that are based on children and infants allergy prevention:
Should I alter my diet when breastfeeding?
Restricted breast feeding diets are not recommendable. There are no studies that show that removing allergenic food from the mother’s diet will reduce the chances of the baby getting an allergenic disease.
Should I alter my diet when pregnant?
Diets that are restricted when one is pregnant are not recommended. Keeping off allergenic foods like cow milk, soy, fish, egg, peanut etc do not reduce the risk of allergenic diseases developing. Instead, such diets are associated with babies who have impaired weight gain.
Is the cow milk formula a poor choice of allergy prevention than goat or soy milk?
The answer is no. Soy or goat milk is no different than cow milk when trying to prevent allergy development in children.
When solids are introduced, are there certain foods that I shouldn’t be feeding my child?
Any dietary modifications or restrictions should be consulted and supervised by your doctor who may or may not include a dietitian.
Until the child is past 4 or 6 months, the introduction of food should be delayed. During the first 2 years of life, studies have shown that continuously breastfed children, during the first 3-4 months of life, had lower chances of developing eczema and food allergies.
There are no studies done that show that eczema and food allergies risk can be reduced if one delays the introduction of food longer than the stipulated time. Also, avoiding foods like shellfish or fish, tree nuts, peanut, cow’s milk, egg and the like won’t protect against allergic diseases developing.