How can I find out if my child has a food allergy?
To confirm a food allergy or intolerance, you need to consult a specialist who will do a series of tests – skin and blood – and who may ask your child to participate in an elimination diet for a couple of weeks before reintroducing the suspect food to confirm a food allergy.
Can I prevent my baby from developing a food allergy?
Yes, or no, depending on who you talk to. In the past, it’s been suggested that delaying the introduction of certain foods to children who seem likely candidates for food allergies may help them long-term to avoid developing an allergy. However, there is conflicting evidence as to whether this is the best course of action.
Experts do agree, though, that breastfeeding offers some protection against allergies, so breastfeeding for as long as you can, will help your child to better deal with any potential allergy problems.
Another strategy is to introduce your baby to all new foods slowly. Feed her one new food at a time with several days between the introductions of new items. By being methodical, you’ll quickly be able to tell which food is causing the problem if she does have a reaction.