Food allergy is an abnormal response of the body’s immune system to any food consumed. Even a small amount of food that the immune system has developed an allergy to can cause serious problems. Infants and children are in a much more sensitive group than adults. There are some points to be considered when introducing additional foods to children with food allergies. The nutrition of these children should be planned specifically for the food they are allergic to.
Getting Started with a New Food
The most important point in protection from allergies is breast milk for the first 6 months. Complementary foods are started after 6 months. When starting a new food for the non-allergic baby, it should be tasted as 1 teaspoon on the first day, and on the second day, the same food should be given 1 teaspoon and gradually accustomed. Depending on the baby’s intake, it may increase to the size of a coffee cup over time.
Starting a New Food for an Allergy Baby
Only one type of food should be started at a time so that the food caused by the reactions can be understood. While giving a new food to the baby, a small amount of food should be put on the baby’s lips and left for about half an hour. New food should not be started every day. There should be at least 3-4 days between new foods. Even if there are different meals on the same day, new foods should not be tried during the day.
How to Eat in Food Allergy?
The incidence of allergic reactions varies according to genetic factors, age, eating habits and geography, as well as the food to which each child has an allergic reaction. It is known that it is usually caused by a type of protein in the food that causes allergies.
When babies are given food, they should not be forced when they do not want or do not eat. The same food should be tried again in small quantities at intervals of a week or two.
Vegetable soup will be an adequate main meal when consumed in a bowl. If it is consumed less, it should be supported with breast milk. If there is no breast milk, the meal should be completed with formulas containing hydrolyzed protein.
Most vegetables lose their allergenic properties when cooked. However, even if the proteins are cooked, they retain their allergenic properties. These are milk, eggs, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
Foods That Cause Allergy
Most in children; cow’s milk, eggs, fish, nuts (hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts), wheat, soy. In adults; fruits, oil seeds, fish, small shellfish cause allergies.
Dietary Therapy for Allergy Prevention
Diet is very important in the diagnosis of food allergy. The only way to prevent food allergy reactions is to exclude from the diet the foods and products that the child is allergic to. If breastfeeding, it should be excluded from the mother’s diet. In the expert approach, diet meal planning is made in line with the general information of the patient, the amount of food to be taken is determined; Allergenic foods are identified and removed from the diet. A food equivalent to the removed food is added to the diet.
As a result
In the nutritional treatment of food allergies, education of infants and parents of the child is very important. It is necessary to start complementary foods after the 6th month and with the right foods. Care should be taken when introducing a new food to a baby with allergies. Since each child’s allergic reaction is different, the food must be checked by a physician. Appropriate nutritional therapy is necessary to completely remove the food that causes allergies from the diet, to prevent nutritional deficiencies, to treat them if they occur, and to ensure the continuity of the patient’s living conditions at a level close to normal.