What to do if you think your child has a food allergy

When it comes to feeding your child, you want them to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Parents strive to encourage good eating habits and actually stress over this. One reason is because children need a healthy, balanced diet to grow and develop. From the weaning stage more foods are introduced in the hope of your child benefiting from a varied diet.

It can become difficult if allergy symptoms start to show, as you need to pinpoint the food that is causing the allergy. Once you know this, you need to be able to make the necessary changes to your child’s diet and what to do if you suspect your child has a food allergy.

Food allergies

There are many different food allergies, with some being more common than others. Certain foods such as nuts, wheat and milk are among the most common. If your child happens to be allergic, the symptoms will present shortly after consuming the food. These symptoms can be dangerous and require immediate medical attention. If your child has a reaction while eating or shortly after eating, this is likely due to an allergic reaction.

Avoid the suspected allergen

If you suspect your child is allergic to a certain food after showing a reaction to it, it is best to cut it out of the diet. Make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your concerns. The doctor can either take a blood sample, or make a further appointment to expose your child to the suspected allergen in a safe way to determine if your child is indeed allergic to a certain food. This is important, because if your child has a food allergy it needs to be recognized.

Food allergy treatment

When you have a diagnosis your doctor will give the necessary advice. A food allergy requires complete avoidance of the food that causes the reaction. Your child’s diet will need to be adapted accordingly to make it safe. The foods that are to be avoided will need to be replaced with other foods. It is highly important that your child’s diet is balanced and healthy. Advice can be given by a dietitian after diagnoses which can help you to adapt your child’s diet accordingly.

Inform your child

It is incredibly important that your child knows of their allergy and the cause. This is something you will need to be responsible for; however, your child needs to be aware. In your absence they need to know if a food is unsafe for them to consume. A child will need to be educated to be able to explain when offered food that they are allergic to. This ensures that the known allergen isn’t consumed. The reason behind the avoidance of a certain food also needs to be explained to allow your child to fully understand.

Knowing your child is allergic to a certain food can present as a problem. It is going to take a while to adapt, and it can be hard on the child. Trying to avoid a certain food can be quite difficult at first. Processed foods have a list of ingredients that need to be checked to ensure they are safe. However, with time you and your child will be adapted. There are many alternatives and replacements for certain foods due to known food allergens.