Have you ever been nervous to introduce your baby to certain foods? With so many potential allergens out there, some parents put off introducing things like peanut butter and eggs until the child is well over a year, in an attempt to make sure they are stronger should a reaction occur. Unfortunately, professionals at pediatric allergy centers agree that delaying exposure to potential allergens could actually cause your child to have allergies. Here are the recommendations for introducing possible allergens to your child.
Introducing peanut butter to your child before they are a year old actually decreases the odds that they will have an allergic reaction. Think about it; Babies in other countries are introduced to peanut oil at an even younger age than six months, and they actually have fewer peanut allergies overall than we do here in the United States. If you think you would like to introduce a little peanut butter, mix a small amount (a teaspoon) of creamy peanut butter into some applesauce and then feed them slowly. If you still feel nervous, ask your pediatrician advice for your specific child.
Eggs, like peanut butter, should be introduced after 6 months of age, but before 1 year old. Take a hard-boiled or scrambled egg and mix about a teaspoon in with their puree of food. Make sure that the pieces are small enough that your baby can gum smash them up with their gums. Again, monitor your baby after introducing foods that may cause allergic reactions.
It is a good idea to introduce fish to your baby before they are 18 months old. Make sure to choose a mild, white fish like cod, haddock, or flounder. The fish needs to be cooked completely with bones and skins removed. Give your baby small amounts of fish with a mix of milk or puree. As your child gets older, continue to introduce different types of fish in individual episodes in order to detect specific allergens.
As with introducing any new food, monitor your child closely while they are eating and in the two hours after the meal. If they seem to be having have any trouble breathing take them to the emergency department immediately. Other potential allergens include hives, swelling of their lips, face, or other parts of their body, welts or vomiting. With some of these smaller allergies, you may want to administer an antihistamine, to be sure, contact professionals like Allergy Asthma Immunology Center if you have questions.