New Foods and Allergies

Pediatricians no longer recommend waiting until a baby is older (beyond 4 to 6 months) before introducing common allergy-producing foods, such as eggs, dairy, soy and peanuts. More recent studies have shown that introducing peanut-containing foods a little at a time as early as 4 to 6 months may even help prevent a peanut allergy. 

If your baby has shown signs of a food allergy, or if there is a family history of allergies, talk with the doctor first about how to introduce common food allergens. New foods should be introduced 1 at a time to continue screening for allergic reactions.

If you suspect that your child may have a food allergy, discuss it with your pediatrician. Symptoms may include any of the following: skin rashes, puffy eyelids, runny nose, excessive gas and diarrhea.

Call 911 if your baby has a severe reaction—wheezing, facial swelling (such as the lips and tongue) and/or trouble breathing—to a food.

Overall, citrus fruits, eggs, wheat products, nuts and chocolate are the most common food allergens, but early in life the most common ones are milk, eggs, soy, peanuts and wheat. 

Do not give honey to any child under age 1 to avoid the risk of infant botulism, a rare illness that can affect nerve function and lead to muscle paralysis. Honey may contain botulism-causing bacterium spores that babies’ digestive tracts are not yet mature enough to handle.

See also ...

•  Dos and don’ts for baby’s first foods

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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