• The difference between a food allergy and a food
• The common symptoms of food allergies
• What parents should do if they suspect their child
has food allergies
• How to use the Food Guide Pyramid to provide
proper nutrition for an allergic child
• How to read labels to detect allergenic foods
Who has food allergies?
• 30% of the U.S. population believe they have food
• Fewer than 6% of all children have true food
• Only 1-2% of the adult population have true food
What is a true food allergy?
A true food allergy occurs if the body’s immune system
overreacts when a certain food is eaten.
• swelling lips, tongue, throat • coughing and wheezing
• rashes • difficulty in breathing
• itchy skin and/or eyes • stomach cramps
• sneezing/runny nose • vomiting and/or diarrhea
Severe food allergies can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Common allergy producing foods:
• cow’s milk • soy
• eggs • fish
• peanuts • shellfish
• tree nuts • shrimp
• walnuts • lobster
• almonds • crab
• pecans • oysters
• cashews • corn
• hazel nuts • citrus
What is a food intolerance?
A food intolerance mimics a food allergy but does not
cause a reaction by the body’s immune system.
• not an immune system response
• unable to digest the sugar in milk
• symptoms similar to allergy
Food Allergies in Young Infants
• Eight or more watery stools
• Bloody diarrhea
• Vomiting after meals
• Redness on cheeks and or anus
How can you tell if the symptoms
They occur 2-30 minutes after eating
• May be anaphylaxis
• Swelling of the throat
• Difficulty breathing
Seek emergency assistance!
Foods most likely to trigger
a severe reaction
Tree nuts • shrimp
(in order of frequency): • oysters
• walnut • lobster
• almond • crab
• pecan Eggs
• hazel nut
• Brazil nut
Does diet during pregnancy cause allergies
in a baby?
• A mom with food allergies needs to avoid severe
• If mom can’t eat certain foods, she needs adequate
Does diet during breastfeeding affect baby?
• It may
• Avoid allergenic foods
To prevent or delay food allergies:
• Breastfeed for as long as possible
• at least one year is best
• Delay introducing solid foods
• wait until six months old
• wait until 12 months for allergenic foods
• wait longer for eggs and peanut butter
• Introduce new foods one at a time
What to do if your baby has food allergies
• Provide a varied and balanced diet that excludes
the problem food(s).
• Provide nutritious alternatives.
• Try foods from the same food group as problem food
• Consult a dietitian
If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk:
• Give breast milk or milk-free iron-fortified infant
formula for the first year.
• After the first year, offer a soy milk substitute that
• Try reintroducing milk when child is older.
If your baby is allergic to soy and cow’s
milk, make sure he gets:
• An extra source of protein and riboflavin
• Cooked dried beans
• Another source of calcium
• Calcium-fortified juice
• Liquid calcium supplement
• A source of Vitamin D
• Multivitamin and mineral supplement
• An adequate amount of fat
Consult a dietitian
Read food labels to avoid problem foods
Food Common ingredients derived from the food
Corn Vegetable starch
Modified food starch
Soy Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
TVP (textured vegetable protein)
Vegetable protein concentrate
Food allergies are rare but real for those children
who have them. It is our job as parents to protect
them as best we can and still allow them to live