The reaction of the body (immune system) when a specific food is consumed is technically referred as a ‘food allergy’. The food substances which trigger such behavior by the immune system are called allergens. Food allergies have become very common amongst infants and in fact have become a serious problem amongst preschoolers. Breastfeed babies can also occasionally react to the food their mothers eat.
What makes it challenging to diagnose the food allergy is the fact that the symptoms (also called the reaction) can be delayed for hours after the food intake. Certain food allergies even lead to vomiting or food indigestion. The symptoms can range from mild rashes to life threatening reactions.
Some of the allergies last for a couple of years and the kids eventually become immune. However, the majority of them stay life-long, prompting for extra attention.
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It becomes imperative for us, as parents, to closely watch the diet of our kids to be able to identify allergic symptoms, if any, as early as possible.
Though there are some treatments available for the different types of allergies, it is widely believed that the best way to cure them is to prevent them from occurring.
Here are some useful tips to prevent allergic conditions in kids:
For infants, it’s recommended to breast feed them at least for 6 months. Not only does it provide a nutritious and balanced diet for the baby, it also reduces the risk of developing allergies in the early stages by strengthening the immune system. As far as possible, try and delay the introduction of the solid food till the baby turns 6 months.
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Whenever we introduce a new food to the diet of our kids, make sure we do it one at a time. If the food is tolerated, we may continue with it as a part of their varied diet. By doing we may identify the reaction to a particular food, at an early stage.
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The best diet/ food to start off for kids are cereals such as oats, cereals and cooked vegetables. They tend to be more acceptable to the kids.
It’s a good idea to keep the nuts, especially the peanuts away from kids, as they are often allergic to them.
Last, but not the least, ensure that the kids wash their hands and face before having their meal.
The above list is indicative and would vary from one child to another. The onus lies on the parents to monitor the child’s diet and take appropriate steps. If not sure, we need to take it up with a pediatrician and seek their advice before firming up our kid’s diet plan.